Campus Ministries

Campus Ministries

Contact Us

Chapel of the Abiding Presence
Phone: 830-372-8160

Rev. Kara Joy Stewart
Campus Pastor

Denise Casas 
Administrative Assistant

Campus Ministries at TLU exist to support, encourage, and challenge students and the entire TLU community in their faith journeys.

Campus Ministries at TLU

Led by Pastor Kara Stewart, the many activities and groups sponsored by Campus Ministries provide a variety of ways for students to strengthen their faith and explore new avenues of faith development. Our diverse community is made up of a variety of students with a variety of religious backgrounds. Campus Ministries welcomes each student, wherever they are on their faith journey, and invites them to deepen their awareness of God's presence and to embrace God's calling to work together for justice and peace in the world.

TLU Campus Ministries provide a focal point for the community of faith where people:

  • Proclaim Christ in Word, Encounter Christ in Sacrament, and experience Christ in relationship.
  • Place what they learn in conversation with what they believe and value.
  • Witness to the reconciling Word of God in Christ, reaching out to all people.
  • Respond to human need, work for peace and justice, and care for the sick and suffering.
  • Find people in a supportive experience of community.
  • Welcome one another warmly no matter what faith, tradition, nationality, race or denomination.
  • Seek sensitive, personal and confidential pastoral care.
  • Join in praise and worship, exploring the rich liturgical Christian worship tradition.

  • Praise

    Chapel Worship

    Monday, Wednesday, & Friday during the academic year
    10:00 - 10:20 a.m.
    Start your day with praise and prayer at the Chapel of the Abiding Presence. Every Monday is a contemporary version of Morning Prayer from the Iona Community, with an opportunity for discussion with fellow worshippers about the day's Scripture passage. Every Friday is Faculty/Staff day, with a guest speaker sharing stories of how God is working in their lives, led by our Chapel Band. Wednesdays are our variety days: experience everyone's favorite Morning Strings, pray for the world during our Healing of the Nations chapel, be fed and forgiven at our communion service Table of Grace, or join in the meditative singing at our Taize' services. No matter what the day, chapel is filled with music from across the centuries and across the globe, languages that represent our diverse community, and messages of challenge and encouragement.

    Messy Church

    Once a month we gather together to worship in a new way: a messy way! We open with songs from our Chapel Band and then experience videos, Scripture readings, poems, and stories about our theme. Then comes your chance to respond: stations are set up with Legos, arts & crafts, journaling, candles for prayer, and reading. We close by gathering around God's table of grace where we are fed and forgiven, commissioned and sent out into the world to bring justice and healing and love. Did I mention the FREE DINNER before we get started?

    Worship Support Team

    There are a million ways to use your talents in support of our many worship services! Join our Chapel Band with your guitar, drums, or vocal skills. Read Scripture. Welcome worshipers. Run the sound board. Create the slide show. Be a part of our new Chapel Choir. Help get our Drama Team started. Set up chairs. There's a place for you to serve - just ask!

  • Fun

    Weekends Alive!

    Join us for a variety of relaxing and entertaining activities, centered around those lazy weekends. Hiking, game nights, scavenger hunts, trips to SA & Austin, concerts, movie nights - all are part of the fun of Weekends Alive!


    Be a part of a TLU tradition: come out for Coffeehouse! Whether you sing or play an instrument, write original poetry, perform monologues, or love to dance, there's a place for you on the Coffeehouse lineup! Once a month we set up the chapel with a cool, laid-back vibe, brew some fair-trade coffee, and sit back and enjoy the show. Co-sponsors like the Foreign Language Honor Society often bring free food (enchiladas & guacamole!) and free t-shirts, so make sure you get there early.

    Fall Beach Retreat

    Just about the time you're starting to get overwhelmed by classes, it's time to escape to the beach! Join us for a relaxing weekend on the TX coast, soaking up the sun and reconnecting with the Spirit. We'll worship on the beach and share how God is active in our lives, and pray for one another's struggles. Come make new friends and strengthen old relationships.

    Fresh Faith Retreat

    Open to incoming Freshmen, this overnight retreat is held the first Friday-Saturday after classes begin in the fall. Connect with a small group. Face your fears on the high ropes course. Learn to trust each other on the low ropes course. Worship together with our chapel band. Make friends that will last through all 4 years and beyond. Get to know the Campus Ministry Leadership Team. Make plans to be a part of the Campus Ministries that will support you in your first year at TLU. Registration opens in July for the August retreat.

