Campus Ministry

The mission of Finlandia University Campus Ministry is to encourage grace-centered spiritual growth among the Finlandia community. Following Christ’s model and message, Finlandia Campus Ministry accompanies students, faculty and staff on their journeys of faith toward God and love toward neighbor.

Affiliated with the ELCA

Campus Ministry is one expression of Finlandia’s Lutheran heritage and Christian identity. Finlandia is one of 26 colleges and universities affiliated with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA).

This series is open to faculty, staff and their families as well as the wider community members.

January 27 – Cesar Chavez

Cesar was an American labor leader and civil rights activist who, with Dolores Huerta, co-founded the National Farm Workers Association (later the United Farm Workers union, UFW) in 1962. Originally a Mexican American farm worker, Chavez became the best known Latino American civil rights activist, and was strongly promoted by the American labor movement, which was eager to enroll Hispanic members. His public-relations approach to unionism and aggressive but nonviolent tactics made the farm workers’ struggle a moral cause with nationwide support. By the late 1970s, his tactics had forced growers to recognize the UFW as the bargaining agent for 50,000 field workers in California and Florida.

February 3 – Frances Perkins

Frances was an American sociologist and workers-rights advocate who served as the U.S. Secretary of Labor from 1933 to 1945, the longest serving in that position, and the first woman appointed to the U.S. Cabinet. As a loyal supporter of her friend, Franklin D. Roosevelt, she helped pull the labor movement into the New Deal coalition. She and Interior Secretary Harold L. Ickes were the only original members of the Roosevelt cabinet to remain in office for his entire presidency. During her term as Secretary of Labor, Perkins, called the “conscience of FDR,” developed and executed many aspects of the New Deal, including the Civilian Conservation Corps. With the Social Security Act she established unemployment benefits, pensions for the many uncovered elderly Americans, and welfare for the poorest Americans. She pushed to reduce workplace accidents and helped craft laws against child labor
As a devout and learned convert to the Episcopal Church, she presented papers and led symposia on the relationship of faith to the public order.

February 10 – Tony Melendez

(born January 9, 1962, Rivas, Nicaragua)
Tony is a Nicaraguan American guitar player, composer, singer, and songwriter who was born without arms. His mother took Thalidomide while pregnant, which caused his disability. Meléndez has learned to play the guitar with his feet. Tony began playing and singing in the Los Angeles area in 1985. On September 15, 1987, he sang Never Be the Same while playing the guitar with his feet in a special performance for Pope John Paul II. Visibly moved, the Pope descended from his chair and embraced him. The Pope told him, “My wish to you, is to continue of giving this hope to all, all the people,” which inspired him. His band, Tony Meléndez and the Toe Jam Band, has a busy concert schedule, he gives motivational talks and has written a book, A Gift of Hope. Tony has won Unity Awards’ Male Vocalist of the Year UCMVA in 2000, 2002, and 2004. And in 2002, he took Artist of the year. He received the Branson Entertainment Award for Best New Artist in 1999, the “Inspirational Hero Award” from the NFL Alumni Association at the Super Bowl XXIII. He now resides in Branson, Missouri with his wife, Lynn. In 1991 he wrote a book, A Gift of Hope.

Cancelled February 17 – Oscar Romero

When he was appointed archbishop of San Salvador in 1977, Romero was considered a very “safe” choice. He had the reputation of being a quiet, learned, conservative leader.
The night before he was murdered while celebrating Mass, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador said on the radio:

“I would like to appeal in a special way to the men of the army, and in particular to the troops of the National Guard, the police, and the garrisons. Brothers, you belong to our own people. You kill your own brother peasants; and in the face of an order to kill that is given by a man, the law of God that says ‘Do not kill!’ should prevail.
“No soldier is obliged to obey an order counter to the law of God. No one has to comply with an immoral law. It is the time now that you recover your conscience and obey its dictates rather than the command of sin. . . Therefore, in the name of God, and in the name of this long-suffering people, whose laments rise to heaven every day more tumultuous, I beseech you, I beg you, I command you! In the name of God: ‘Cease the repression!’”

Romero had eloquently upheld the gospel and effectively signed his own death warrant. He has been declared a saint by the Catholic Church.

