Ukirk Journeying with young adults as we follow Christ

1515 South National Avenue #217
Springfield, Missouri 65804

After leadership tenures of twenty-four and thirty-four years, UMHE/Ekklesia is seeking the third Campus Minister in its distinguished and faith-filled history. Our campus minister serves as both minister and chief executive within a progressive Christian ministry. The position is full-time and we offer the unique environment of a self-sustaining financial model.   

Applications may be submitted now and the position is open until filled. Our goal is for the Campus Minister to start during the 2018 spring semester. Compensation is based on experience and will be comparable with that of clergy and professionals with similar experience. Our progressive values are at the heart of our campus ministry and business model. As such, we seek to offer a competitive benefits package along with maternity or paternity leave.

Mission and Setting

Our mission, “Greeting the university community with the grace of the Christian gospel,” is the core of our ministry. We believe that Jesus and his message of hope and example of love informs and guides how we live with each other and our place in the world. With deep roots in the ecumenical movement of the 1960’s and 70’s, today we are a progressive Christian voice promoting interfaith respect and relationships, social justice, vocational mentoring and discernment, and the union of faith and critical thinking. Our historic denominational partners are the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Presbyterian Church USA, and the United Church of Christ.  

The UMHE/Ekklesia Board of Directors is seeking a creative and dynamic leader for the next chapter of our campus ministry’s influence within the Missouri State University community. Our student-centered programs focus in four areas:

  • Relationships: Offering conversations, community building, programming, and retreat experiences for students where they can explore questions of faith and life in safe, challenging, and inclusive settings.  
  • Engagement:  Bringing speakers to the campus community who challenge students and others with essential topics within our shared future.  
  •  Advocacy:  Working with and supporting student populations who are often marginalized by society.
  • Discernment:  Mentoring and guiding students within their faith journey, the development of critical thinking skills, and their vocational discernment as they experience higher education. Asking the question: “How are you going to serve the world that God loves?”

Creativity, networking, vision casting, relationship building, and risk-taking guide how we live our mission within the MSU campus community.  

In 2014 we became a part of the Lilly Endowment, Inc. “Campus Ministry Theological Exploration of Vocation” initiative. This CMTEV grant has served to enhance our programs and relationships across campus by raising the level of conversation about vocation with students and others within the Missouri State University community.

The Campus Minister is responsible for providing the creative leadership that enables and guides our programs and ministry. The Campus Minister is responsible for supervising and enabling other professional staff, mentoring student Peer Ministers or Interns, and working with the Board in guiding program goals, administration, and managing the budget. Within the Missouri State University community, the Campus Minister is a respected and sought-after partner.  MSU is a public institution with approximately 24,000 students on its main campus.

Finally, a significant part of our campus ministry is our partnership with UMHE Campus Housing, Inc.  This subsidiary of our campus ministry owns a forty-bed house currently leased to the MSU Iota Beta Chapter of the Theta Chi Fraternity. This relationship provides us with the opportunity to engage members of this social fraternity and provides a significant income stream for our campus ministry. The Campus Minister has served as staff and facility manager for the UMHE Campus Housing, Inc.

A successful candidate for the Campus Minister position:

  • Will hold a graduate degree from an accredited Association of Theological Schools institution.
  • Will be a progressive Christian with knowledge and practice of progressive theology.
  • Will understand young adult personal and spiritual development.    
  • Will have an understanding of the link between faith development and critical thinking skills with students and within a higher education setting.
  • Will have mentoring skills, especially in relationship to the vocational discernment of students.   
  • Will be strongly committed to the full inclusion of all people, regardless of race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, or belief system.
  • Will have interfaith and multicultural experience.
  • Will possess significant pastoral skills.
  • Will have experience in staff supervision and development.
  • Will be able to work with diverse partners, including students, board members and volunteers, university personnel, and area congregations/organizations.
  • Will have the ability to think creatively with the development and implementation of inclusive and out-of-the box programming.
  • Will be a partnership builder, dot-connector, and person of vision.  

Also, desired:

  • Previous campus ministry experience.
  • Either a developed understanding of nonprofit and business management or the willingness to learn more about these areas.  
  • Ability to utilize social media platforms.
  • Grant writing and reporting experience.

By May 1, 2017 applicants should submit the following:

1.     A cover letter explaining your interest in the position,

2.     Your resume, and

3.     The names of four individuals who will serve as your references, including the following information: each reference’s address, email address, phone number(s), plus any specific aspects of your ministry, abilities, and personality about which the reference can speak.


Please direct your questions and submit your application electronically to:

Rev. Jenn Simmons, UMHE Board President, 417-869-9176

Subject:  UMHE/Ekklesia Campus Minister search 


*United Ministries in Higher Education is our legal name and Ekklesia is the name and branding of our student programming.



  Campus-Based Minister (ministry meets in a building on/adjacent to campus),
  Minister for an Ecumenical Collegiate Ministry (multi-denominational representation)

  Rev. Jenn Simmons