Stories of Faith in Action

A spiritual home for future leaders

Stuck in traffic at West Virginia University (WVU), when seemingly all of Morgantown’s 28,000 students are trying to get to class,

you’d be hard-pressed not to notice the fire engine red Lutheran Campus Ministry Chapel with its curved roof, just south of the main crosswalk.

The architectural oddity might draw students for a brief chat with Tony Setley, campus pastor, but however they come, he said, “they are comfortable enough to ask questions, and that can always lead to something bigger.”

Graduate student Nathan Blake recalled his first visit. “I was at a really rough place spiritually, and the time for normal Sunday services had already passed, and I was like, ‘I need something, but I don’t know what.’ I remembered that 6 p.m. service time, and I wandered up the hill, snuck in the back [pew] and I just kept coming. It was exactly what I needed.”

“The building was very interesting; that was probably my first impression,” sophomore Lilly Simmons said.

"They are comfortable enough to ask questions, and that can always lead to something bigger.”

—Tony Setley

In and beyond worship, Setley encourages students to set the tone for campus ministry.

Simmons said she’s loved leading monthly social activities such as ax-throwing or miniature golf. The gatherings make a difference.

“I can’t overstate the importance of having a place where you can experience spirituality, but also having a group of people you can experience it with.”

—Nathan Blake

Rent-free home for some people discerning calls to ministry

In addition to serving as students’ spiritual home, Lutheran Campus Ministry at WVU plans this fall to offer a literal rent-free home for some people discerning calls to ministry.

The student housing, called Luther House, is located behind the chapel in a building that was formerly the parsonage for St. Paul Lutheran Church of Morgantown. Luther House students will lead chapel and explore seminary through a partnership with Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, Iowa. Both the seminary and campus ministry are funded by Mission Support.

Spiritual Home

“Students will have...that ability to discern and engage with their faith...”

Said Setley