Congregational Health Ministry & Parish Nursing

Health ministry helps congregations care for one another by attaining, maintaining and/or regaining the best possible whole person health — wellness of body, mind and spirit — that can be experienced. The parish nurse is a registered nurse who is committed to this concept of health ministry.

The Health Ministry Team can make a difference...

  • In the local church by raising awareness of the benefits this ministry can offer to the spiritual, interpersonal, emotional and physical health of members.
  • To the pastor by introducing wellness programs in support of the pastor's ministry of Christian growth in the congregation.
  • To the community by collaborating with community health services, offering supportive human care services to the community.

Parish Nurse Video Lecture Series

The latest free video lecture from LCMS Health Ministry is “The Blessing of Synergy in Team Ministry.”

The guest lecturer is the Rev. David Muench, Director of Ministerial Care for Concordia Plan Services and Chairman of the Ministerial Care Coalition.

 View video presentation      View archives

Video Course
Video Curriculum

LCMS Health Ministry offers a basic course, “Introduction to Parish Nursing,” available through distance learning, and it includes online videos, print materials and mentoring.

 Learn more      View videos

What is Congregational Health Ministry?
What is Congregational Health Ministry?

Health Ministry helps congregations care for one another by attaining, maintaining and/or regaining the best possible whole person health—wellness of body, mind and spirit—that can be experienced.

This is done with help from health professionals and other interested lay members. These congregational members form a health ministry committee or cabinet. In this way, they combine their knowledge and experience with their willingness to serve, support the pastor as he cares for the spiritual health of the congregation, and then respond to the unique health needs of the congregation and the community.

The role of a health minister may include:

  • Health counselor
  • Referral source
  • Facilitator
  • Integrator of health and healing
  • Advocate
Whatever activities are needed in the congregation, the health minister facilitates the use of available resources in the congregation and the community (rather than providing directly "hands on" health care services).  A thread that runs through the health minister's job is that he/she does not duplicate other available nursing or medical services, but seeks to creatively bridge the gaps identified in the health education and care delivery system.
What is Parish Nursing?
What is Parish Nursing?

The parish nurse is a registered nurse who is committed to — and, on a broad level, is an integral part of — this concept of health ministries.  He/she works with the members of the health ministry committee or health cabinet, helping and enabling people of the congregation and the community attain, maintain and/or regain optimal health.

Parish nursing is a unique blending of professional nursing and spiritual caregiving.  We recommend that the parish nurse attend a special preparation program for parish nursing. Opportunities for basic preparation and continuing education are available within the LCMS. You might consider the following sources of Lutheran parish nurse preparation:

  • Concordia University, Nebraska: 402-643-3651
  • Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon: 262-243-4233

For additional listings and program information, contact:

  • Health Ministries Association: 800-280-9919
  • International Parish Nurse Resource Center: 901-261-8833
VIDEO: What IS Parish Nursing and How Can it Serve Your Congregation? (45 minutes)
Watch this 45-minute webinar about the ins and outs of parish nursing and learn how (and why!) to get this ministry started in your congregation.
Resources & Educational Options
Resources & Educational Options

“Missionaries Without Passports” webinar on June 15, 2015 — Led by Rita Nickel, Executive Director of Lutherans in Medical Mission

Watch webinar

Health Ministry & Parish Nursing Resources

Learn more

Parish Nursing Educational Options

Learn more

Contact us:

For general information, please write to Health Ministry.


Marcia Schnorr & Karen Hardecopf, Coordinators for Parish Nursing, The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

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