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2023 Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference Registration

“So that we (faculty, staff, and administrators), too, may flourish.”

Augsburg University, Minneapolis, Minnesota

July 10-12, 2023

The 2023 Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference for the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities (NECU) will convene at Augsburg University in Minneapolis, MN, July 10-12.

Each year, members of Lutheran colleges and universities gather to explore the distinctive roles we play in higher education.The theme of the 2023 conference is “So that we (faculty, staff, and administrators), too, may flourish.” The theme takes its name from Rooted and Open, where NECU institutions commit to serving students who are “called and empowered to serve the neighbor so that all may flourish.” In a time of staff and faculty burnout, resignations, and uneven degrees of belonging, we will consider how we educators, too, may flourish in mind, body and spirit. 

Highlights include a keynote address by Jonathan Malesic, author of The End of Burnout: Why Work Drains Us and How to Build Better Lives; plenary sessions led by Deanna Thompson, Rev. Lamont Wells (NECU Executive Director), Krista Hughes, Monica Smith, Marc Jerry, and Jeremy Myers; small group conversations and workshops on the flourishing of faculty, administrators and staff; and guided VOCARE spiritual practices, led by Rev. Dr. Charlene Rachuy Cox. 

The conference is open to all persons from ELCA colleges and universities, but persons should attend who have a campus responsibility for or interest in the mission of their institution and its place within the Lutheran intellectual tradition in higher education. Each college or university is urged to send a campus delegation, composed of a mix of administrators, staff, and faculty. 

A preliminary schedule may be found on the attached conference program. A more detailed schedule and information about presenters will be posted on this site soon. Contact Melinda Valverde at for more information about the conference or if your college or university has questions.

Register for the 2023 VOLHE Conference

ELCA colleges and universities are invited to send delegations of up to five persons at a subsidized rate of $150 per person. 

Note: Those who need any disability-related accommodation to fully participate in this event are encouraged to contact University Events at or 612-330-1104. Remember to have the name, date, and time of the event with you when contacting their office. Please allow for sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

Contact Janice Dames at for more information about registration. Please register by June 12.

The Vocation of a Lutheran Higher Education Conference is supported by the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities.

Baccalaureate and Interfaith Sending Service

At the end of the school year, Campus Ministry holds two special services for graduating seniors. 

  • The Baccalaureate Service is a Christian service of celebration with music and word, held for the graduating class and their families, celebrating the completion of your studies at Augsburg. This year the service will be Sunday, April 24, @ 11am in Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center. Graduating students should wear their cap and gown and may sit with their family or guests in any available seats. This year President Paul Pribbenow will give the homily and we will join with the Trinity Lutheran Congregation. At the Baccalaureate service, graduates will receive a blessing blanket.
  • Interfaith Sending: Thursday, April 21 at 6:30 pm. This short service will be a special time of reflection and blessing. Graduating students of all religious and non-religious identities are invited to this interfaith service in Hoversten Chapel. This 45-minute service will be a special time of reflection and blessing. This service is led by the Interfaith Scholar Cohort. Blessing blankets will also be given at the Interfaith Sending. (One blanket per graduate, please).

Advent Vespers 2021 Devotional

As part of the Advent Vespers experience, Campus Ministry offers Advent Devotional booklet with daily devotions written by religion department faculty, campus pastors, alumni, President Pribbenow, and other members of the Augsburg community. The Advent Devotional Booklet is available online.

You can also read each devotion daily:

Friday, December 3: Luke 1:26-33 – Babette Chatman 

Saturday, December 4: The Angel Gabriel from Heaven Came (stanzas 1 & 2) – Kristina Frugé 

Sunday, December 5: Luke 1:46-55  – Tori Remer

Monday, December 6: Matthew 24:30-35 – Jeni Grangaard 

Tuesday, December 7: Psalm 121 – Ross Murray 

Wednesday, December 8: Psalm 91:9-16 – Jeremy Myers 

Thursday, December 9: Isaiah 52:7-10 – Russell Kleckley 


Friday, December 10: Revelation 5:11-13 – Dana Nissen

Saturday, December 11: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing (stanza 1) – Adrienne Eldridge 

Sunday, December 12: Psalm 148:1-2, 13 – Amanda Vetsch

Monday, December 13: All My Heart Again Rejoices (stanza 1) – Justin Lind-Ayres

Tuesday, December 14: All My Heart Again Rejoices (stanza 2) – Mark Sedio 

Wednesday, December 15: All My Heart Again Rejoices (stanza 3)Phil Quanbeck 

Thursday, December 16: Philippians 4:4-7 –  Marty Wyatt 


Friday, December 17: Love Has Come (stanza 1) – Andrea Sorum 

Saturday, December 18: Angels, From the Realms of Glory (stanzas 1 & 4) – Destyn Land 

