Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry is an agency of the Nebraska Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America that facilitates and manages campus ministry across Nebraska. Its mission is to invite people in academic settings more deeply into Jesus Christ and the community that bears His name, so they can discover and fulfill their vocation as disciples. Its vision is to be the presence of Christ and the invitation of Christ to the entire academic setting. Specific aspects of its vision include:
- Strengthening the awareness of Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry as a ministry of Lutherans for all people in academic settings.
- Expanding the presence of Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry to academic settings in the State of Nebraska.
- Developing new ministry models that extend Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry’s outreach and service by using congregations as bases for campus ministry and empowering college-age persons to serve as peer ministers who connect local congregations to those served in college and university settings.
- Living out its mission in Jesus by being the church and sharing the Gospel in academic settings in every way possible.
Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry identifies ministry locations and appoints local governance councils. Ministry programs include worship in various forms and at different times; multiple opportunities for Christian faith development, such as Bible studies and discussion groups; vocational discernment experiences; community service and outreach activities; mission trips; congregational involvement; and pastoral care.
Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry presently sponsors campus ministry programs at the following colleges and universities:
- Chadron State College (Chadron)
- Northeast Community College (Norfolk)
- Peru State College (Peru)
- Southeast Community College (Beatrice)
- University of Nebraska (Campus Lutheran, Kearney)
- University of Nebraska (Lutheran Center, Lincoln)
- University of Nebraska (Omaha – multiple campus locations)
- Wayne State College (Wayne)
- Western Nebraska Community College (Scottsbluff/Gering)
- Students, faculty members, and university staff members.
- Ecumenical colleagues who serve institutions.
- Local/regional congregations and their leaders.
- Community ministries served by campus ministry students.
- Communities surrounding colleges and universities.
In the 1940s, Nebraska Lutherans introduced campus ministry at the University of Nebraska Lincoln, which was the second program of this type in the nation. In the 1960s, the ministry expanded to the University of Nebraska Kearney and Wayne State College. All three of these early ministries established student centers, which continue to operate to this day.
During the past several years, Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry has established additional programs—using congregational-based models of ministry to serve colleges and universities across Nebraska. The interest, commitment, and involvement of local congregations has been the catalyst to develop and enhance additional ministry locations.
In 2014—in partnership with the Rupert Dunklau Foundation, Nebraska congregations, and many faithful friends in Christ—Nebraska Lutheran Campus Ministry launched a two-year plan for ministry expansion. This resulted in new ministries in Omaha and Peru, and additional resources for NeLCM-Chadron. Campus ministry continues to deepen connections to Christ in the communities it is privileged to serve.