About Us

We’re glad you want to know more about The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. Learn about our mission, beliefs, ministries, history and structure.

 

Our Mission Statement

In grateful response to God’s grace and empowered by the Holy Spirit through Word and Sacraments, the mission of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod is vigorously to make known the love of Christ by word and deed within our churches, communities and the world.

 

Seven Mission Priorities

  1. Plant, sustain, and revitalize Lutheran churches

  2. Support and expand theological education

  3. Perform human care in close proximity to Word and Sacrament ministries

  4. Collaborate with the Synod’s members and partners to enhance mission effectiveness

  5. Promote and nurture the spiritual, emotional, and physical well-being of pastors and professional church workers

  6. Enhance early childhood, elementary and secondary education, and youth ministry

  7. Strengthen and support the Lutheran family in living out God’s design

 

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) is a denomination that confesses the historic, orthodox Christian faith, a faith built on “the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Eph. 2:20).

The LCMS, headquartered in St. Louis, Mo., is mission-oriented and Bible-based. LCMS doctrine reflects the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther, as summarized in The Book of Concord: The Confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church.

 

The LCMS Today

Today, the LCMS has more than 2.3 million baptized members in more than 6,100 congregations and more than 9,000 pastors. Two seminaries and 10 colleges and universities operate under the auspices of the LCMS, and its congregations operate the largest Protestant parochial school system in America.

The church broadcasts the saving message of Jesus Christ over KFUO Radio, and it has relationships and active mission work in nearly 90 countries around the world.

In the last five years, the LCMS has awarded more than $35 million through more than 900 domestic and international grants for emergency response and disaster response.

Today, the LCMS is in full doctrinal fellowship with more than 35 other confessional Lutheran church bodies worldwide.

 

The Church’s Reach

The LCMS is known for mass-media outreach through “The Lutheran Hour,” broadcast around the world by Lutheran Hour Ministries (LHM); syndicated and streaming programming on KFUO Radio; “This Is The Life” dramas on television; and the products of Concordia Publishing House, the third-largest Protestant, church-owned publisher, whose Arch Books children’s series alone has sold more than 60 million copies.

The LCMS works with approximately 300 Recognized Service Organizations (RSOs) to extend its social ministry. The LCMS is also a founding partner of Lutheran Services in America, a social service organization that serves one in every 50 Americans.

In addition to national and international ministries based at the LCMS International Center in St. Louis, and those emanating from the Synod’s district offices and congregations, the church’s work also is fostered through its auxiliaries, the Lutheran Laymen’s League/LHM and Lutheran Women’s Missionary League

 

Leadership and Structure

The members’ responsibility for congregational leadership is a distinctive characteristic of the LCMS. Power is vested in voters’ assemblies, generally comprised of adults of voting age. The Synod is organized into 35 districts across the United States.

Synod decision-making is given to the delegates at triennial national and district conventions, where the franchise is equally divided between lay and pastoral representatives.


Our History

The LCMS was established in 1847 by Saxon and other German immigrants seeking the freedom to practice and follow confessional Lutheranism. Initial members included 12 pastors representing 14 congregations from Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, New York, Ohio and Wisconsin.

 Read history

 

Newsroom

Are you a member of the media? Visit our newsroom to get news releases and other resources.

 Visit newsroom

 

Take a Tour

Want to see where it all happens? The LCMS International Center in suburban St. Louis, Mo., is open for tours during business hours. See the chapel, study the artwork that graces the building and stroll through the Concordia Historical Institute Museum.

 Learn more

Join us on the journey

Lutherans Engage the World

Lutheran Engage the WorldEngaging the Church in the work of witness and mercy across the globe in our life together.

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The Lutheran Witness

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Concordia Publishing House

Concordia Publishing House