Research

Thank you for your help in getting student responses for the campus ministry student survey in Fall 2017! We received more than 800 responses, and the analysis has begun! Check out some of the initial results below.

Project Summary

The Lutheran Campus Ministry Research Project is a multi-phase study exploring the characteristics and practices of faithful, effective, and sustainable Lutheran campus and young adult ministries, given the real-life sensibilities of students, ongoing changes in higher education, and current cultural realities. It was initiated by and for campus ministry practitioners and others who are passionate about ministry with young adults. The study began with an extensive literature review in late 2016, continued with site visits and interviews on campuses across the United States in early 2017, and is exploring the perspectives of students with a nationwide survey in fall 2017.

PHASE 1: Literature Review (Fall 2016)

See the results of the literature review in the brief summary and annotated bibliography below:

LCM Research Project-Literature Review Summary

LCM Research Project-Annotated Bibliography

PHASE 2: Site Visits and Interviews (Winter 2017)

We visited six university campuses in different regions of the country: Oregon State University, University of Arizona – Tucson, University of Texas – Austin, University of Wisconsin – Eau Claire, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, and Syracuse University. At each of these sites, we conducted six in-person interviews with the campus minister, a university staff/faculty person, a ministry board member, an area pastor, and two students.

See the results of the six site visits, which included 36 interviews:

LCM Research Project – Site Interviews Report

PHASE 3: Nationwide Survey of Campus Ministry Participants (Fall 2017)

View the Initial Fact Sheet HERE

The student participant survey was administered in Fall 2017, and with the help of campus ministers, it was a huge success! We received over 800 student responses from 140 colleges and universities in 36 states! Here is where the respondents came from:

Geographical distribution of student survey participants

PHASE 4: Lutheran Campus Ministry Staff Conference Session (June 2018)

At the Lutheran Campus Ministry Staff Conference in Portland, Oregon, one of our sessions will focus on the research project. During our time together in Portland, we will concentrate on one part of the research findings – the report on the student surveys.   The report is available here, and we hope conference participants will review the report prior to the conference.

In addition to the whole report, there is a Summary of Findings available here.

Meet the Research Team!

Dr. Roland Martinson, Project Director.  Rollie is Professor Emeritus at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN. A respected scholar and church leader, he has participated in and directed numerous research projects, including the multi-denominational Exemplary Youth Ministry Study. He has also authored several books, including The Spirit and Culture of Youth Ministry (2010).

Dr. Jacob Sorenson, Director of Research.  Jake completed his PhD at Luther Seminary in 2016. He now directs Sacred Playgrounds, offering research and training for camps and congregations. He is currently involved in several research projects, including The Confirmation Project and the Effective Camp Research Project, which he co-directs.