“Witness,” the 2019 National LCMS Campus Ministry Conference, is planned for Jan. 2–5, 2019, in Fort Wayne, Ind. The event for college-age students and campus-ministry workers will take place primarily on the campus of Purdue University Fort Wayne∗, and some activities will be at Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne.
Participants will gain a familiarity with the Every One His Witness® Lutheran evangelism program as they discuss: What is witnessing? Why do we witness? How can the LASSIE approach — Listen, Ask, Seek, Share, Invite and Encourage — help us witness?
Participants will also have opportunities to explore witnessing in various areas that are applicable to their collegiate contexts.
Registration is expected to open in summer 2018. The basic $250 per-person registration fee includes everything related to the conference program and non-free-time activities, including breakfast, lunch and supper on both Jan. 3 and 4, as well as three nights at the conference hotel Jan. 2–4 (based on quad occupancy).
As with previous LCMS U conferences, tiered rates will be provided at an additional cost for those who would prefer other occupancy arrangements. Minimal scholarships will also be provided to those traveling the greatest distances.
As with previous conferences, all hotel costs are included with registration, and there will be one or two central conference hotels. More hotel information will be provided in summer 2018.
Chapel services will be held at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in downtown Fort Wayne and at Kramer Chapel on the CTSFW campus.
The Rev. Dr. Mark A. Wood serves as the director of LCMS Witness & Outreach Ministry and the LCMS Revitalization initiative. He is the creator of the Every One His Witness evangelism program and the re:Vitality revitalization program.
Prior to joining the LCMS Office of National Mission in June 2014, he served as the founding pastor of Lamb of God Lutheran Church, Lithia, Fla., a daughter congregation of Immanuel Lutheran Church, Brandon, Fla., where he served as the evangelism pastor from 2000 to 2008.
A 2000 graduate of Concordia Theological Seminary, Fort Wayne, Wood earned a Doctor of Ministry degree with an emphasis in Church Planting and Renewal from Reformed Theological Seminary in 2017.
In addition to receiving an overall theological and practical framework for witnessing, participants will have opportunities to explore witnessing to others in more specific contexts in breakout sessions led by experienced practitioners.
Sectionals will include topics such as witnessing to adherents of various world religions, atheists and agnostics, the “nones,” those who are dechurched, those with depression, people experiencing crises, social justice advocates and promoters of scientism.
Sectional speakers will be announced in summer 2018.
“Witness” will be the fourth LCMS U biennial national conference. “Unwrapped” (2013) and “Taboo” (2015) were held at Saint Louis University, and “Liberty” (2017) took place at the University of Maryland.
An average of 425 college students and campus-ministry workers from around the country have attended each of the previous conferences, which focused on apologetics, marriage and sexuality, and religious liberty.
The collegiate campus is an ever-expanding mission field, and college-age students have more opportunities in their vocations as students to bear witness to their faith in Jesus Christ than ever before. The conference will provide a timely opportunity for them to receive a sound theological framework and the practical help necessary to do just that.
∗ Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne is officially becoming Purdue University Fort Wayne on July 1, 2018.