RSO Application

Recognized Service Organizations   •   The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

A Recognized Service Organization (RSO) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization independent of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod that:

  • Maintains operations fostering the mission and ministry of the church
  • Provides program activities in harmony with the Synod
  • Agrees to respect and not act contrary to the doctrine and practice of the Synod

RSO status may be granted to qualifying organizations for a period of five years. After five years, organizations must re-apply to retain their status.

Begin by browsing the application packet below to learn more about becoming an RSO. To submit an application, complete and return the application forms (as listed under “Forms to Complete”) along with the requested information listed on the “Checklist of Required Documents.”


Application packet

Information to read

Forms to complete

You also may request a hard copy of the application packet by contacting the LCMS Office of the Secretary.

Join us on the journey

 Facebook   Twitter    Instagram    YouTube   Vimeo   LinkedIn

Mission and Vision

Seven Mission Priorities

The Lutheran Witness Magazine

Lutheran Witness February 2024

MDFL Resource Center

Making Disciples for Life - Resource Center

Million Dollar Life Match

Ready to expland your congrgation's pro-life ministry? Apply now for the Million Dollar Life Match.

Church Work Recruitment Initiative

Set Apart to Serve

Caring for Ukraine

Ukraine Support

Contact Us

  Email us

  Church Info Center: 888-843-5267
  Staff Switchboard: 800-248-1930
  Donor Care Line: 888-930-4438

 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7226


Guide Star Logo BBB Logo


Auxiliaries and Seminaries




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.

Donor Transparency Resources

Employment   |   For the Media   |   Site Map   |   Privacy   |   Social Media Guidelines    |   Social Media Directory


© 2003 – 2010   The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. All Rights Reserved.