ELCA Facts

elca-logoIMG_5278_bb

As of December 31, 2013, there were 3,863,133 baptized members in the ELCA. There were 9,464 congregations organized in 65 synods in nine geographic regions.

The ELCA is a diverse church body, becoming more so every day. This church is committed to growing in diversity and strengthening its global, ecumenical and interfaith relationships around the world.

ELCA congregations are led by gifted men and women who have been called by God to serve their community. The ELCA calls both women and men to serve as pastors and lay rostered leaders. Here are some facts about ELCA leaders:

As of September 1, 2014, there were 17,777 leaders on the ELCA roster including 981 associates in ministry, 61 deaconesses, 192 diaconal ministers and 16,543 ordained clergy. In 2013, 24 percent of clergy on the ELCA roster were women. In the ELCA’s eight seminaries, the numbers of women and men preparing for ministry are about equal.

About 86 percent of ordained women and 83 percent of ordained men are actively serving in congregations.

The ELCA offers opportunities for Lutheran education at every level and considers education as an important part of our calling. We offer quality education at every level through our institutions. In addition to the eight ELCA seminaries and two seminary extension centers, there are 26 colleges and universities, 50 or more lifelong learning programs, 14 high schools, 296 elementary schools, 1,573 early childhood programs, 145 camp and retreat centers serving 450,000 annually.

The ELCA is committed to making the world a more just and peaceful place to live. Through programs, ministries and partnerships ELCA congregations, synods and the churchwide organization work every day to address inequities in political, economic and social systems and to end conflict and violence all over the world. We are a church that believes God is calling us into the world – together. This is Christ’s church. There is a place for you here.

500 Years of Evangelical Reformation

500 Years of Evangelical Reformation 1517-2017

When Martin Luther posted his “Ninety-five Theses” on the church door in Wittenberg in 1517, no one expected the breadth of evangelical reforms in Christian teaching and practice that followed. In every dimension of Christian faith a renewed trust in God’s forgiving mercy replaced a reliance on teachings and practices that, like the sale of indulgences, were vulnerable to abuse and corruption.

Preaching a few years later, Luther said, “I opposed indulgences … but never with force. I simply taught, preached, and wrote God’s Word; otherwise I did nothing. I did nothing; the Word did everything.” When he began to propose reforms in worship, he wrote similar words. “This is the sum of the matter: let everything be done so that the Word may have free course.”

Nearly 500 years later, the results of this evangelical confidence in God’s forgiving and liberating Word are evident today in Christian communities of all types. In the years leading to 2017 ELCA members, congregations and synods will observe the anniversary of this evangelical reformation in a variety of ways with numerous partners. – See more at: http://elca.org/News-and-Events/500-Years-of-the-Evangelical-Reformation#sthash.wlersNpJ.dpuf