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 Tuesday 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 worships at Grace on Sunday mornings, and enjoys 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.
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 Isabella Fleischer as our Peer Ministers.
I am an Early Childhood Education major and am currently completing my senior year Internship at Lewisville Elementary School! I am passionate about helping others, reading, making art, and being in nature. I love to read on my porch while it’s raining with my cat in my lap!
I love how truly welcoming WELCM is. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you came from, you are loved by God, and the people in WELCM ensure that you know that!
WELCM has hired its next Campus Minister, who will begin leading in December of this year.
In the meantime, the pastors of Grace Lutheran are leading the ministry activities.
Pastor Gregg Hoffman is a graduate of West Liberty University and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. He has worked with Protestant Campus Ministry at West Liberty and Lutheran Campus Ministry at West Virginia University. He came to Grace with Pastor Rachel in 2018 and has loved being a part of the inclusive community celebrated here.
Pastor Rachel Hoffman is a graduate of Furman University and Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary. She came to Grace Lutheran Church in 2018 and has especially enjoyed leading the Youth and Young Youth programs.
Our pastors are excited to help with WELCM until (and after!) the next Campus Minister is found.
Hi! I'm Cat, a senior at Winthrop. I'm double-majoring in Psychology and Philosophy & Religion with plans to pursue School Psychology. When not focused on school, I enjoy knitting, reading, and spending time outside.
One of my favorite things about WELCM is that it gives me a safe space to challenge myself and grow in my faith while surrounded by good leadership and strong community. I’m excited to see how WELCM grows this year!