Campus Ministry Re-Invented
What is the importance of Campus Ministry?
Historically, Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of Chicago (LCM) has followed the traditional structure of most Lutheran Campus Ministries in the ELCA: An ordained Pastor and a number of UChicago students serve as Peer Ministers each year, assisting with student recruitment and weekly/quarterly programming. These students also act as liaisons between LCM and UChicago offices. With regards to engaging ritual and worship, what had been at the core of LCM’s ministry is “Body and Soul”, a Thursday evening service that combines worship, dinner, and discussion. Students describe these gatherings as “warm, relaxed, and intellectually stimulating.” Recently, worship styles have included Taizé and Holden Evening Prayer. In addition, discussions encompassed weekly Scripture and topical publications. Previously, other LCM programming has included Sunday luncheon conversations and Tuesday evening undergraduate faith-in-life discussions. LCM’s outreach encompasses the Augustana congregation, the campus community, and the greater South Side. Service events have included hosting the luncheon at the Annual Congregational Meeting, Comfort Food for Finals (mac and cheese during finals week), and partnership with the Night Ministry of Chicago.
Peer Ministers are important to the work of Campus Ministry because of their presence and witness out in the world of how both vocation and faith work hand in hand. What drives them, and what is important to them is the direction that Campus Ministry goes forward. It's the students who really decide programming and service projects that LCM is dedicated to. Pictured here are the 2016-2018 Body and Soul Peer Ministers