History of Campus Ministry at UD

The origin of our school is recounted in Child of the Church: the University of Dubuque 1852-2008. The University began as an effort to serve the under-served at a time when German immigrants were arriving in the Mississippi River Valley. A local pastor started to train and prepare individuals to serve German-speaking congregations that were without pastors, and from that, a theological school developed. Over time, undergraduate studies were added, for those desiring to enter into pastoral ministry first needed a college education. When moving beyond just training future pastors, the school naturally began to also prepare students to serve as church musicians and church educators. The University then continued to grow as an educational institution grounded in the liberal arts with a variety of degree programs and professional preparation.

As a Christian university, historically the president was viewed as the spiritual pastor who shepherded the school, and even today our President is an ordained pastor. Earlier in our history, chapel attendance was a requirement but there was not a need for a chaplain. As documented in Child of the Church, the second half of the 20th century brought tumultuous times to many colleges, and like other schools founded by churches, there was at that time a shift away from our Christian heritage. However, the University has been blessed with many individuals who worked and are working tirelessly to help UD live into the best of our Christian heritage and identity. Such an effort includes an endowment gift creating the Edwin B. Lindsay Chaplaincy in 1983, ushering in Campus Ministry at UD under the supervision of a chaplain. Even more substantially, in 1998 a transformation began as UD's Mission was then adopted to intentionally be a Christian university, and to this day Campus Ministry remains central to the University's efforts to be a hospitable Christian environment.

Since the founding of the Lindsay Chaplaincy, Campus Ministry has been served by Rev. Kurt Pasco (1983-1994), Rev. Dr. Alan Crandall (1997 to 2007), and Rev. Dr. Jim Gunn (2007 to present). We are grateful for all who have run the race of faith before us here at UD, for what remains the same throughout history is the call for students and others to be moved by the Spirit, to realize what God is doing in the world, and to decide to live out that faith and trust in God, right in this very place known as the University of Dubuque.