  • Growth


    Every Monday night, Pastor Kara offers the community a place to find rest in the Spirit. Mondays from 7:00 - 7:30, join her in the chapel for various contemplative activities. Walking meditation is an easy way to calm your mind; simply lower your eyes and follow the feet of the person in front of you. Body prayer is a more active meditation, moving in different prayer postures. Prayer stations enable you to explore many different types of prayer in one night: journaling, coloring, creating with Legos, meditating on Scripture, lighting candles.

    Small Groups

    Each year, new small groups form to help support students in their faith journeys. Weekly and bi-weekly groups are available for upper class students and for freshmen only. These groups spend time in prayer together and in Scripture study. Find the group that will listen when you're struggling and cheer you on when you're celebrating.

    Discernment Retreat, Church Leadership Lunches

    There are many ways to use your gifts and talents to serve God and God's kingdom. The TLU community is dedicated to helping all our students discern how they can make the world a better place with their specific gifts. Campus Ministries sponsors discernment events to support those who are being drawn to consider a vocation in ministry. Church Leadership Lunches are held once a month, offering a FREE LUNCH and an opportunity for conversation with a local ministry worker: a pastor, a youth worker, a chaplain, a social service agency director, a camp director, a public policy executive. The annual Discernment Retreat is held early in Spring term for those who want to explore a possible call to public ministry. This weekend event provides time and space to practice spiritual disciplines that lead to a deeper awareness of God's guidance.

    International Pilgrimage

    During the summer, Pastor Kara leads international trips to holy sites or unique Christian communities. The trip is called a pilgrimage because of the nature of the journey: the group meets for months ahead of time, praying and preparing to be open to the ways God will speak through the journey. Destinations may include: Iona Abbey in Scotland, the Taize' community in France, Luther heritage sites in Germany, or Lutheran church partners in Peru, Haiti, or Guatemala.

    Denominational Groups

    For those looking to explore a new denomination or who want to find the one that fits their heritage, we have several small groups related to Christian denominations. Each group meets at different times and different places, and also participates in our joint Campus Ministries.
    Campus Crusade for Christ
    Canterbury Fellowship (Episcopalian)
    Catholic Student Organization
    Fellowship of Christian Athletes
    Grace Place (Lutheran)
    Wesley Foundation (Methodist)

  • Serve

    Campus Ministries Leadership Team

    Campus Ministries are planned and led by student who are members of the Campus Ministries Leadership Team. Team members apply for leadership positions in April for the coming school year. Pastor Kara seeks to place students in positions that will best utilize students' talents, gifts, and passions. Each Denominational Group on campus elects a member to the Leadership Team as well. These Denominational Partners serve as assistants for our joint ministries and work together to plan monthly all-campus events, sponsored by each Denominational Group.

  • Chapel Talks & Podcasts

    Did you miss a day in chapel or was there a message you really enjoyed and would like to hear again? Now you can listen to selected chapel messages online, download them or subscribe to the podcast feed using iTunes U.

    TLU Chapel on YouTube

    TLU Campus Ministries on Facebook

    TLU Chapel on Twitter

  • Meet Pastor Kara Stewart

    Rev. Kara Joy Stewart began her ministry at TLU in 2014. Pastor Kara has extensive experience in congregational leadership: growing youth & family and outreach ministries at Redeemer Lutheran in Charleston, SC, developing missional leadership at St. Barnabas Lutheran in Charleston, and providing transitional leadership at St. Luke's Lutheran in Summerville, SC. She most recently served Living Christ Lutheran in Flagstaff, AZ, where she helped the congregation focus on mission and expand their outreach into the community. 

    Pastor Kara received the Bachelor of Arts degree with a double major in Music and History from Furman University in Greenville, SC and the Master of Divinity degree from Trinity Lutheran Seminary in Columbus, OH. She has completed the Shalem Institute's program Leading Contemplative Groups and Retreats: Transforming Community and recently received her certificate as a Kripalu Yoga teacher (200 hour level). A native South Carolinian, she grew up with a love of music and a love for the water. She enjoys running half-marathons, kayaking in rivers and tidal creeks, and biking with her son.

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