Date Founded: 1987
Membership/Number of Clergy: 4,274,855/17,258 as of 2010. The largest Lutheran denomination.
Headquarters: 8765 Higgins Rd., Chicago, IL 60631
Schools & Seminaries:
Publications: The Lutheran
Social Media: Facebook, Twitter
Core Beliefs: "Lutheran Christians believe that the story of God’s steadfast love and mercy in Jesus is the heart and center of what the Scriptures have to say." "The Book of Concord includes seven writings composed by Luther and others. Lutheran churches around the world have affirmed these writings, and the ELCA affirms them in its governing documents. Lutherans most often use them in teaching — for example, when the Small Catechism is used in basic Christian instruction, or when the Augsburg Confession is used to teach women and men preparing for ministry."
Short History: Formed by the merger of three Lutheran denominations, themselves the results of various mergers over the years, the ELCA traces its roots back to early Dutch settlers in what is now New York City. Other waves of German, Scandinavian, and Dutch immigrants brought different strains of Lutheran practice to America. The church is divided into 65 Synods that are grouped into 9 regions.
Local Churches: St. John Lutheran Church, 901 Breckinridge Lane, Louisville, KY 40207 is the closest to campus. There is a congregation finder at http://www.elca.org/tools/FindACongregation, but it was not working at the time of this writing.