Welcome to Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry at Wartburg College. We are here to care for and support the entire campus community with God’s grace and love.

Our mission: Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry is called by the Holy Spirit to participate in God’s mission by welcoming everyone as Christ among us by:

  • Accompanying people of diverse religious backgrounds on their spiritual journeys
  • Equipping the Body of Christ to nurture Christian faith
  • Championing the College’s religious identity

We do this through worship, caring conversations, vocational discernment, teaching, and faith-building events. Please read on for more information about these activities and how to set up a time to meet with us.

Upcoming Events

Wartburg’s EPIC (Educational Partnerships in Covenant) program is a cooperative venture with congregations of the three Iowa synods of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in Iowa. The EPIC program refers to a matching grant program that is available to ELCA congregations across the United States.

ELCA Congregations: Individual congregations who are new to EPIC enroll in the program by filling out the enrollment form and annually completing a participation form listing student names and the amount of the congregational gift.  Wartburg College will match congregational gifts up to $750 per academic year per student.

Who can qualify? Any full-time student who is a member of an ELCA congregation and who has fulfilled their congregation’s requirements to receive an EPIC gift from the congregation.  Students and families who are interested should first of all be in conversation with their congregations.  Congregations that already participate in EPIC need to fill out an annual participation form.

The Graven Award is funded by the Judge Henry N. and Helen T. Graven Endowment for The Ministry of the Laity: The Church in the World and goes to a person “whose life is nurtured and guided by a strong sense of Christian calling and who is making a significant contribution to community, church and society.”

Judge Henry N. and his wife, Helen T. Graven, were lay people from Greene, Iowa, who made significant contributions to the church, including the outline for the first pension plan for workers of the church. Mr. Graven, a federal Judge in Iowa, along with his brother, did much of the legal work in the combining of three separate Wartburg College sites into one.

The Gravens’ son Lloyd, an economic research consultant, spoke about his father’s work as a federal district judge. He said, “Long before the U.S. Supreme Court started ruling on Civil Rights issues, my father fined the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake for not letting a black man in.” He also said that his father believed it was important for Christians to contribute to society.

Wartburg College Graven Award Recipients:

  • 1990 Arnold R. Mickelson, general secretary, American Lutheran Church
  • 1991 Anne H. Carlsen, superintendent, Lutheran Hospitals and Homes Societies, champion of rights for children and adults with physical handicaps
  • 1992 Reinhold P. Marxhausen, educator (art and biology at Concordia, Seward)
  • 1993 William H. Foege, physician, Centers for Disease Control, credited with the global strategy that led to the eradication of smallpox and national education about vaccines
  • 1994 Ralston Deffenbaugh Jr., president of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and Lutheran World Federation’s assistant general secretary for International Affairs and Human Rights, Department for Theology and Public Witness
  • 1995 Weston H. Noble, musician, educator, entrepreneur
  • 1996 James J. Raun, executive director of Lutheran Services
  • 1997 Henry W. Foster, physician, educator, provided national model for providing prenatal and postnatal care to thousands of poor families
  • 1998 Anne Knutson Kanten, Secretary of Agriculture for state of Minnesota
  • 1999 Her Excellency Anna Josephine Mkapa, first lady of Tanzania and advocate for children
  • 2000 Gen. John W. Vessey, United States Army, served as chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
  • 2001 Neil and Lillian Williams, medical missionaries in Tanzania
  • 2002 William Fintel, oncologist, educator, writer
  • 2003 Gaylord Thomas, director of ELCA’s Hunger Grants and Loan programs and director of Africa Continental Desk/program director for East Africa Global Mission of the ELCA
  • 2004 Carl Schalk, hymn writer, educator, musician
  • 2005 David Scheie, Iowa broadcast journalist, community service, congregational service
  • 2006 Robert D. Ray, former governor of Iowa
  • 2007 K.D. Briner, judge, educator, champion of liberal arts education
  • 2008 Greg Mortenson, author and activist who built schools for girls in Pakistan
  • 2009 Robert F. Kennedy Jr., recognized for environmental work and his children’s book about St. Francis
  • 2010 Lane Shetterly, served as Oregon State House representative and director of the Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development
  • 2011 Jane K. Rodeheffer, philosopher, educator, involvement in Catholic Workers House movement
  • 2012 Kenneth Inskeep, sociologist, director of Research and Evaluation, ELCA
  • 2013 James C. Ellefson, federal judge in Iowa, congregational leadership, community service
  • 2014 Michael Dennis Browne, poet, educator, librettist
  • 2015 Dr. Elijah Anderson, urban ethnologist, educator about racism, Yale University
  • 2016 Bruce Weber, men’s basketball coach, Kansas State University
  • 2017 Diane Levy Jacobson, professor emerita, Luther Seminary
  • 2018 Gloria Kirkland Holmes, associate professor of early childhood education, University of Northern Iowa
  • 2019 Adrian Miller, executive director of the Colorado Council of Churches, historian, lawyer, public policy advisor, author
  • 2020 Felecia Boone, diversity, equity, and inclusion consultant, Hennepin County, Minnesota
  • 2021 O. Jay and Pat Tomson, philanthropists; community banker and family counselor, Mason City, Iowa

Worship services take place throughout the week in the Wartburg Chapel. Watch Chapel services live or on-demand on Knightvision.

