Calling a Campus Pastor

After serving the University Lutheran Chapel for more than 25 years, Rev. Bill Steinbauer was called to serve Christ, Lincoln, and the Chapel is now vacant for the first time in many years. Rev. Ryan Matthias, campus pastor at Concordia University, Nebraska, has been serving the vacancy at the Chapel since classes resumed in the Fall.

Rev. Lonnie Jacobsen, who serves the Nebraska District as Assistant to the President for Mission and Ministry said, “We took some time to consider potential changes in structure, systems, and models for ministry focused on young adults. Once the students returned to classes this Fall, we began the process of calling a pastor to serve among them.”

The call team includes student leaders, members of the Chapel’s Ministry Leadership Council (representing multiple congregations in Lincoln), and representatives from the Chapel staff. This team, along with leaders from the District, worked with Rev. Billy Brath of Lutheran Church Extension Fund Ministry Solutions to examine various campus ministry models and gain clarity on what ministry at the Chapel could look like in the years to come.

Rev. Jacobsen describes the call team as “an impressive group of people…dedicated to their work, seeking and expecting the Holy Spirit to guide them.” After months of reflection and study, the call team and the District Board of Directors have extended a Divine Call to a pastor. We invite the congregations of the District to join the students and leaders at the Chapel in praying for this pastor and his family as they consider this call.

Other Chapel News

  • The study with LCEF Ministry Solutions also made it clear that calling a female missionary would be helpful to meet the specific needs of the young women on campus.
  • GracePoint Institute for Relational Health continues to have a strong presence at the Chapel, providing counseling services for the Chapel and the wider community.
  • Outreach to international students and their families continues year-round at the Chapel. Mark Meyer, who leads international student outreach, shared a story from an event for these students. “Roger and Geri Meyer are great friends of the Chapel. They have invested in the lives of various international students the past ten years or so. Last November, they came to a Thanksgiving meal at the Chapel and sat next to a couple from Nepal. They had a great conversation, and have continued to build on the relationship and friendship… These relationships and ongoing investment are critical to the ministry at the Chapel.”
  • The LWML Nebraska North District approved a mission grant to assist in the purchase of chancel furnishings, one of the last steps to finishing the renovated space. The furnishings will be built by The Center for Liturgical Art and installed sometime next year.

 The Chapel continues to be a space for ministry, worship, and service to the community. Rev. Jacobsen expressed his gratitude to those who donated to the campaign to renovate the Chapel and to those who regularly support this ministry through their donations and time. “Your investment continues to bear eternal fruit, as the Chapel’s purpose remains clear—connecting college students to Jesus.”

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