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Campus Ministry

College pushes young adults to grow academically; but young people are also growing into adulthood and trying to figure out how being a Christian shapes their life choices, or maybe discovering Jesus for the first time.

Lutheran Campus Ministry provides a place to grow as a person of faith and build community and belonging. Young adults involved in Lutheran Campus Ministry (LCM) find their strength in gathering together for worship, vocational discernment, study, fellowship, Christian leadership development, and mutual care. At the same time, LCM students continually stretch themselves: advocating and providing for those who are in need, approaching Scripture with honest vulnerability, and sharing the love of God in academic communities. As students strengthen and stretch, they are grateful for synod staff and local congregations who graciously engage LCM through partnerships and collaborations, financial support, and prayer.

The three synods of Illinois (Central/Southern Illinois, Northern Illinois, and Metro Chicago) work together to fund campus ministry in six sites throughout the state: Illinois State University, Normal; Northern Illinois University, DeKalb; Northwestern University, Evanston; South Loop, Chicago; University of Chicago, Chicago; and University of Illinois, Champaign. There are also about twenty congregations around the state engaged with students, faculty, and staff at nearby colleges and universities.

To support campus ministry, make a donation directly to the campus ministry, to the synod, or to Lutheran Campus Ministry of Illinois which financially supports all campus ministries in Illinois. To make a gift to LCMI, contact LCMI Treasurer Carey Mayer by email at cmayer1302@yahoo.com.

St. Andrew’s Lutheran Campus Center, Champaign

Finding a home away from home is not easy on a huge university campus. Neither is finding a place where one can ask the big questions of life without fear of being judged: Who am I? What is my purpose? Whom can I trust? To what or whom do I belong? What is the meaning of life? What is the meaning of my life? Who is God and what does faith have to do with all this? What if I don’t know if I have faith? What if I have more doubt than faith?

St. Andrew’s is a place of welcome and grace — a place like home — to all who come through its doors. We are a congregation of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America and also a Campus Center with ties to both the University of Illinois (we are an official Registered Student Organization) and to the broader church (we’re a member of the Lutheran Student Movement). Unique for a university campus: we are a church not of only students but of students who get a chance to mix and mingle with the very supportive permanent members of Champaign-Urbana who worship here, many of whom feel like surrogate parents and grandparents. Lots, but not all, of our people are affiliated with the university in some way.

Following in the way of Jesus, we welcome all without exception. We are a church Reconciled in Christ (we unequivocally support the LGBTQ+ community) and though our affiliation is Lutheran, we celebrate God’s diversity in culture, language, nationality, ethnicity, age, ability, gender, and orientation. We welcome your questions, your gifts, and your being.

We worship on Sundays at 10:30 AM during the academic year and at varying times in the summer. Our Council, made up of students, plans a great schedule of free food, fellowship, midweek evening contemplative worship, service, and justice opportunities, study, and discussion through the year. See our Facebook Page or our FB posts on this web site for up-to-date happenings and visit our website.

AGAPE/Lutheran Student Movement at Illinois State University, Normal

Campus Ministry in the ELCA is full of joy, because we make such an impact on students’ lives. We get to bring good news of freedom and hope to people! We see lives transformed and have even seen lives literally saved by the power of God’s love.

The gospel of Jesus brings us freedom from our own sin and shortcomings and also freedom to love. Our particularly Lutheran presence brings an emphasis on God’s grace and freedom to campus.

We hear from young people that Christianity, unfortunately, has a reputation of being concerned with who or what you are against. But we believe that the good news of Jesus is about who we are for.

Based in our Lutheran tradition, what we are for is that everyone might know the overflowing love of God.

One particular expression of Christian freedom relevant to campus ministry is that in the ELCA Lutheran tradition, we have the freedom to use our brains and intellect without worrying that doing so will diminish our faith, because nothing can diminish the love of God. This is particularly important to ministry among college students, and it is in stark contrast to the way some ministries try to present science and critical thinking as enemies of faith.

Also, our freedom as part of the ELCA to fully include LGBTQ people in a way that other churches do not is an expression of gospel that is rare and vitally needed on campus.

In our ministry at ISU, we partner with other Christians who have similar beliefs about the love of God, and we reach out to people who appreciate the love of Jesus even if they have had struggles with the church. We strive for diversity and affirm all people as beloved children of God.

Check out our website and watch our videos of students sharing their experiences with our ministry!

Our ministry is based at the Agape House, 300 Normal Avenue, Normal.

Some of our regular activities are:

Happy Monday

Every Monday morning, we serve coffee, tea, and hot cocoa to students on their way to and from class, just to brighten their day, and as a small expression of our conviction that love is freely given and overflows from God. We are set up within sight of our building, so this also gives us the opportunity to invite students to our Monday night community meals.

Community Meal

We serve a home-cooked meal for students and people in the community on Monday nights at 6:30. While our neighborhood is mostly students, people who are experiencing homelessness and families share in our meal on a fairly regular basis. We give special attention to making sure that students and others can “taste the love” put into the cooking, and feel cared for and not just fed. We often hear that it is the best meal that people have all week, or even the best part of their week. This meal has such a good reputation in the community that a community blog, the local newspaper, and two different television stations have spontaneously showed up to do news stories about it in the last several years.

Dinner Church

We gather for worship in a setting of “dinner church,” Thursdays at 6:30. We have time for song, prayer, checking in with one another, a gospel message, and holy communion. After worship, we have a time for discussion.

Fun, Learning, and Service

We also host and participate in other educational and service opportunities. We have fun activities like game nights. We usually offer a retreat and a spring break service/learning trip each year.