Staff and Leaders
More than 70 students serve in leadership positions in College Ministries each year through volunteer, work study, and elected congregation council positions. Students provide leadership in all areas of our ministry. We invite you to consider offering your gifts by serving in a leadership position in College Ministries. Meet the Congregational Council for 2012-2013 here. See a video from the 2011 fall leadership retreat here.
The Office for College Ministries is led by a staff team that includes a team of campus pastors: Mike Blair, Amy Larson (on sabbatical leave for the 2012-13 Academic Year), and David Vasquez. Pastor Karri Anderson is serving as Interim Campus Pastor during Pastor Amy's sabbatical. Two administrative assistants: Lorraine Holthaus and Lori Ostlie; Roman Catholic chaplain Phillip Gibbs; and college organist Gregory Peterson. The Body of Christ is a guiding image for our ministry together as we foster an inclusive community, celebrate diverse gifts and journeys, and share leadership.
Mike Blair has served Luther College as campus pastor since 1991. Before serving at Luther he was campus pastor at Augustana College, Rock Island and Associate Pastor at First Lutheran Church in Freeport, Ill.
Mike received a Bachelor of Arts in music and psychology from Augustana College, Rock Island in 1979 and a Master's degree in Divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago in 1985. He is married to Susan Blair.
Rev. Karri L. Anderson
Karri received an Associate of Arts degree in Nursing from Anoka-Ramsey Community College and graduated from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minnesota with a Master of Divinity in 1994. She has worked as an LSS chaplain and served as Pastor of Congregational Care at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota. In 2006 she began working as an interim pastor in the Minneapolis Area Synod serving in diverse roles from solo pastor to senior pastor. She has served in inner city and rural congregations ranging in memberships of less than 100 to over 7000. Luther College is her sixth interim.
Kari resides in Coon Rapids, MN with her husband Ron who is the executive director of their family owned dance studio and their drop-in child care center. She has three grown children and 2 grandchildren. They all reside in the Twin Cities area.
Pastor David came to Luther in August of 2001. He loves working with students as they discover their gifts, prepare for their vocation in life, and live out their faith in learning, worship, service, and action. Prior to coming to Luther, David served St. Mark’s Lutheran Church in Batesville, Ind. and worked in youth ministry at First Lutheran Church in Cincinnati, Ohio. Active in advocacy and study around immigration issues and youth development, Pastor David has spoken at various regional and national youth events, including serving as keynote for the ELCA Youth Gathering in Atlanta, Georgia, ELCA Global Mission Glocal events around the country, and others.
Pastor David is the author of Out of the Waters: Resisting the Power of Fear, a Bible study on the book of Exodus, published by the Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services and 1 and 2 Samuel from the Books of Faith Bible Study Series by Augsburg Fortress Publishers. He holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Texas Lutheran University and a master's degree in divinity from the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. He received his Doctorate of Ministry in Preaching (D. Min) through the Association of Chicago Theological Schools.
Pastor David is married to Dr. Karla Suomala, who teaches in the Religion Department at Luther College. They have two children, Dawit and Meheret.
Amy Zalk Larson
Pastor Amy Zalk Larson will be on Sabbatical during the 2012-2013 academic year.
Pastor Amy has served as Luther College as campus pastor since August, 2005. Before serving at Luther, Amy was Pastor of Education and Family Life at First Lutheran Church in Fergus Falls, Minn.
Amy received a Bachelor of Arts in religion from Luther College in 1996 and a Masters of divinity from Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN in 2000. Amy has also studied in Zimbabwe and Tanzania. She is married to Pastor Matt Larson. They have two children.
Father Phil Gibbs
Father Gibbs is originally from Bernard, Iowa and graduated from Loras to go onto seminary at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore, Md. Ordained in 1994, Father Gibbs went on to serve as an associate pastor in two parishes. He has spent the last eight years serving the archdiocese as Director of Vocation Awareness where he worked to promote vocations and invite men to consider the priesthood.
Lorraine A. Holthaus
Administrative Assistant, College Ministries
Lorraine has been on staff at Luther since 1991. Lorraine is responsible for creating the Sunday worship and daily chapel bulletins, coordinating scheduling and travel arrangements for the pastors, serving as a secretarial resource for the Congregation Council, and supervising fifteen student workers. She is a graduate of Mount Mercy College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Lorraine and her husband, Ron, have four grown children, Julie, Chad, Shanna, and Renae, and two grandchildren, Alex and Tyler Rogers. In addition to spending time with family, she enjoys reading, traveling, baking, and entertaining.
Administrative Assistant, College Ministries
Lori has been on staff at Luther since 1993. Lori maintains relations with churches, supervises student workers for the EPIC Program, outreach teams, Church Youth Fest, church group visits, mission programs, database updates, Habitat for Humanity, In Touch co-editors, office web design, Grace Institute, and Summer Ministry student. A Minnesota native, she is a graduate of Concordia College in Moorhead, Minn. She is married with three sons, likes to spend time with her family and friends, bake, scrapbook and spend time outside.