Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Last month, President Harrison wrote a “Pastoral Letter about Campus Ministry” to the church and signaled that the Office of National Mission (ONM) was prepared to take direct leadership once again in support of campus ministry.  He mentioned that the ONM was at work coordinating a task force as well as initiating plans for a national campus ministry conference in the future.  As the Executive Director of the ONM, I want to update you on our plans.

First, a President’s Think Tank on Campus Ministry has been scheduled for January 3–4, 2012, at the International Center in St. Louis, Mo.

The following individuals have been invited, and have agreed to, participate in the meeting:

  • Mrs. Anne Bakker, Mt. Pleasant, Mich., ISM director at a full-time campus ministry
  • Mr. Andy Bates, St. Louis, Mo., Career and Technology Education specialist, St. Louis College at Meramec
  • Mr. Phillip Fischaber, Tulsa, Okla., college student, LSF Regional representative
  • The Rev. Dr. Erik Herrmann, St. Louis, Mo., CSL representative
  • Mr. Jon Jensen, Metro St. Louis, Mo., executive director, LCMA
  • The Rev. Mark Kiessling, St. Louis, Mo., LCMS Youth and Young Adult Ministry
  • The Rev. David Kind, Minneapolis, Minn., full-time campus pastor, Higher Things vice president
  • The Rev. Dr. Paul Maier, Kalamazoo, Mich., COP, Praesidium (Third Vice-President)
  • The Rev. Richard Manus, Fenton, Mo., LCMS campus ministry counselor (1998–2002)
  • Dr. Angus Menuge, Mequon, Wisc., CUS professor, commissioned teacher
  • Mrs. Martha Milas, Champaign, Ill., Board for National Mission
  • Miss Shaina Mitchell, Muncie, In., full-time campus ministry deaconess
  • Mrs. Marcia Mittwede, Round Rock, Texas, ISM, Inc. co-president
  • The Rev. Max Mons, Iowa City, Iowa, full-time campus pastor
  • The Rev. Ian Pacey, Tucson, Ariz., full-time campus pastor
  • The Rev. Prof. John Pless, Fort Wayne, Ind., CTSFW representative
  • The Rev. Samuel Schuldheisz, Huntington Beach, Cali., parish pastor
  • Dr. James Tallmon, Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, Board for National Mission
  • The Rev. Jay Winters, Tallahassee, Fla., full-time campus pastor, LCMA Board Member, former LSF Advisor
  • Mr. Greg Witto, Charleston, Ill., full-time director of campus ministry, DCE, LCMA Vice President
  • The Rev. Marcus Zill, Laramie, Wyo., full-time campus pastor, Christ on Campus executive, Higher Things

While we would love to have more participants, this geographically diverse and well-rounded mix of laity, commissioned and ordained ministers represents well those who are presently engaged in campus ministry (e.g., LCMA, ISM, LSF, CoC, etc.) and incorporates those with significant past campus experience and others who can contribute in giving input and direction to our office. The Think Tank also includes two representatives from the National Mission Board, one member of the Council of Presidents and representatives from both seminaries and one of our Concordia universities.

Second, I have also formed a steering committee to begin preparations for a future national campus ministry conference. That committee includes:

  • Rev. Marcus Zill, Laramie, Wyo., Chair
  • Mr. Andy Bates, Wildwood, Mo.
  • Miss Shaina Mitchell, Muncie, Ind.
  • Rev. Max Mons, Iowa City, Iowa
  • Rev. Jay Winters, Tallahassee, Fla.

This committee will start work as soon as possible but will also have the opportunity to gain valuable input from the other Think Tank participants at the early January meeting.

Thank you for the tremendous amount of helpful advice and input that so many of you have given to our office in the last couple of weeks.  We look forward to working with all of those above—and the many more whom they represent—as we give shape to this new direction for campus ministry in our beloved Synod together through the Office of National Mission.

We will do our best to keep the church up to date as plans continue to materialize. As always, we value your ongoing input and covet your prayers as we seek to strengthen our work on our nation’s college campuses for the sake of the Gospel.

Peace,

Rev. J. Bart Day
Executive Director of National Mission
bart.day@lcms.org