The Diocese of Chicago has formed a transition team to explore new models for Episcopal campus ministry at Northwestern University in Evanston. The group will be led by the Rev. Jeannette DeFriest, rector of St. Luke’s Church in Evanston.
The transition team will seek a sustainable model for campus ministry and ensure pastoral care and Christian community for Northwestern’s Episcopal students during the 2018-19 academic year.
The campus ministry of Canterbury House concluded Aug. 1 with the departure of the Rev. Andrew Guffey, who has served as chaplain since 2015.
“We’re committed to campus ministry at Northwestern University and to finding the best model,” said Bishop Jeff Lee, who has asked Andrea Mysen, director of ministries, and Chad Senuta, associate for Youth and campus ministries, to work with 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 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 with Evangelical Lutheran Church in America 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,” Senuta said. “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.”