University of Tennessee Campus Ministry
We are not your average campus ministry. We’re not huge, you won’t get lost in the crowd. We’re not tiny though either. There’s enough of us to go around. We like to eat. We like to laugh. We like to hang out together. We’re probably a lot like you. We don’t think we have all the “right” answers and we’re definitely willing to listen to your ideas. Though we frequently mess up, we’re trying to figure out how to be Christ followers, together. We love Jesus and we want others to know how much they are loved.
We are located at 1831 Melrose Avenue, Knoxville TN, the big beautiful brick house right next to Presidential Courtyard. You’ve probably walked right past us a million times if you’ve gone to UTK for more than a month.
At UKirk UTK, we believe that every person, without qualification, should have the opportunity for God’s amazing love to be made known to them. We believe what God intends for the world is a reality in which people recognize God’s image in the other and value diversity of perspective, race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ideological and political beliefs, or any other point of contention or division in our society. We believe all people are invited to Christ’s table, not to fit in, but rather to bring their honest, authentic, and, at times, broken selves to experience the grace of God.
The Presbyterian Center is an historic house located just next to Presidential Courtyard. Our doors are open from 8am until 11pm each weekday during the school year for students to come by and hang out. We have lots of comfortable couches and places to just kick back, study, talk with your friends, watch TV, or even nap. A Presbyterian minister is available for counseling, hanging out, coffee, or even a free meal.
UKirk UTK is a mission of the Presbytery of East Tennessee, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church although students from many backgrounds are involved. At UKirk UTK we seek to be a “home away from home” and a ministry to the campus that welcomes all students regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation or denominational affiliation. We encourage students to stay connected to the larger Church while providing a kind of on campus “church” at which college students feel comfortable and can worship and serve. We are a place where students can feel free to kick back and be who God has made them to be. Whether you grew up in the church or you really aren’t too sure about this whole church and Jesus thing, UKirk UTK is a place where you can ask the tough questions, learn, share, experience, and grow within a community. UKirk UTK is a place where everyone belongs and students know they are loved by God and others.
What’s Worship Like?
Well, it’s not your grandmother’s church service. First we eat dinner because who wants to worship on an empty stomach? We pray, talk, share, listen, gather around the table and laugh. We have guitar and piano and we even sing. We don’t get dressed up – jeans and flip flops are perfect attire. We meet at 7pm on Wednesdays. After worship many of us stay and hang out. Please join us!
What Kinds of Things Do We Do Outside UKirk?
We serve, volunteer, and help wherever we’re needed. These opportunities include serving dinner at Welcome Table, packing and serving lunches with SEEDS of Abraham, and tending to the UKirk garden, “UGrow”. We attend retreats and conferences and have outings throughout the academic year.
If you have a passion to serve, please let us know how we can partner with you!
Do You Have To Be a Presbyterian To Come To Ukirk?
Good question, and no, you absolutely do NOT need to be Presbyterian to come toUKirk. We are supported by the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church but we welcome ALL people. In fact, I’d say a majority of the students who call UKirk UTK “home” are not from Presbyterian backgrounds. Besides, it makes it much more interesting if you aren’t a Presbyterian (not that we don’t love you Presbyterians!).