LUTHERAN CAMPUS MINISTRY,
MORRIS'S FIRST STUDENT ORGANIZATION
Lutheran Campus Ministries (LCM), arguably, was the first student organization at the University of Minnesota, Morris. It began as an idea even before the University opened its doors in fall 1960. Originating in a community energized yet apprehensive about the “new college on the prairie horizon,” LCM is celebrating its 59th birthday along with UMM.
James “Jim” Olson, professor emeritus of chemistry, one of Morris’s 13 original faculty members, and Rollen “Rollie” Halvorson, Morris’s first Lutheran campus pastor, were there on UMM’s opening day. They recently returned to campus to share recollections of the origins and evolution of LCM as well their memories of UMM’s first years. Both stressed the newness of the experience and the possibilities realized by motivated individuals who embraced the freedom to “make it up as you go along.” Both men agreed that there was “a lot of excitement and enthusiasm for this whole project” locally and statewide, even as they understood that at the time Morris was only “a two-year experiment.”
Rodney A. Briggs, Morris’s first dean and provost, was adamant that students have an informal meeting place. This is how Louie’s Lower Level, still located in the lower level of the Student Center, became the first unofficial home of LCM. But it didn’t take long to realize that LCM needed a “home base.” A steering committee of wonderfully interested pastors and lay people was formed to determine the best course of action. Since there was no central source of funds to draw from, raising money became a priority. It fell to the LCM intern to make the rounds of area churches and any other group that would have him to convince them of the value of faith and learning and try and gain their backing.
LCM’s first home was a house on Fourth Street. The second floor was remodeled as living quarters for the campus pastor—Roland Severson at the time—and the downstairs used for LCM activities. This wasn’t such a great arrangement, because it forced the intern to be always on duty.
The LCM intern became a member of the church council at First Lutheran when he returned to teaching after finishing graduate school in 1967. Another three years passed before Christus House was purchased. Convincing Norwegians concerned about what would happen if the Foundation stopped supporting LCM to buy real estate was a tough sell. So a corporation was formed to buy back the house for $1 if support was ever withdrawn.
Our vision is to have students actively sharing God's love and compassion.
WHAT WE DO
Our main gatherings, Dollar Dinners, are held every other Thursday night, 6-8pm, at the Christus House.
Come to connect with others and with God, grow in your faith and fellowship. This gathering is the center of our community, and the point from which our relationships within the campus community grow. We invite you to eat with us (all of us!) and get involved in the life of others from campus as well!
Request to be added to our "The Word at the Christus House" emails to get more details on what is happening throughout the month!
LuMin Morris is a community that accepts and supports students in faith and discipleship.