Parish Nursing

Encouraging Christ-centered wellness for church workers and laity

LCMS 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.

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  • 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.

Video Lecture Series

Parish Nurse Video Lecture Series

The Parish Nurse Video Lecture titled “Exercise in the Congregation” is presented by LCMS parish nurses Ronda Anderson and Janet Hitzeman.

 View video

 View archives

What is Congregational Health Ministry?

LCMS 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?

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 Wisconsin, Mequon: Learn more or call 262-243-4233

For additional listings and program information, contact:

  • Health Ministries Association: 800-280-9919
  • Westberg Institute: 901-261-8833

LCMS supports parish nursing


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 email Health Ministry.

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The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Inc., including Mission Central (in Mapleton, Iowa), is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.

A contribution designated (restricted) for a specific purpose, when accepted, will be used only to fund expenses related to that purpose. Occasionally, we may receive more in contributions for a particular purpose than can be wisely applied to it in the foreseeable future or the purpose may cease to be feasible. In these situations, the LCMS will make reasonable attempts to contact contributors to apply their contribution toward another aspect of ministry that aligns closely the contributor’s goals and values. If a contributor cannot be contacted, the LCMS will use the gift to meet a similar pressing need that most closely matches the contributor's original intent.

Consistent with Synod Board policy and in recognition of a more challenging economic and philanthropic/fundraising environment due to inflationary pressure, not more than 12.5 percent of any charitable contribution will be allocated to administering gifts and communicating with contributors. Contributions received and accepted by the LCMS are deemed to be in agreement with this statement.

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