Bishop Jeff Lee and his staff have formed a transition team to explore new models for Episcopal campus ministry at Northwestern University in Evanston. The group will be chaired by the Rev. Dr. Jeannette DeFriest, rector of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in Evanston.
The transition team will seek both a sustainable model for ongoing campus ministry at the university and ensure pastoral care and Christian community for Northwestern’s Episcopal students during the 2018-2019 academic year. The current campus ministry, Canterbury House, will conclude on August 1, when the Rev. Dr. Andrew Guffey, who has served as chaplain since 2015, will finish his ministry.
“We’re committed to campus ministry at Northwestern University and to finding the best model,” said Lee, who has asked Director of Ministries Andrea Mysen and Associate for Youth and Campus Ministries Chad Senuta to work with DeFriest and the members of the transition team. “I’m grateful to Jeannette for leading this effort, which will help us identify how best to structure meaningful, sustainable ministry with students on this vibrant, cutting-edge campus.”
The transition team, to which several additional members will be appointed in August, will study a variety of thriving campus ministry models, including the diocese’s other campus ministries at Northern Illinois University and the University of Chicago, and the South Loop Campus ministry, which serves students at five colleges in downtown Chicago. The team will also continue conversations about possible collaboration that have already begun with the Lutheran (ELCA) and United Methodist campus ministries at Northwestern.
“Campus ministry offers a crucial connection point to the church in a time when students are integrating their faith, studies, and vocation,” said Senuta. “Since the college years are filled with transition, this can make for challenges in building relationships and community. It’s important for the church to frequently re-evaluate models for ministry and adapt structures to best serve the students on our campuses.”
During August and September, the transition team will develop a plan for serving Episcopal students in the upcoming academic year, which begins at Northwestern on September 27. Senuta, who can be reached at 312.751.6722 or firstname.lastname@example.org, is available to provide support or answer questions for new and returning Episcopal students and their families.