Ukraine Refugee Grant Program

Office of National Mission  •   The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, millions of Ukrainian men, women and children have been forced to flee their homes. Many of these refugees have settled — at least temporarily — in other countries. Through the Uniting for Ukraine program, the United States government has created a pathway for some of these refugees to come to the U.S. on humanitarian parole, with the support of an American sponsor.

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) anticipates that Lutherans may be among those who want to show Christ’s love and mercy by participating in the Uniting for Ukraine program. Therefore, the Synod is offering a special grant program to aid LCMS congregations and Recognized Service Organizations in sponsoring a Ukrainian family’s transition to the U.S.

Learn More

Contact us

Questions should be directed to or by calling 314-996-1274.

Quick Facts

    • How to Host a Refugee:
      • The war in Ukraine has displaced over ten million people, including over four million children. Most refugees are now staying in other parts of Europe, but many have sought refuge in the U.S., often through sponsorship by friends or relatives. Many others would like to seek refuge here, so the U.S. government created the United for Ukraine sponsorship program.

      • Ukrainian refugees (individuals and families) currently are allowed to come to the U.S. on a temporary basis only, called “humanitarian parole.” This approval to enter the U.S. with the help of a sponsor is not a path to U.S. citizenship. Refugee sponsorship is like hosting an international exchange student, except the individual or entire family will have separate housing during their stay.

      • The underlying assumption of the program is that when the war ends, most refugees will want to return to their homes in Ukraine and help rebuild their country. The U.S. Customs and Immigration Service (USCIS) oversees the Uniting for Ukraine refugee sponsorship program.

      • Once refugees arrive in the U.S., they can apply for a two-year work authorization and social security card, which allows them to apply for jobs, set up a bank account, rent an apartment or house, etc. Until the work clearance is received, the sponsor (and sponsor’s organization) are expected to support the refugee(s) with financial and material assistance (food, clothing, housing, furnishings, transportation and referrals to services like English classes, resume writing, health care, school enrollment for children, etc.)

    • For Sponsors:
      • Sponsors and their organizations should be prepared to provide assistance for 3–6 months.

      • LCMS congregations or RSOs can apply for grant funds to assist with the cost of refugee sponsorship (see grant program details below). 

      • The congregation or RSO must designate one individual as the “official” sponsor of a specific refugee or family (the “beneficiary”). This individual will complete the USCIS paperwork. If you do not know a specific refugee contact, the website can connect you with interested refugees.

      • Both the Ukrainian beneficiary(s) and the sponsor must pass background checks. The sponsor will need to provide personal financial and employment information to prove they and their organization have the financial means to support the refugee(s) for up to two years if necessary. Depending on the situation when refugees left their homes in Ukraine, they may come with some financial resources, but it is best to plan to provide support until they begin working to generate their own income.

    • For More Information:
      • USCIS will provide authorization for the refugees to travel from an airport in Europe to an international airport in the U.S. The sponsor is expected to cover the airfare and other costs to transport the refugee (beneficiary) to their new home in the U.S.

      • Appropriate housing will be needed (apartment or rental house). Many refugees have moved from one temporary arrangement to another in their journey out of the country. They will look forward to having their “own space” to settle in, relax and have some privacy.

      • Details and application forms for Ukrainian refugee sponsorship are available on the site for Ukraine: 

      • Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about sponsorship are available here:  

      • Sponsorship Resources, including Fact Sheets, Checklists, Budget Templates, etc., are available here: 

Grant applicants

  • All member congregations and Recognized Service Organizations of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) within the United States are eligible.



  • Congregation Range: $1000 to $10,000
  • Recognized Service Organizations: $1,000 to $50,000


Grant agreements

The LCMS grant administration manager will send a grant agreement to every grant recipient. The recipient will accept the award by signing and returning the signature page.


Recipient reporting process

Grant reports will be due six months following the award of the grant. If the project is expected to run longer than six months, an interim six-month report will be due in addition to the final report.


Communication about grant recipients

As part of their grant report, grant recipients must agree to submit photos and impact stories on the project that may be shared publicly via LCMS communication platforms. The names of individuals will not be associated with the photos and stories unless a media release is on file with the LCMS.



LCMS Office of National Mission (ONM) will administer the program through LCMS Human Care and Ministerial Support.


 Begin your online application




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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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