welcm house

Winthrop Ecumenical Lutheran Campus Ministry, or WELCM (pronounced "welcome") is an outreach of Grace Lutheran Church  and the South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), in service of Winthrop University.




WELCM's mission is to create an inclusive faith community for Winthrop students that explores and strengthens their relationship with God by cultivating Christian discipleship.
Through worship, prayer, fellowship, service, and study, we gather to grow our connection and commitment to God, ourselves, and one another.


WELCM hosts weekly Gatherings on Tuesday evenings during term at our beautiful location just off-campus. Dinner starts at 6 pm, followed by a program of Bible-based discussion at 7

and prayer at 8 pm. 

WELCM also offers Reflection (a contemplative reading of Scripture), Sunday Evening Prayer services on campus, monthly fellowship activities, service projects, and regular retreats.


WELCM welcomes you! We prioritize inclusivity, and seek to build an authentic, intersectional Christian community that reflects the diversity of Winthrop. Our members come from various church backgrounds; some are simply

questioning and questing.

Wherever you are on your spiritual journey, you belong with us!


Ecumenism (eh-Q-mun-ism) is a focus on unity amidst diversity  within the whole body of Christ. By calling ourselves "ecumenical", we are signaling that all who are seeking God through the Christian faith are welcome to participate in our ministry.


WELCM is supported by

Grace Lutheran Church

The South Carolina Synod of the

 Evangelical Lutheran Church in America


We also hold membership in LuMin,

the Lutheran Campus Ministry Network

2017.May.26.GLC Logo from Sig Huitt (1).


If you are new to Lutheran traditions, our worship may be slightly more formal than you are used to. We read Old and New Testament Scripture passages aloud; we celebrate Communion every Sunday. Most of our prayers are written down, rather than improvised. Our ordained pastors wear collars, and include women, men, and nonbinary folks. 




Our current peer minister is Kellie Dasher. Kellie partners with Olga-Maria to plan and implement programming for WELCM, especially taking point on fellowship and service activities, and is an intern at HOPE of Rock Hill.

We are proud to have Ellery McNeill as our student committee member and Courtney Franklin as our representative to Region 9 of the Lutheran Student Movement!


Ellery McNeill, Student Committee Member

WELCM's campus minister is Dr. Olga-Maria Cruz, who holds the BA in English, the Master of Divinity in Theology, and the PhD in Christian Ethics. 

Before coming to Winthrop, Olga-Maria served as Episcopal Campus Missioner at Saint Leo University in Florida. Prior to that, she taught for twelve years in four departments at Bellarmine University in Louisville, Kentucky. 

Olga-Maria is also a writer and musician with a strong background in yoga and meditation. She runs the website OpenMindfull, a curated collection of resources on mindfulness and interfaith spirituality. Olga-Maria currently serves as the President of Winthrop Cooperative Campus Ministries.


Kellie Dasher, Peer Minister


Courtney Franklin, LSM Region 9 Representative