FAQs — Recognized Service Organizations



What is a Recognized Service Organization (RSO)?

A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that is independent of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) but whose operations foster the mission and ministry of the church, whose program activities are in harmony with the Synod, and who agrees to respect and not act contrary to the doctrine and practice of the Synod. Such organizations that meet this criteria have applied for and have been granted status as an RSO.

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What are the benefits of becoming an RSO?

There are a number of benefits for the applying organization. For example, an RSO has the ability to call ordained and commissioned ministers on the LCMS roster, use the LCMS logo, and obtain loans through the Lutheran Church Extension Fund.

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Who may apply to become an RSO?

RSO status may be granted to independently incorporated 501(c)(3) organizations for a period of five years. After five years, organizations must re-apply to retain their status.

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How can my organization apply to become an RSO?

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

Office of the Secretary
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis, MO  63122

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