Weekday Chapel: Every M, W, F 10:15-10:35 a.m. during the academic year.
A 20-minute opportunity for worship and reflection led by senior students, faculty, and staff. There are no classes during Chapel time, so it’s a great opportunity to pause and reflect in the midst of a busy day. Interfaith chapel will be the last Wednesday of each month. Mondays: Faculty & Staff faith storiesWednesdays: Restful worship with communionFridays: Senior Chapel

Sanctuary: Wednesday, 9-10 p.m. (Not live streamed)
Sanctuary is a holy space in the midst of your busy life where you can recharge and renew. Expect a relaxed time of Bible study, fellowship, worship band music, prayers, and communion. It takes place on Wednesday evenings at 9 p.m. in Wartburg Chapel. Come by early at 8:45 for snacks and fellowship.

Sunday Morning Worship: Sunday worship services are held periodically throughout the academic year. Check the online calendar for posted service times. We also encourage students to worship with congregations in the community. Many in Waverly and the Cedar Valley welcome students and offer services online. 


Spiritual Life and Campus Ministry supports student and staff ministry leaders. For more information about these groups please contact Pastor Brian brian.beckstrom@wartburg.edu.

Reconciling in Christ

Statement of Welcome
Because gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families are often scorned by society and alienated from the Church, we wish to make known our caring nature and concern. It is for this purpose that we affirm the following: As a college of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and in keeping with Wartburg College’s values of diversity and inclusion, the college openly welcomes and affirms people of all sexual orientations and gender identities and understands them to be an important part of the campus community.

Psalm 149 (Worship Dance) –– Express your faith through dance on campus and in congregations.

Catholic Knights –– Gather with other Roman Catholic students for fellowship and learning.

Fellowship of Christian Athletes –– Combine your love of sports and faith.

Hope Overflow – Traveling worship band and service group

Chapel Ambassadors – Faculty/Staff group that supports ministry on campus

This list is not all-inclusive. For updates or more information, please contact a campus pastor in the Spiritual Life & Campus Ministry Office:  brian.beckstrom@wartburg.edu or rebecca.baird@wartburg.edu


Masjid Al-noor Islamic Community Center
2110 Sager Avenue, Waterloo IA
(319) 233-6640
Friday Khutbah, 12:45pm in-person or on Facebook Live

Dubuque Tri-State Islamic Center
4980 Radford Ct. Dubuque, IA 52002
(563) 503-5588
Friday Khutbah, 1:15pm on Facebook Live


Sons of Jacob Synagogue
411 E. Mitchell Ave. Waterloo, IA 50702 
(319) 233-9448
Community is not currently gathering due to COVID-19.


Cedar Valley Interfaith Council
PURPOSE STATEMENT: “People and communities of faith: gathering in peace as friends…”

Des Moines Zen Center
6901 SW 14th St. Des Moines, IA 50315
Sunday and Wednesday Zazen on Zoom

Hindu Temple & Cultural Center of Iowa
33916 155th Ln. Madrid, IA 50156
(515) 795-2635
Daily Worship on YouTube

Milarepa Buddhist Center of Iowa
2871 Heinz Rd Suite A, Iowa City, IA 52240
(937) 244-1961

Pool of Remembrance

More than 300 stones from locations across the United States and around the world fill the Pool of Remembrance on the west side of the Wartburg Chapel. Sent by congregations and institutions, the stones signify the important link between the college and the people who provide Wartburg with students and support its mission with their prayers and gifts.

To zoom in use the + and – buttons on the map.

Note to church leaders and parents: Help your ELCA congregation support young adults as they pursue their education at a Lutheran college or university by starting or supporting a congregational scholarship program. If you would like some ideas on how to do this, contact the Admissions Office at 800-772-2085 or via email at admissions@wartburg.edu.


Completed in 1994, the Wartburg Chapel is the center for campus worship and faith expression groups. It is also utilized for concerts, weddings, funerals, and church and community events.



Halcyon Bjornstad

Interim Dean of Spiritual Life

Karen Black

Cantor and College Organist, Professor of Music, Rudi Inselmann Endowed Professor in Organ