ELCA Campus Ministry staff recently gathered for their National Staff Gathering at California Lutheran University. It was a wonderful event to celebrate their ministry among students, faculty, and staff at college and university campuses across the country on behalf of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.
At the closing banquet, Pastor Mindy Roll was named the recipient of the “2015 Philip N. Knutson Award for Creativity and Risk-Taking”. Named in honor of their former campus ministry colleague, this award recognizes those who have demonstrated special creativity and/or risk-taking in their campus ministry work. As the Lutheran Campus Pastor at Texas A&M and Blinn College, Pastor Roll is recognized by her colleagues and the people she serves as a gifted, passionate, and vibrant campus ministry professional. An excerpt from her nomination provides a glimpse of her creative and risk-taking approach to ministry:
Mindy Roll, now beginning her 4th year at Texas A&M and Blinn College has dramatically changed the face of campus ministry in those places. Her creative spirit has encouraged growth in worship, study, ecumenical ventures, social, and justice outreach.
In worship she and the student worship leaders have led the community to explore a variety of worship styles and venues each week, always with the Eucharist at the center. Bible study is central to the ministry. Mindy and a student resource person meet weekly with four other students to prepare for student led Bible studies on campus and off campus.
Social justice is a constant thread in every aspect of the ministry – and that on probably the most conservative campus in the U.S. Mindy is never afraid to address concerns of the students and encourages them to seek ways to learn more about them. Each year she has led students on a spring break retreat in a variety of settings. Last year the group spent a week in Houston interacting with the homeless, the LGBT community, groups addressing human trafficking, and congregations that work specifically on those issues. This year the retreat was held at a ministry site at the Rio Grande River and focused on immigration, work conditions on the border, and the church’s ministry in that region. Next year the intent is to go international.
Mindy is a creative spirit, and a caring one – seeking to encourage creative leadership in students who are searching for the Gospel in our world, and helping them discover ways to be involved in the Gospel as it is addressed to a hurting world.
We hope you will join us in congratulating Pastor Mindy Roll as the recipient of Lutheran Campus Ministry’s “2015 Philip N. Knutson Award for Creativity and Risk-Taking”.