Commission on Theology & Church Relations

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations (CTCR) provides study documents, opinions and statements on theological issues. Established by the Synod in 1962, the commission provides guidance and leadership in the areas of theology and church relations.

The following CTCR document library includes reports, resources and evaluations concerning religious organizations and movements.

Report: ‘Marriage Between Church and State’

Marriage Between Church and State: A Report on Clergy Serving as Agents of the State.

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations produced a report titled Marriage Between Church and State: A Report on Clergy Serving as “Agents of the State.”

LCMS President Rev. Dr. Matthew C. Harrison, Synod officials and LCMS entities asked the CTCR to prepare a report that addresses this issue, including if pastors should sign civil marriage licenses on behalf of the state.

 Introductory letter   •   Spanish

 Report   •   Spanish

‘An Inexpressible Treasure’

CTCR report on The Theology and Practice of Holy Baptism

The CTCR report and Bible study on “An Inexpressible Treasure: The Theology and Practice of Holy Baptism” serve as a great witness for those who have struggled with various aspects of this biblical teaching.

 President’s recommendation letter

 Report (PDF)      Report (ePub)

 Bible study   Bibliography

Opinion: ‘Communion and COVID-19’

Communion and Covid-19

The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations wrote “One little word can fell him” to reaffirm its March 20, 2020, opinion on “Communion and COVID-19” about online home Communion.

The CTCR provides 10 reasons to support its previous statement that LCMS churches should refrain from online Communion services.

 Opinion      Addendum


‘The Child as a Gift of God’

The Child as a Gift of God

“The Child as a Gift of God,” a paper commended by the 2019 LCMS convention, examines the many subtle ways that American culture rejects life as a fundamental gift of God and instead sees “having a baby” as a human accomplishment.

 LCMS Task Force paper: ‘The Child as a Gift of God’ (PDF)      Paper (ePub)

The Commission on Theology and Church Relations document library includes the following:

  Reports: The CTCR brings matters of theology to the membership of the Synod through special studies and documents.

  Evaluations: The CTCR provides evaluations on a broad range of religious organizations and movements from a Lutheran theological perspective.

  Theological Opinions: Documents are prepared in response to a request for an opinion on a specific theological issue (e.g., from the president of the Synod, a district, board, commission or dispute resolution panel).


  Browse CTCR documents


What is the CTCR?

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod established the Commission on Theology and Church Relations in 1962.

Download information sheet

Our Mission

Empowered by God’s Spirit through the means of grace, the Commission on Theology and Church Relations serves Christ’s church by providing theological guidance to pastors and congregations for retaining, confessing and proclaiming the Scriptural GOSPEL of Jesus Christ.

Recent Articles

Commission on Theology and Church Relations – Reporter
The sin of racism: A Gospel response
Monday, August 29, 2022 2:57:11 PM

Obituary: Rev. Dr. Osmar Otto Lehenbauer, former president of the LCMS New England District
Friday, July 8, 2022 10:56:13 AM

Shaw, Hemmer, Rabe installed at International Center
Tuesday, February 8, 2022 3:24:19 PM

CTCR report addresses marriage and the state
Thursday, November 4, 2021 3:25:22 PM

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