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Letter from Don Romsa, Program Director for Campus Ministry in the ELCA


“Vision, Process, and Practice of ELCA Campus Ministry: Guidelines and Recommendations”

In 2003, the ELCA Church Council approved a document called “Policies and Procedures for Campus Ministry” (“Policies and Procedures”). With a 2006 revision approved by the Church Council, the document defined the campus ministry mission and described the existing accountability relationships among the churchwide organization, synods, and the local campus ministry agencies.

With the major restructuring of the ELCA churchwide organization in 2011, a number of significant organizational elements of “Policies and Procedures” became outdated and obsolete. In 2015, the administrative leadership in the Domestic Mission unit instructed the campus ministry program director to develop a new document in close collaboration with current campus ministry practitioners, and to have the new document ready for the fall 2017 meeting of the ELCA Church Council.  The plan was to suspend and archive the “Policies and Procedures” document, and replace it with the new document.

In developing the new document, it was expected that the program director would involve a significant number of campus ministry practitioners, and that the document would be reviewed by the leadership of the Domestic Mission unit, several Synod Bishops, and the ELCA Office of the Secretary.  The Office of the Secretary would also provide a review of the document by the ELCA legal team.

We are happy to say that the new document (entitled “Vision, Process, and Practice of ELCA Campus Ministry: Guidelines and Recommendations”) was finally approved by the ELCA Church Council on November 12, 2017. It provides a fresh vision for the operation of and support for campus ministry in the ELCA that builds on the previous document, while reflecting the new organizational relationships that currently exist among the local campus ministry agencies, synods, and the churchwide organization. Rather than provide a set of policies and procedures, this document offers a series of guidelines and recommendations to assist the various campus ministry stakeholders in their interdependent and collaborative efforts to help campus ministry thrive as an essential ministry of the ELCA.  

We offer a special word of thanks to everyone who helped develop the new document over a two-year period. That group included twenty-one LCM staff members, administrators in the Domestic Mission unit, six Synod Bishops, and people in the ELCA Office of the Secretary including the ELCA legal team.

The new document is below, and we hope you will share a copy with members of your board or directing committee.  If you have questions about the document, please contact Don Romsa at

Guidelines and Recommendations — ELCA Campus Ministry 2017 – pdf

Guidelines and Recommendations — ELCA Campus Ministry 2017 – Word

Lumin Staff

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