Sunday, December 19: From Heaven Above (stanzas 1, 2, 14) – Lori Brandt Hale 

Monday, December 20: Psalm 96:1-9  – Janice Dames

Tuesday, December 21: Angels We Have Heard on High (stanzas 1 & 2) – Mark Hanson

Wednesday, December 22: Isaiah 9:6-7 – Mark Tranvik 

Thursday, December 23: Silent Night (stanzas 1 & 2) – John Rohde Schwehn 

Friday, December 24: Luke 2:8-14 –  Matt Maruggi 


Saturday, December 25: Colossians 3:12-17  – Paul Pribbenow 


The 2021 Advent Vespers Service “Angel Voices, Again Now Sing” is now available for viewing on the Augsburg Music Department YouTube Channel.

2021 Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference Registration

Called to Place: Community Responsive Education

A virtual conference hosted by Augsburg University

July 12 – 15, 2021

The 2021 Vocation of Lutheran Higher Education Conference (formerly, the Vocation of a Lutheran College Conference) for the Network of ELCA Colleges and Universities will convene daily, July 12 – 15, 2021, 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm Eastern Time, except the session on July 13th, which will meet 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm Eastern Time.

The theme of the 2021 conference is “Called to Place: Community Responsive Education.” Participants will consider how local landscapes, neighborhoods, events, and people influence the missions, identities, and institutional vocations of our colleges and universities, along with our individual callings related to antiracism in our particular communities.

For more information on each of the sessions and speakers, please see the conference program.

Registration requires two steps. The first step is registering to receive the two Zoom links that will give you access to the conference. These links are included in the registration form. The second step is to complete daily session registration information below on this form.  Both steps are necessary for registration. There is no registration fee for the 2021 conference. Registration deadline is July 2, 2021. Registration is closed for this conference.


Register for 2021 VOLHE Conference


Conference participants are strongly encouraged to attend all four sessions of the conference.

Note: Those who need any disability-related accommodation to fully participate in this event are encouraged to contact University Events at or 612-330-1104. Remember to have the name, date, and time of the event with you when contacting their office. Please allow for sufficient time to arrange the accommodation.

Contact Janice Dames at for more information about registration.

The Vocation of a Lutheran Higher Education Conference is supported by the Network of ECLA Colleges and Universities.


Reference Information for Conference Attendees


Plenary 1:

Advance readings for Plenary 1.

Belonging: A Culture of Place, by bell hooks

Learning to Bloom Where You are Planted: Adapting Vocation to the Specifics of Place, by Mary Henold

Plenary 1 Bibliography:  Bibliography from Jason Mahn


Plenary 4:

Working documents for the closing plenary session.

Campus Team Reflection and Planning Document 

Planning Session Template


Baccalaureate and Interfaith Sending Services for Class of 2021

To honor the Augsburg Class of 2021 and mark the completion of their studies, Campus Ministry would like to offer two online services that would usually have been held on campus. The entire Augsburg community is invited to participate in these services.

The first is our Baccalaureate Service, which is a festive service of music and word held for the graduating class, friends, and family members celebrating the completion of your studies at Augsburg and offering our blessings to you as you go out into the world. This is a Christian worship service, open to all. The online service this year is filled with joy and thanksgiving. Pastor Justin Lind-Ayres offers a blessing sermon for the class and the service features music performed by University Organist Mark Sedio, the Global Harmony choir, and student singers. A pdf of the bulletin is available online. An audio-description version of the service is also available.

You are also invited to watch the Interfaith Community Sending service. Graduating students of all religious and secular identities are invited to watch this interfaith service celebrating your educational journey. This service is a special time of reflection and blessing led by the Interfaith Scholar Cohort of 2020-21. 


Download the 2019 Advent Vespers Devotional

Advent Vespers Cover art

Augsburg University invites you to download the Augsburg 2019 Advent Vespers Devotional. This year in celebration of Augsburg’s sesquicentennial and the 40th anniversary of Advent Vespers, Augsburg alumni shared their reflections on series of scriptures. We hope that this devotional will enrich your Advent experience. This year’s theme is Light for the World to See. If you are interested in attending the service or being a part of of the liturgical party, please use the links below.