February 24 – Sue Thomas

(born May 24, 1950 in Boardman, Ohio)
Sue is an American woman who became the first deaf person to be employed as an active investigator with the FBI.
At the age of 18 months, she became profoundly deaf. The explanation of this phenomenon is not definitely known. At the age of seven, Thomas became the youngest Ohio State Champion free-style skater in skating history. Speech therapists helped her develop her voice, and she also became an expert lip reader.
As the only deaf child in her public school district, Thomas was misunderstood by her teachers. Although she sat in the front row so that she could see the lips of her teachers, much of what happened in the classroom was lost to her. In spite of her accomplishments as an athlete, she was often bullied in the hallways and on the playground of her school. In spite of her difficulties in, she graduated from Springfield College in Massachusetts with a degree in Political Science and International Affairs.
After months of job searching, Thomas learned that the FBI was looking for deaf people. Starting out as a fingerprint examiner, she became a lip-reader for an undercover surveillance team after Jack Hogan, an FBI agent, discovered her ability. Thomas spent four years working for the FBI, from 1979 to 1983.
In 1990, Thomas wrote her autobiography entitled Silent Night which became the basis for the TV series to follow. This book begins when she lost her hearing at 18 months and chronicles her life all the way through to her resignation from the FBI. The continuing story of her life is called Staying in the Race where Thomas shares stories about living with multiple sclerosis.

March 3 – Albert Schweitzer

Albert was an Alsatian theologian, organist, writer, humanitarian, philosopher, and physician. A Lutheran, Schweitzer challenged both the secular view of Jesus as depicted by the historical-critical method current at this time, as well as the traditional Christian view.
He received the 1952 Nobel Peace Prize for his philosophy of “Reverence for Life”, becoming the eighth Frenchman to be awarded that prize. As a doctor he founded and sustained a hospital in the part of French Equatorial Africa which is now Gabon. As a music scholar and organist, he was a specialist in J.S.Bach, and edited his organ works with C-M Widor.

Available to all students

Campus Ministry at FinnUCampus Ministry is available to all students, if you’re interested in participating please feel free to come to our next event or contact Father Eddy Corbin! We also know many students aren’t always active in searching out opportunities, which is why we invite you to refer your friends or family members.

Send a Prayer Request

If you would like to request prayers for yourself, a loved one or some situation that is in your heart, use the form below to send your request to Finlandia University Campus Ministry. Campus Ministry staff will make sure that your request is offered to God with the prayers of Finlandia University’s community in a confidential manner.


Chapel of St. Matthew

The Chapel of St. Matthew, located at the center of the Finlandia University campus, was dedicated in the spring of 2000. The university community worships in the upper level sanctuary. The Campus Ministry Center, in the lower level of the chapel, is used by students and faculty for meetings and fellowship activities. The office of the Campus Pastor is also located on the lower level. The cross on the steeple and many chancel furnishings were designed and produced by the university’s art and design students and faculty. The sanctuary holds an 18th-century crucifix originally commissioned for the Bishop of Constance, Meersburg, Germany. The cross is hand-carved from German pinewood.


The Office of the Campus Pastor is a defined space of confidentiality, as well as any discussion with the Campus Pastor when the Pastor is working in their pastoral capacity unless the person grants permission. Learn more about confidentiality via the ELCA (PDF).  The principle of confessional confidences, which applies to all ordained ministers of this church, is specified by ELCA churchwide constitutional provision (7.45.).
“In keeping with the historic discipline and practice of the Lutheran Church and to be true to a sacred trust inherent in the nature of the pastoral office, no ordained minister of this church shall divulge any confidential disclosure received in the course of the care of souls or otherwise in a professional capacity, nor testify concerning conduct observed by the ordained minister while working in a pastoral capacity, except with the express permission of the person who has given confidential information to the ordained minister or who was observed by the ordained minister, or if the person intends great harm to self or others” (churchwide constitutional provision (7.45.) in the Constitution, Bylaws, and Continuing Resolutions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Support Campus Ministry

We would love to have your financial support for Finlandia University’s Campus Ministry programs. You can donate online, or contact us to see how you can help! We’re always in need of equipment, non-perishable food items and volunteers!


More from Campus Ministry

Campus Ministry Staff

Corbin EddyAdjunct Professor of PhilosophyFinlandia 487-7227
Sarah Semmler Smith Campus Pastor; Adjunct Instructor of ReligionFinlandia UniversitySarah.Semmlersmith@finlandia.edu906-487-7239

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