A brief history of LCM at KU
Lutheran work on campus in Lawrence has a long and rich history, dating back to the early years of the University when Trinity Lutheran Church served the campus community. The Lutheran Student Association of America organized and began to meet at Trinity in the 1920s. Good Shepherd Lutheran Church began its ministry in Lawrence in 1961. In 1962, David Johnson was called to become the first full-time Lutheran campus pastor. Campus pastors have included David Johnson, Don Conrad, Brian Johnson, and currently, Shawn Norris. Through these years, the churchwide and synodical expressions of the church have partnered with local congregations to support a Lutheran presence on campus.
During our 50 years as a staffed campus ministry site our ministry has been enriched by partnerships and has moved from place to place …to place. At first Kansas Lutheran Campus Ministry at KU met in a cubicle on campus, and at the parsonage on Crescent. In 1968, the ministry moved to a location at 15th and Iowa, in the building formerly known as University Lutheran, where ministry was done jointly with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. In 1985 as the ELCA was forming, the Missouri Synod withdrew from the partnership, and Kansas Lutheran Campus Ministry at KU became Lutheran Campus Ministry at KU and moved into the Ecumenical Christian Ministry Building at 12th and Oread. Our next move was into a cooperative ministry with the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas and at the Canterbury House, 1116 Louisiana, in 1995. When transition gripped the Diocese of Kansas ten years later, Trinity Lutheran invited us to occupy its Bethany House next to the congregation’s building at 18 E. 13th St.
In all these sites and locations, Lutheran Campus Ministry has sought to provide a Lutheran presence on campus that can build on the nurturing work of faithful congregations when young adult members leave home to study at KU.