Board of Directors

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Board of Directors serves the church as the legal representative of the Synod and the custodian of all of the property of the Synod.

The Board of Directors (BOD) is the legal representative of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. It is the custodian of all the property of the Synod — directly or by its delegation of such authority to an agency of the Synod.

The BOD exercises supervision over all the property and business affairs of the Synod, except in those areas where it has delegated such authority to an agency of the Synod or where the voting members of the Synod, through the adoption of bylaws or by other convention action, have assigned specific areas of responsibility to separate corporate or trust entities.

In such circumstances, the BOD retains general oversight responsibility as defined in Synod Bylaws.



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Meeting Brief: August 2017

The LCMS Board of Directors (BOD) met August 24–26 in St. Louis, beginning with a day’s retreat and continuing with its regular quarterly meeting. In its retreat, the board considered its core policies and manner of functioning with Synod executives and staff. The chief aim was “re-imagining the business of the board” for greater effectiveness, making the board more productive for Synod and for its “owners,” the congregations. At the outset, Chairman Kumm reiterated a recent theme: “We cannot keep doing Synod the way we’ve been doing it the last fifty years, and this includes this board.” Alternating between committee and plenary work, the board developed a number of suggestions for improvement; a task force was established to develop proposals for November’s meeting.

In its regular meeting, the board received reports and took routine actions through its consent agenda. In the remainder of the meeting:

  • The board interviewed three finalists for Chief Administrative Officer (CAO) of the Synod, ultimately appointing Mr. Frank Simek of Keller, Texas. Simek, who comes to the Synod with extensive corporate executive-level management and financial experience, is expected to start work October 2. The three finalists were selected by the BOD Personnel Committee from among eight interviewees, those having been drawn from a pool of eighteen qualified applicants. The board thanked LCMS Human Resources Executive Director (and Acting CAO) Val Rhoden-Kimbrough for her invaluable help in a productive search process and throughout the CAO transition.

  • The board received visits from the Chief Executive Officers of Concordia Publishing House and Concordia Plan Services, as well as from Rev. Bart Day, Executive Director of the Office of National Mission (ONM), who is leaving ONM to assume the presidency of the Lutheran Church Extension Fund. He noted his strong commitment in that capacity to “forge strong collaborative efforts and work between Synod and LCEF.”

  • Chief Financial Officer Jerald Wulf reported to the board on actions taken, at the board’s May request, to reduce FY2018 mission and ministry budget expenditures by an additional $1 million in unrestricted / undesignated funds. Reductions included five full-time equivalents. Wulf noted that financial conditions are being monitored closely, that capital expenditures are on hold, and that Synod’s cash position is improving after a particularly difficult end to FY2017. The board noted a desire for reporting more supportive of forward-looking decision-making, earlier in the annual budget process.

  • Among other changes to its policies and operating directives, the board issued guidance for agencies reporting to the board, intended to produce more uniform and more useful summary reports.

  • A routine proposal to apply a standard 2% annual increase to Synod officer salaries was opposed by the officers present (who noted already generous compensation and the economic situation of Synod and many of its workers) and was then unanimously rejected by the board.

  • The board approved creation of a legal entity in Shanghai, necessitated by changes in Chinese business law and regulatory rulings.

The Board of Directors next meets November 16–17 in New Orleans, in conjunction with the Lutheran Church Extension Fund Fall Conference and the corresponding meeting of the Council of Presidents.

—John W. Sias, Secretary

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Meeting Minutes

Minutes of previous meetings are available upon request by contacting the LCMS Chief Administrative Office.

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News & Updates

LCMS Board of Directors – LCMS News & Information
BOD votes to increase disaster-fund impact
Tuesday, September 26, 2017 8:12:43 AM

Simek to serve as Synod’s new chief administrative officer
Tuesday, August 29, 2017 2:46:16 PM

‘Boards and Business’ — LCMS Board of Directors
Tuesday, May 30, 2017 12:02:38 PM

Synod Snapshot: Boards and Business
Wednesday, March 29, 2017 11:07:45 AM

This feed has 4 articles on 1 page

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The Handbook of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod includes the Constitution, Bylaws, and Articles of Incorporation of the organization.

2016 Handbook

The 2016 Handbook of the Synod has been published electronically as of Feb. 1, 2017, as the “February 2017” edition. It includes a completely redesigned index, is available in Adobe PDF and Microsoft Word versions, and is accompanied by a “red-lined” edition, indicating the changes made since the 2013 Handbook.

The print edition of the 2016 Handbook has been delayed so that it can accommodate certain changes required to be made by the convention in a process that is yet ongoing (see the Preface). In addition, the Commission on Handbook periodically incorporates minor corrections and other non-substantive changes as part of its responsibility for the ongoing maintenance and management of the Handbook.

Please report suggestions for correction or improvement, particularly regarding the new index, to the Office of the Secretary.

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Policy Manual

Desired Outcome Policy of the Board of Directors

The Board serves to provide leadership in achieving the objectives of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod as stated in Article III of its Constitution and Bylaws so that Christ’s name may be glorified among all people throughout the world by serving each other in Christ’s name, reaching our communities with Christ’s love and claiming the world for Christ’s kingdom.

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Budgets & Audits

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Board Members

The criteria for membership on the Board of Directors is outlined in the LCMS Handbook (Bylaw

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Legal Resources

As our churches and schools come under increased scrutiny, the LCMS is dedicated to helping pastors, church workers, church administrators, lay leaders and others learn how to better protect their church or school from potential legal challenges.

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Amicus Briefs

From time to time The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod joins amicus briefs for Supreme Court cases in which the outcome is likely to affect the church. Browse a listing of briefs to which the LCMS has joined. In most cases, the text of the entire brief is available.

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Join us on the journey

Lutherans Engage the World

Lutheran Engage the WorldEngaging the Church in the work of witness and mercy across the globe in our life together.

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The Lutheran Witness

The Lutheran WitnessSubscribe to the digital edition of The Lutheran Witness


Concordia Publishing House

Concordia Publishing House