Sometimes one of the most difficult aspects of starting something new is knowing how to get started. Whether reading this as a new student, a returning student, or a relative of a student, if the question of how to be involved with a Lutheran ministry while at college in on your heart, look no further than the Campus Ministry Network. The CMN is a District supported initiative and serves as an affiliation of the many campus ministries across the Missouri District. They serve students in two main ways: their resource website and building up those involved in campus ministry through leadership training, retreats, and fellowship.
The website https://www.molcms.college/ serves as an excellent resource to connect interested parties directly with the contact person of that particular campus ministry. Whether a student, parent, Pastor, or church leader, contacts can be made. Rev. Dr. Kent Pierce runs the Campus Ministry Network. (He also serves as pastor at Campus Lutheran in Columbia). And he explains that one of the hardest things about campus ministry is making that initial contact. Schools used to ask students their religious preference and then pass on that information accordingly to the religious group selected. But now that doesn’t happen, and there are a lot of students and contacts that get missed. This website helps bridge that process. Simply visit https://www.molcms.college/, click on the student’s school, submit the form, and the information goes automatically to the person of contact with that campus ministry. It’s a wonderful resource to help make Lutheran connections stronger.
GO Leadership Retreat
Another excellent resource for students in campus ministry is the GO Leadership Retreat. These retreats are hosted yearly (usually in February) in Columbia. They serve to help students solidify living out their faith while at school. Pierce notes that these retreats aren’t just for students who serve in positions of leadership at campus ministries, but they are “open to all students,” says Pierce. “We want to let all students recognize their identity as a baptized child of Christ. … we want to give them some leadership skills so they can take those with them wherever God sends them to be.”
This past February was the third year for the retreat and featured District employee Rev. Marty Hasz, PLPC as the keynote on the topic “Spiritual First Aid”. Pierce says students learned how God created humans to relate to others and how to identify when someone is struggling with something and how to best come alongside them. Mark your calendars for next February’s event!