“Behold, I will bring them from the north country, And gather them from the ends of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and The one who labors with child, together, A great throng shall return there...And My people shall be satisfied with My goodness, says the LORD.”
~ Jeremiah 31:8, 14
Kristin Schuchmann, LM, CPM
Kristin, the founder of Charis Childbirth and a FL Licensed Certified Professional Midwife, is a passionate pro-life advocate for the unborn, a doula, childbirth educator, lactation counselor, and midwife who has served hundreds of childbearing families and those in crisis pregnancies since 1989.
Susan Oshel, CPM, LM
Director of Midwifery Studies
Susan, a Virginia-licensed Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), began attending births as a midwife’s assistant in 1977, and in 1981 attended her first birth as a primary midwife. She grew up in Virginia Beach and spent most of her adult life in Floyd County, VA, where she served the beautiful, rural, diverse mountain community as a traditional midwife.
Beginning in 1989, Kristin Schuchmann, founder of Charis Childbirth, worked exclusively with those in a crisis pregnancy, serving teenage girls and women by providing free doula services, shelter, crisis counseling, and more. Kristin has been very active in the pro-life movement and has had the opportunity to influence many girls and women to choose life for their babies, a decision not one has regretted. Eventually, Kristin branched out teaching childbirth classes and providing doula services to married couples, while still volunteering her services to single moms and those in a crisis pregnancy.
The childbirth education Kristin provides includes Biblical principles and Scripture which help to increase the faith of the expectant family and to introduce the Gospel of Christ to people who may have never before experienced a relationship with Jesus. She teaches birth as a natural process and prepares the families well for their upcoming births. As a result, people are coming to know Jesus Christ, families are growing in their faith in God, and women are experiencing supernaturally wonderful childbirth.
In 2002, Kristin began taking on apprentices who wanted to learn about serving childbearing families from a Christian perspective. It is because of this wonderful experience that she felt led to begin facilitating more formal training. Rather than copying current ways of equipping childbirth professionals, she chose a model that uses mentoring and coaching for more personalized training.
While seeking guidance from the Lord concerning the training process, the vision began to grow. It became clear that this would be comprehensive enough to be a credible source of certification for childbirth educators and doulas, and that creating a membership organization would serve many community and educational purposes. Others began to catch the vision and, in 2003, Charis Childbirth was birthed, offering training and certification for childbirth educators and doulas.
In 2006, Charis was blessed with the addition of midwife Susan Oshel who is serving as our Director of Midwifery Studies. Susan has helped Kristin to revise and improve the Charis course for childbirth professionals to include an advanced academics course for midwives that was launched in 2007.
At the request of Charis students and graduates, the postpartum doula and lactation counselor certifications were developed and added in 2016.
Charis Childbirth is blessed to have trained birth professionals on four continents. It is thrilling for us to come alongside our students as they discover how their unique gifts can meet the needs of childbearing families in their communities. The world desperately needs more love and support for families in this important season of life. Normally, when a seed is planted, one knows what will grow. In this case, when the idea of Charis Childbirth was planted, we had no idea how beautiful and far-reaching it would become.