Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of South Carolina
Welcome to Lutheran Campus Ministry. Incoming students please click the link and fill out the form to help Pastor Michele know how to connect with you. Let her know you are coming, and she will take you out for lunch before classes start. Please note, this program is open to students from Midlands Tech and Columbia college as well as UofSC.
Gamecock Lutheran Alumni and Friends
Lutheran Campus Ministry in the Columbia area is preparing for the upcoming academic year by building an affiliate organization for alumni and friends to walk alongside our campus ministry program. Be sure to check out our Alumni and Friends page and update your contact information.
Make A Gift!
Change the future of our world with your gifts & talents. Support the mission and ministries Lutheran Campus Ministry with a gift today.
Join us each Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. for a time of fellowship and pizza. (Unless it is Waffle Night!)
Join us every Sunday for Holy Communion at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner.
You might be wondering, what’s it really like at Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of South Carolina? Simply stated, at Lutheran Campus Ministry at the University of South Carolina, we’re all about Grace. Not the person, or the prayer before a meal, but the unconditional love, forgiveness and mercy we have from God through Jesus.
You won’t be met with shame, guilt, or condemnation. And we don’t care how you’re dressed or what candidate you voted for. Our community is made up of imperfect people with every kind of story imaginable. Want to know the best part? No matter what you’ve been through or what questions you might have about God and faith, our church is a place where you’ll find the love, grace, and forgiveness Jesus gives to everyone. Please use the contact form below if you have any questions or would like to speak to our pastor.
Here’s the deal, Lutheran Campus Ministry (LuMin) wants you to know the incredible love of God through Jesus Christ. At LuMin, you will gain a new family of individuals that have found hope and grace in Jesus, and simply want as many people as possible to experience that same freedom.
Digital media Director: Marianna Vimson ‘20
Worship and Music Director: Shelby Worst ’21
Programming director: Bryan Jehlen ‘19
Outreach Director Erin Metcalf ’18 and Graduate student.
Pastor Michele Fischer
Pastor Michele arrived in South Carolina at about 3 pm on New Year’s Eve 2014. She and her husband moved to Columbia when her husband, Neal, accepted a position in the bishop’s office as the new Director of Communications. Neal and Michele met in McLean, VA in 2000 and were married in 2002. Between the two of them, they have lived in a total of 8 states.
Pastor Michele is a graduate of the Lutheran Theological Seminary of Philadelphia (now United Lutheran Seminary) and Susquehanna University.
The beginning of Lutheran Campus Ministry in South Carolina can be traced back to 1924 when the SC Synod formed the Committee on Student Work and started forming partnerships with local congregations near colleges and universities in the state. By 1930 there were Lutheran Student Associations (LSA) formed in all schools with identifiable Lutheran students, under the direction of Mary E. Marley. The first regional gathering of LSA was held at the University of South Carolina in the same year. From 1930 to 1962 Lutheran Campus Ministry at USC operated as a student organization under the leadership of local pastors and the USC Chaplain, (the University position was eliminated in 1965). In 1960 the number of Lutheran students at USC was 334 and at Columbia College, 28. From 1947-1950 Mildred Schalkhausen (Biser) was a Lutheran Student Association Lay Missioner and worked out of a house on the corner of Bull and Gervais Streets. She also worked with other campuses in South Carolina.
In 1962, Pastor Carl Ficken was called to serve the Columbia schools and a stately home at Pickens and Pendleton Streets, the Lutheran Student Center, was purchased to house the ministry near the historic USC Horseshoe. Pastor Ficken served until 1968 and two seminarians from Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Hollis Miller and Larry Yoder, served as interim ministers until Pastor Robert Dasher was called in 1969. Pastor Bob Dasher would serve USC for 16 years, through the turbulent Vietnam War years and envisioning campus ministry in creative ways. Many students came to feel that the Lutheran Student Center was their “home away from home”, especially those who attended USC as day students.
During the student demonstrations in the early 1970’s the Center served as a first-aid station. A weekly tradition called “Fireside” brought the community together for fellowship and worship. In 1974, the last “Fireside” was held at the LSC in December as the building was purchased by the University and torn down so the Pendleton Street Parking Garage could be built. Pastor Dasher’s creativity and open spirit served him well as the Lutheran ministry was joined by the Episcopalians and Methodists as ELM, representing the denominational names of the new joint ministry, housed in the building at 728 Pickens Street, owned by the United Methodist Church.
In 1984 Pastor Dasher resigned to join the SC Synod staff, and again the ministry looked to LTSS for staff as Shawn Norris served as an interim campus minister. In 1985 the ELM partnership was dissolved, with the Episcopalians moving their Canterbury ministry to Trinity Cathedral.
With the arrival of Pastor John Hougen in 1986, and with a new spirit, Partnership Amongst Lutherans and Methodists (PALM) was formed at 728 Pickens Street. PALM, with Lutheran and Methodist staff, began a fruitful journey of mission and ministry with international mission trips, a traveling show promoting racial harmony, and joint worship. In 1992 Pastor Hougen left PALM and in 1993 Pastor Linda Mitchell began her ministry at USC and Columbia.
