Graceland University Campus Ministry
Community of Christ’s affiliate university is Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa, USA.
Get to know what spiritual life is like here…
Graceland prides itself on student leadership, and our campus ministries program is no exception. A Graceland student started our “Afterglow” service. It offers our community an alternative to the more “traditional” style of Sunday Morning worship. Each year, there is a worship band put together. It plays together for the whole year to maintain consistency and quality in the musical component of worship. We work with the band and help them grow into not only better musicians, but also worship leaders who can feel out the flow of a worship and offer powerful ministry through their musical skills.
Graceland strives to have relevant, authentic worship experiences that appeal to young adults from different denominations, different places in life, and sometimes even different religions. We have various speakers, musicians, and themes that offer different perspectives and new insights. Above all, we want to help students on their spiritual searches through this transformational period of life by being creative and authentic in community.
Graceland Campus Ministries Team consists of paid ministers who offer a holistic approach to campus ministry. Members of the team work together, support one another, and spend time working on their individual ministry skills by offering themselves to others. Our current positions are Peace and Justice Coordinator, Sunday Night Coordinator, Sunday Morning Worship Coordinator, Priesthood Coordinator, Team Chaplain, Administrative Assistant, Wholeness Ministries Coordinator, and Chaplain President. There are also graduate interns and two full-time campus ministers.
In serving such a diverse campus, we try to offer diverse events that bring people together and offer new perspectives. We have had interfaith dialogues, discussions about important issues on campus and in the world, and panels that help students better understand the complexity of some of these issues. This photo is of the event, “September 11th through Muslim Eyes.” Our diversity affords us a unique opportunity to learn from one another.
CCLP (Community of Christ Leadership Program) offers a great opportunity for Community of Christ Young Adults who want to be more involved in leadership roles and training. CCLP members are required to have a religion minor. They must also attend the two CCLP retreats each year, various training events, and a weekly meeting with a smaller group that focuses on different elements of ministry. Pictured above is a CCLP group meeting at last year’s CCLP retreat with guest minister, Charmaine Chvala-Smith.
“Earth Day Kid’s Fair” is one of our Peace and Justice activities that engages Graceland students with children in the area. Working with the local schools, the Peace and Justice Coordinator sets up an all-day workshop to teach elementary school-aged children about the environment. It is staffed by Campus Ministries Team members and other students who want to help out and be involved.
“Christmas for Kids” is another annual campus ministries activity. Children come from the community to make crafts, spend time with their college student buddy, and hang out with our college student “Santa Claus!” It’s a great opportunity to free parents up to do a little Christmas shopping, and for college students to spend their Saturday doing something fun and helpful.
Because Graceland Campus Ministries is a Community of Christ program we provide all the sacraments of the church. We work with students and their needs to make these sacraments as relevant and meaningful as possible. Many students have chosen Graceland as the place where they want to share some of their most sacred moments such as baptism and ordination.
Each month we provide activities in the main room of Graceland’s student center. Because this is a high traffic area, we have found that it is a good place for people to stop and engage in simple activities that promote spiritual well-being. We can have conversations with many students that aren’t “churchy” and otherwise would have no contact with Campus Ministries. This ranges from coloring stations, art projects, chats by the fireplace, to drum circles.
For the past 3 years, Graceland has hired Graduate Interns to help the Campus Ministers and the Campus Ministries team. These interns work at Graceland and take Community of Christ seminary classes to prepare them for future church ministry. The internship is a two-year program.
While Campus Ministries offers many organized events, activities, and services, it also a place where people can feel welcome to be who they are. Our student ministers are encouraged to engage in deep, meaningful relationships with others in such a way that their ministry extends beyond their list of job descriptions. Many relationships have started in the campus religious community as people support one another, share with one another, and enjoy one another!