2019 Advent Vespers Services

Friday, December 6, 2019 at 5 p.m. & 8 p.m.
Saturday, December 7, 2019 at 2 p.m. & 5 p.m.


Celebrating a Season of Hope

For four decades, Augsburg University has ushered in the Advent and Christmas seasons with Advent Vespers, a magnificent experience of music and liturgy, focusing on the theme of preparation and culminating in the joyful celebration of the Incarnation. Advent Vespers is set in downtown Minneapolis in the majestic sanctuary of Central Lutheran Church, soaring 65 feet high with large stained-glass windows.

Advent Vespers Processional Party

Be a part of one of the biggest celebrations at Augsburg! Each December, Augsburg students, faculty, staff, alumni and friends celebrate Advent at Central Lutheran Church in downtown Minneapolis with word and song. Students can join the Liturgical Team and carry bells, candle, banner or torch as part of the Gospel Processional (if not already in the choir or orchestra).

Sign up today!

Seminary and Divinity School Day

NOVEMBER 7, 2019



A day to connect, reflect, and explore theological graduate study options. This year’s theme is “Vocation at the Thresholds”.


Students of all denominations welcome! We hope to have 12-15 divinity schools and seminaries represented.

Sign up for Seminary/Divinity School Day by October 30

Schedule for Thursday, November 7th is:


9:30 am         Check-in/ Registration

10:00 am        Welcome, Introductions & Opening Devotion

10:45 am        Table Time for Seminary Representatives & Students

11:30 am        Chapel Worship

12:00 pm        Lunch with Keynote Speaker Melissa Pohlman ’00,

Pastor for Community Ministry, Central Lutheran Church, Minneapolis

1:15 pm          More Table Time

2:15 pm          Departure


Seminary and Divinity Day is a collaboration between Campus Ministry at Augsburg University and Gustavus Adolphus College.

If you have questions, contact Janice Dames at or 612-330-1732.

Students who would like to attend the day should register by October 31.


We hope you will join us.

Chapel Series Begins “Our Shared (Im)migration”

sharedimmigrationJoin us for worship in the chapel as we begin our Chapel Series, “Our Shared (Im)migration: Pilgrim Clasps Hand of Pilgrim,” exploring our many journeys, Jesus as a refugee, and hope amidst the challenges of 2017.

Tuesday, 1/10, 11:30am: Babette Chatman, Community Collaborative Partner, Redeemer Center for Life & Redeemer Lutheran Church, preaching.

Wednesday, 1/11, 10:40am: Pastor Sonja Hagander, College Pastor & Director of Ministries, preaching

Thursday, 1/12, 11:30am: Interfaith Mini-Convo with Dr. Audrey Lensmire, Assistant Professor, Education Dept., and Director of the EAST program.

Friday, 1/13, 10:40am: Pastor Mike Matson, Chaplain to Student Athletes, preaching.

We gather in Hoversten Chapel, Foss Center – Everyone is welcome!


Chapel Worship Schedule

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays: 10:40am – 11am

Tuesdays and Thursday: 11:30am – 11:50am

Wednesday Night Communion: 9:30pm


National Coming Out Day: Andy Anderson

Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. – Romans 13:8-10

Andy AndersonI never thought that I was straight. I didn’t even know what straight was until middle school, when I first heard the definition and shrugged thinking, “Well, that’s not me.”

It was disappointing to discover soon after that very few people appreciated the other identities I should have been able to try. I refrained from labeling myself and ended up gray and depressed, with no real label but my own name.

I didn’t know who I was at the time. I didn’t like boys like I was supposed to. I didn’t dress like girls should – in fact, I had breakdowns and cried in dressing rooms trying on feminine clothes – I felt like they took off a layer of skin every time I pulled them on and off, leaving my flaws more naked and exposed than before. Continue reading “National Coming Out Day: Andy Anderson”

Community Interfaith Iftar Dinner

Ramadan foodYou are invited! To honor our Muslim sisters and brothers and to bring unity and solidarity to the Seward neighborhood, we will have a Community Interfaith Iftar Dinner this Wednesday evening, June 29, 7:30-10pm. Please join us for fun, food, and great conversation as we break our fast together during Ramadan!

This event is sponsored by Augsburg College, Bethany Lutheran Church, Soup for You! Café at Bethany, Seward Neighborhood Group, and Afro Deli.

Our community partner, Bethany Lutheran Church, is hosting this event and is located at 2511 E. Franklin Avenue, just south of Hwy 94 across the 25th Avenue bridge – minutes away from campus!