The following years saw a succession of staff from the Lutheran Church serving the PALM ministry:
1996 Seminarian Christy Lohr (LTSS) (interim)
1997 Seminarians Cathy and Scott Mims (interims)
1998 Pastor Mark Blice-Baum is called as Lutheran Campus Pastor
1999 Pastor Bob Byrne (interim)
2000 Pastor Martin Jessiman is called as Lutheran Campus Pastor
2002 Pastor Bob Thompson (interim)
2004 Pastor Will Rose (interim)
After much discussion, prayer and many meetings, the decision was made in 2004 to dissolve PALM and have the Lutherans, after 30 years of ecumenical partnership, move into the future independent of other ministries. Having called Pastor Frank W. Anderson in 2004, he arrived and began his ministry in Columbia as the academic year 2005-06 began.
In October of 2018, Pastor Frank resigned to go back into the parish full-time. Interim Campus Pastor Michele Fischer stepped into replace Pastor Frank. Before Pastor Frank left, he began negotiations with the Presbyterians and Lutheran Campus Ministry, now branded LuMin by the ELCA, left the Methodist Campus Center on Pickens and moved to the UKirk facility at 1702 Greene Street. On October 1 st , 2018, the Lutheran Campus Ministry (LuMin) had a new campus pastor, a new home and a bright future.
We worship every Sunday at 6 pm and share a meal provided by a local congregation following our worship. The service is under an hour long and dinner is often done by 7:30 pm.
Our weekly fellowship time is Thursdays at 7 pm. Every week we will have a different activity. Check out our calendar to see what we are doing this week!
Several times during the year, Lutheran students from several university in the southeastern United States gather for a weekend retreat. Each retreat has a service and learning component. In October 2018, students gathered in Charlotte, NC and worked with Habitat for humanity.
This fall we have two retreats planned. The first is a beach retreat on September 20-22. We have 9 spaces, so register early. Our second is October 4-6. This retreat is at Virginia Tech and will have Lutheran Campus Ministry participants from universities and colleges across several states.
Pastor Michele Fischer
Phone: 803-567-1972 (Personal cell)/803-525-4100 (Office)
Address: 1702 Greene Street, Columbia SC 29201
Office Hours by appointment in the summer.
August 22, 2019 7 pm Thursday Night Fellowship – Make your own waffles. Getting to know you!
August 25, 2019 6 pm Worship 7 pm Dinner with the Board for Lutheran Campus Ministry in Columbia
August 29, 2019 7 pm Thursday Night Fellowship
September 1, 2019 6 pm Worship 7 pm Dinner LAST NIGHT TO SIGN UP FOR BEACH RETREAT
September 5, 2019 7 pm Thursday Night Fellowship
September 8, 2019 6 pm Worship 7 pm Dinner
September 12, 2019 7 pm Thursday Night Fellowship
September 15, 2019 6 pm Worship 7 pm Dinner
September 19, 2019 7 pm Thursday Night Fellowship
September 20, 2019 Leave for Beach Retreat. Returning Sunday by 1pm.
September 22, 2019 6 pm Worship 7 pm Dinner
September 26. 2019 7pm Thursday Night Fellowship
September 29, 2019 6 pm Worship 7 pm Dinner
October 3, 2019 7 pm Thursday Night Fellowship
October 4, 2019 Leave for Virginia Tech and Region 9 Luther Student Movement retreat.
Lutheran Campus Ministry needs you. We have volunteers who serve on the Committee for Lutheran Campus Ministry in Columbia Board, which oversees this ministry. Would you be interested in serving on the board?
I hate to say it, but we rely on your generosity to support this ministry. Love offerings, regular contribution and special gifts are always needed.
These are two ways to help but there are others which help support his ministry. Please see how you can help us as an individual or as a Congregation.
Event Planner: Do you have the gifts of planning parties or events? Each year, we have a dinner to celebrate those who serve in Campus Ministry. Named in honor of Bob Dasher, this fundraiser is an annual event. Time frame: September 1-December 15 (approximately).
Data-Entry: Are you familiar with Access? We have dozens of index cards that need to be entered into a database and collected for future use. Can be done at your leisure , in your own home.
Cook: Do you like to cook for a large crowd? Would you be willing to provide a meal for 8-12 students on a Sunday night? Nothing fancy is needed and you can cook in your kitchen and deliver the meal, or cook in ours.
Shopping: Use Amazon Smiles when you shop on Amazon and we get a small percentage of your purchase. https://smile.amazon.com/ch/57-0839276.
Names: Many years ago the university provided us with the names of incoming students who identified as Lutheran, but they no longer do so. Can you make sure we have the names and contact information of the students in your congregation who are attending USC or Midlands or another area college? We’d love to invite them to join us.
Meals: On Sunday nights, we gather for dinner after worship. Congregations often provide these meals for us, dropping them off between 5 and 5:30 pm. Our attendance at these meals is no more than a dozen and it is a great way for students to know they are important to our local congregations. Be sure to fill out the “Doodle Poll” to schedule when your congregation will help with meals.
Invite us: Invite us to worship and to meet with your youth groups or adult forums.
We are located in the UKirk Center
1702 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Contact Pastor Michele
Lutheran Campus Ministry
1702 Greene Street
Columbia, SC 29201
Council for Lutheran Campus Ministry in the Columbia, South Carolina Area