United Ministries in Higher Education (Ekklesia Campus Ministry)
Springfield, MO | http://www.ekklesiamsu.org
UMHE has been serving the college campuses in Springfield since 1961. The ministry is historically affiliated with four Christian denoinations: the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), the United Church of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church (USA). Our mission is two-fold: to nurture young adults in their faith, helping them integrate their faith into their academic and vocational experiences; and to influence the campus community as a whole to be a more just, safe, and welcoming place for all people.
We nurture students in their and assist them with vocational discernment through weekly activites such as worship, discussion groups, and informal dinner gatherings, where students share their lives with one another and often end up in deep spiritual conversation. Retreats, service trips, and other outings get students our of their everyday routine just enough to allow them to hear God and the world calling them into who they will become. We do our work, as much as possible, in connection with local churches, because these students will graduate and become leaders in local churches. Leadership development is an important part of our programming.
In our effort to positively influence the campus community to increase diversity and inclusion, we organize our engagement around 4 pillars: LGBTQ+ Inclusion, Interfaith Cooperation, Racial and Social Justice, and Community Engagement. We partner with student organizations and university offices to bring sought after speakers around these themes and invite them into multiple levels of engagement with students, staff and administration. We are committed to co-creating an environment where all students, particularly those who have been marginalized, have the resources and support they need to thrive.
Simply put, we are a progressive campus ministry that welcomes Jesus followers, seekers, doubters, interfaith advocates, and people of all ethnicities, sexual orientations, and gender identities. We strive to make our campus and world a more just, loving, and peaceful place through critical thought, prophetic action, and authentic spirituality.