Meet Pastor JP Carlson, our new Lutheran Campus Ministry Pastor at Montana State University! We are blessed to welcome Pastor JP into his new role with us and look forward to his leadership this school year! Pastor JP has written a few words of introduction:
The son of Presbyterian pastor and an elementary school music teacher, I grew up north and south of the Seattle area, spending my early childhood days in Bellingham and my adolescent and teen years in Lakewood. Go Mariners, Seahawks, Sounders, Kraken (pretty soon!), and Sonics when they make their grand return! My college years were spent in Spokane where I earned a religion major and music minor at Whitworth University. Married during college, my high school sweetheart and I welcomed our first child (Madelyn, now a sophomore at Montana State University) into the world one month before heading off the Princeton Theological Seminary in New Jersey.
Upon finishing seminary I was called to serve as the Associate Pastor of Adult Education and Pastoral Care at Eastridge Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, NE. During that time my wife and I welcomed our second child (William, now a freshman at Gallatin High School) into the Carlson family and she finished her masters degree in education and began working on her PhD with the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. After 5 wonderful years there we moved to Omaha where I served as the Associate Pastor of Congregational Life at Dundee Presbyterian Church. While in Omaha my wife received her PhD in Math Education and accepted a faculty position at MSU in 2014.
From 2014 to 2016 I was privileged to pastor First Presbyterian Church (Anaconda) and the Church of the Big Hole (Melrose, Wise River and Wisdom). In 2016 Christ the King Lutheran Church (Bozeman) called me to serve as their Director of Children’s, Youth and Family Ministries.
Fun facts about me include: 1. I sing in the Bozeman Symphony Chorale, 2. I sort of play guitar, 3. I ran my first official trail run race in the spring of 2021, 4. I drink a lot of coffee, 5. I am a huge fan of U2, 6. I work as a part-time chaplain at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, 7. Ivan Doig, Wendell Berry, and Eugene Peterson are some of my favorite writers, 8. I may be a Presbyterian but I love hanging out with Lutherans.
It is with gratitude, joy, and humility that I now move into a shared ministry role with Lutheran Campus Ministry as the Campus Pastor and Christ the King Lutheran Church as the Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministry. I am excited to see what God has in store for us as we enter this new season of partnership in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Good and Gracious God, We give thanks and praise for the ministries of Lutheran Campus Ministry at Montana State University. We ask that you pour your blessings on Pastor JP and the students of MSU through the joys and challenges of college life. We ask that you keep them open to new opportunities to expand their minds, deepen their faith and inspire service so all they do may be a reflection of your compassion and peace. Amen.