the team

We hope that all people who get involved at Common Ground become leaders in God's grand conspiracy of love and mercy.  Here are some of the people you will see doing various things around here.

  • Pastor Benjamin Morris

    Ben serves as pastor here at Lutheran Campus Ministry and as Adjunct Professor of Theology at Viterbo University.  He is ordained in the Lutheran tradition (ELCA) and is passionate about serving alongside people of all backgrounds, and showing that the Gospel is more inclusive, reckless and wonderfully irresponsible than we could ever imagine.  When he is not out and about doing pastor stuff he can be found with his family (wife and two daughters), in the outdoors, canoeing, kayaking, climbing, backpacking, training for the American Birkebeiner #birkiefever,  tenkara fly fishing, hunting and really anything that is adventurous and goes well with a craft beer. He is also fallen down the rabbit hole on baking sourdough rye bread. He holds a BA in History, from Central Michigan University where he also ran on the track team.  His seminary education was completed at Wartburg Theological Seminary in Dubuque, IA and he also spent a year studying at the Augustana Hochschule in Neuendettelsau, Germany. He is also a proud WFR (Wilderness First Responder) though hopes to never have to use the skills.   His two dogs are often with him at Common Ground and you can find out more about them below.

  • Faith Bartelt - Music Intern

    Faith is a junior at Viterbo University pursuing a BFA Musical Theatre with minors in Arts Administration and Music. As a freshmen RA, employee of the Fine Arts Center, and involved member in the Viterbo production season, she is extremely excited to pursue and create art in a setting as amazing as Common Ground. Faith's love languages are peanut-butter and coffee dates, and she loves spending time in and around trees (yay nature!). Common Ground is a place she has come to love for it's intentional and inclusive community, open-heartedness, and service to La Crosse's college and local audience and she cannot wait to take on this new role of service. 

    This past summer she was a counselor at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in Colorado.

  • Casey Fremsted - Music Intern

    Casey is the other half of our Music duo and is a Senior at Viterbo majoring in Religious Studies.  When she is not studying at Viterbo, or helping people find their voice so they can praise God she can be found helping out with countless other music ensembles at different ministries in La Crosse.  In the Summers she is a counselor at Sugar Creek in Ferryville, Wisconsin where she can captain a houseboat like nobodies business. 

  • Kiera Grant - Music Intern

    Kiera is a junior at UWL and is double majoring in statistics and psychology. She enjoys sports, funny movies, cooking, being outside, and spending time with the people she loves. She has spent the last two summers working at Sugar Creek Bible Camp in Ferryville, Wisconsin where she loves spending time on the Mississippi, hiking the bluffs, and teaching kids about Jesus. 

  • Zoey Michlig - LCM Board of Directors and Oikos

    Hi, I’m Zoey and I’m a junior at UW-L! I am studying elementary education with a minor in Special Education. In my spare time I love being outside, hiking, and spending time with friends and family.


  • Rachel Stoutenborough aka Stouty,  Oikos

    Rachel will be a senior at UW-L this year and student teaching at Northwoods International School. She loves backpacking, skiing, kayaking, and anything else that involves being outdoors. She loves to travel and spent a semester studying abroad in Cádiz, Spain. This past summer, Rachel was a Compass Points backpacking guide at at Rainbow Trail Lutheran Camp in Colorado.

  • Edel - Official Dog of Common Ground

    Edel is Ben's German Wirehaired Pointer Mix.  Born and raised on a reservation in Northern Minnesota she has grown up around people and in churches all over.  She accompanies Ben on most of his outdoor adventures and can even hold her own whitewater canoeing.  She is around the building most days and loves to be taken for walks and runs by students.  

  • Arlo - Official Dog in Training

    Arlo is a an Australian Cattle Dog, aka Red Heeler.  He was born this past March so he is still growing and has lots of energy.  So PLEASE come and take him for a walk or a run.  He recently completed his second trip to the mountains, making it it just shy of a 13er to summit before weather turned him around.