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Short profiles of Christian denominations in the U.S.

About the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

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: 

  • Augsburg College, Augustana College (Illinois), Augustana College (South Dakota), Bethany College, California Lutheran University, Capital University, Carthage College, Concordia College (Moorhead), Finlandia University, Gettysburg College, Grand View University, Gustavus Adolphus College, Lenoir-Rhyne University, Luther College, Midland University, Muhlenberg College, Newberry College, Pacific Lutheran University, Roanoke College, St. Olaf College, Susquehanna University, Texas Lutheran University, Thiel College, Wagner College, Wartburg College, Wittenberg University
  • Luther Seminary, Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg merging with Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia to form one institution, Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary, Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary, Trinity Lutheran Seminary, Wartburg Theological Seminary

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, but it was not working at the time of this writing.

ELCA Symbol

Evangelical Lutheran Church in America symbol