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.
WHAT WE DO
WELCM hosts weekly Gatherings on Thursday evenings during term at our beautiful location just off-campus. Dinner starts at 6 pm, followed by a program of teaching and discussion, or worship,
WELCM also offers Sunday Evening Prayer services, regular fellowship activities, service opportunities, and spiritual 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
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.
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.
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. Her writings can be found at olgamariacruz.com. Olga-Maria currently serves as the President of Winthrop Cooperative Campus Ministries.
Each school year, WELCM has student leaders who facilitate social and service activities, serve as peer ministers offering spiritual support to fellow students, represent WELCM at LCM Region 9 events, and help with ongoing program planning.
This year, we are excited and blessed to have Cat Windham and Lexi Meyer as our Peer Ministers.
Cat (she/her) is a Junior from Columbia, SC, majoring in Psychology and Religion. Some of her hobbies are crocheting, longboarding, puzzles, and clarinet.
Lexi (she/her) is in the first year of a Master's in Counseling. Always seen in the company of her service dog, Dallas (he/him), Lexi has been part of WELCM for four years as an undergraduate, and is excited to serve as Peer Minister. Her hobbies include travel and knitting.