ELCA

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America was born from a union of three North American Lutheran church bodies: The American Lutheran Church, the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches and the Lutheran Church in America. The ELCA constituting convention was held in 1987.

The ELCA is made up of*:

Baptized Members: 3,668,034
Communing and Contributing Members: 2,256,700
Congregations: 9,320
Synods: 65 in nine geographic regions
Non-Caucasian Ethnic Groups:
• African-American/Black: 54,354
• American Indian/Alaska Native: 7,095
• Arab/Middle Eastern: 1,779
• Asian/Pacific Islander: 21,950
• Latino/Hispanic: 39,157
• Multiethnic: 12,261
• Other: 11,096

Leaders:

Clergy: 17,777 (25% Women)
Associates in Ministry: 966
Diaconal Ministers: 200
Deaconesses: 62
Ordained ministers actively serving in congregations: 86% women and 83% men
Missionaries: approx. 270 adult missionaries serving in over 48 countries, of which 79 are self-funded volunteers
Campus Pastors and Ministries: 185 campus ministry sites supported by synod and/or churchwide funds
Federal Chaplains: Approximately 706 (383 Retired Military, 96 Armed Forces Active Duty, 183 Reservists, 37 Veterans Affairs, 7 Federal Bureau of Prisons)
Chaplaincy, Pastoral Counseling and Clinical Education: Approximately 965 ecclesiastically endorsed ordained and lay rostered people serve in the areas such as general health care, correctional, substance abuse, long term care chaplaincy and clinical education ministry.

Institutions:

Theological Seminaries and Deaconess Community:

  • 8 Seminaries
  • 2 Seminary Extension Centers
  • 1 Deaconess Community

Schools:

  • 26 Colleges and Universities
  • 50+ Lifelong learning programs
  • 14 High Schools
  • 296 Elementary Schools
  • 1,573 Early Childhood Programs

Social Ministry Organizations:

  • 280 parent corporations, providing service to 6 million people in 3,000 communities (serving one in 50 Americans annually)
  • 145 Camps and Retreat Centers (serving 450,000 annually)

*All statistics as of 2015

ELCA.org links:

ELCA Web Site >>

ELCA Blogs >>

500 Years of Evangelical Reformation 1517-2017 >>

Presiding Bishop Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton >>

2013 Congregation Trend Report for St. Luke Lutheran Church >>