Who We Are
UCM's mission is to engage the Ohio University and Athens communities in spiritual growth, community service and work for justice, guided by socially progressive and interfaith values.
What We Do
We're a non-profit organization that was born out of the Ecumenical movement and progressive social action. Our ministry offers a variety of programming, events and opportunities for spiritual growth, community service and social justice. Our programs are free and open to everyone, regardless of who you are, what you believe (or don't), or where you come from. Radical hospitality...we mean it!
Since its incorporation in 1968, UCM has played a role in the start-up of many local organizations, including:
- Appalachian Peace and Justice Network
- Athens Area PFLAG
- Athens AIDS Task Force
- Central American Solidarity Committee
- Child Assault Prevention Program
- Gay Activist Alliance (later GALA and Open Doors)
- My Sister's Place
- River Valley Community School
- Southeastern Ohio Foodbank
- Thursday Supper
- Women's Studies Program (now Women's and Gender Studies) at Ohio University
UCM can't do this alone and is indebted to many, including our many individual donors (YOU can become one today!) and our funders, including:
- Ohio Campus Ministries
- Synod of the Covenant
- Presbytery of Scioto Valley
- Resist, Inc.
- Athens Foundation
- Local supporting congregations:
About Our Staff
Melissa Wales, Executive Director
Melissa has been with UCM since 1999 when she started as Program Coordinator under then Director, the Rev. Jan Griesinger. She became Interim Director in 2004 and Director in 2005. She handles the administrative responsibilities, staff supervision, and much of the programming and outreach activities of UCM. She graduated from Heidelberg College in 1991 and served as VISTA Volunteer in Northern Virginia and a Boys' Hope Volunteer in Chicago. She worked for the Corporation for National Service state office in Columbus, Ohio, and with a nonprofit serving homeless people living with HIV/AIDS. She has an MA in International Development Studies with a Certificate in Women's Studies from Ohio University and teaches part time in the OU Women's and Gender Studies Program. She has lived in Athens since 1998 and is raising two young boys with her husband, Greg.
The Rev. Evan Young, Campus Minister
Evan has been with UCM since 2005. He graduated from Methodist Theological Seminary in Delaware, Ohio, and served part time as pastor at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Athens until June 2013. He provides pastoral care and counseling, facilitates Interfaith Impact, Better Together and student intern mentoring, and assists with programming, outreach and development.
Jennifer Kelly, Office Manager
Jennifer has been with UCM since 2000.