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.

Board of Directors

The Lutheran Church—Missouri 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: November 2017

The LCMS Board of Directors (BOD) met 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.

The board spent some time digesting detailed reports. President Harrison reported to the board on recent demographic studies and on significant efforts being undertaken to support congregations in outreach and retention — all of which will be shared with the districts through visitation during the upcoming year’s round of conventions. The board also heard an update from Concordia Plan Services, conveying the present sound health of retirement and health plans and thoughts on carrying that strength into the future. Chief Financial Officer Jerald Wulf presented reports on the financial situation of corporate Synod, which has improved somewhat since July 1 (the start of a new fiscal year) due to budget reductions and intentional underspending. The board also reviewed the audit report for Synod and consolidated entities.

Elements of Wulf’s report and a report on efforts of LCMS Disaster Response and the Texas District to support recovery efforts in and after this year’s devastating hurricane season were shared in a joint session with the Council of Presidents, also meeting in New Orleans. At the time of the report, hurricane-related giving to LCMS Disaster Response had topped $6 million, with an additional $1.8 million donated to the Texas District. Discussion noted the continued and even increasing willingness of donors to give to designated purposes and to their congregations, but that there is at the same time an increasing shortage of revenue at districts and Synod to do much of the “regular” work they are assigned to do for and on behalf of the congregations.

Chairman Kumm, repeating his observation that we “cannot afford to do Synod the way we’ve been doing Synod the past fifty years,” indicated that the board is working hard to get revenue and expenditure in their proper proportion, carefully examining every aspect of the way corporate Synod carries out the administrative and corporate side of the Synod. This effort, aided by a willingness from the corporate entities to economize together, is beginning to bear fruit. As attention turns toward development of next fiscal year’s budget, Synod’s unit executives were also instructed to prepare for significant reductions in expenditure. Still, revenue needs to be increased, if Synod is to continue doing all it does.

In addition to meeting with the Council of Presidents, the board joined the boards of Concordia Plan Services, the Lutheran Church Extension Fund (LCEF), and the LCMS Foundation for a working dinner. Discussion centered on the question of what enhanced cooperation and coordination might be expected between corporate Synod and related entities in the next five years.

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

  • approved consolidation of the Pension Plan for Pastors and Teachers into the Concordia Retirement Plan, a seamless transition for beneficiaries that will reduce administrative overhead.

  • adjusted its internal policies, as well as those on income management / fund raising, the latter change serving to conclude a process of transition initiated by the 2010 restructuring of the Synod.

  • approved changes to the governing documents of the LCMS Foundation, Concordia Historical Institute, and Concordia University System.

  • approved an infrastructure request from Concordia College New York, a proposed property purchase for Concordia University Chicago, and property sales and renovations for Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.

  • appointed David Worthington of Fayetteville, Georgia, to fill a vacancy on the LCEF board of directors, and appointed directors and supervisors for an overseas entity related to Synod’s partner church in Taiwan.

  • heard proposals from Concordia International Schools in Hanoi and Shanghai, seeking to expand their operations.

  • heard a report from its board policy task force, which is working to translate the insights of the August board retreat into more efficient and effective governance mechanisms that will benefit the board’s work and its impact on Synod’s administrative and business operations.

The Board of Directors next meets February 16–17, 2018, in St. Louis. At that meeting, budget preparation for the upcoming fiscal year will be a central topic of discussion.

—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 weighs monetary, membership challenges
Tuesday, December 19, 2017 9:28:00 AM

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

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