Privacy Policy

Last modified: March 3, 2016


The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (“ELCA”) respects your privacy and is committed to protecting it through our compliance with this policy.

This policy describes the types of information we may collect from you or that you may provide when you visit, all websites,,,, and the content, features, and functionality of these websites (collectively, “Website”) and our practices for collecting, using, maintaining, protecting and disclosing that information.

This policy applies to information we collect:

  • On this Website;
  • In e-mail, text, and other electronic communications between you and this Website; or
  • Otherwise through this Website.

It does not apply to information collected by:

  • the ELCA offline or through any other means, including on any other website operated by any third party; or
  • any third party, including through any application or content (including advertising) that may link to or be accessible from or on the Website.

Please read this policy carefully to understand our policies and practices regarding your information and how we will treat it. If you do not agree with our policies and practices, your choice is not to use our Website. By accessing or using this Website, you agree to this privacy policy. This policy may change from time to time (see Changes to our Privacy Policy). Your continued use of this Website after we make changes is deemed to be acceptance of those changes, so please check the policy periodically for updates.

Children Under the Age of 13

Our Website is not intended for children under 13 years of age. No one under age 13 may provide any information to or on the Website. We do not knowingly collect personal information from children under 13. If you are under 13, do not use or provide any information on this Website or on or through any of its features, register on the Website, make any purchases through the Website, use any of the interactive or public comment features of this Website or provide any information about yourself to us, including your name, address, telephone number, e-mail address or any screen name or user name you may use. If we learn we have collected or received personal information from a child under 13 without verification of parental consent, we will delete that information. If you believe we might have any information from or about a child under 13, please Contact Us.

Information We Collect About You and How We Collect It.

We collect several types of information from and about users of our Website, including information:

  • by which you may be personally identified, such as name, postal address, e-mail address, telephone number, birthdate, social security number, screen name or other identifier, or ANY OTHER INFORMATION THE WEBSITE COLLECTS THAT IS DEFINED AS PERSONAL OR PERSONALLY IDENTIFIABLE INFORMATION UNDER AN APPLICABLE LAW ("personal information");
  • that is about you but individually does not identify you, such as employment history, educational history, or personal statements; and/or
  • about your internet connection, the equipment you use to access our Website, and usage details.

We collect this information:

  • Directly from you when you provide it to us;
  • Automatically as you navigate through the site. Information collected automatically may include usage details, IP addresses and information collected through cookies, web beacons, and other tracking technologies; and/or
  • From third parties, for example, our business partners.

Information You Provide To Us

The information we collect on or through our Website may include:

  • Information that you provide by filling in forms on our Website. This includes information provided at the time of purchasing materials, making donations, posting materials, submitting employment applications, submitting mobility papers, or signing up for events, notifications, or to receive further information. We may also ask you for information when you report a problem with our Website.
  • Records and copies of your correspondence (including e-mail addresses), if you contact us.
  • Your responses to surveys that we might ask you to complete for research purposes.
  • Details of transactions you carry out through our Website and of the fulfillment of your orders or completion of donations. You may be required to provide financial information before placing an order or making a donation through our Website.
  • Your search queries on the Website.
  • Your login information for any portions of the Website that require it.

You also may provide information to be published or displayed (hereinafter, "posted") on public areas of the Website, or transmitted to other users of the Website or third parties (collectively, "User Contributions"). Your User Contributions are posted on and transmitted to others at your own risk. Although we limit access to certain pages, please be aware that no security measures are perfect or impenetrable. Additionally, we cannot control the actions of other users of the Website with whom you may choose to share your User Contributions. Therefore, we cannot and do not guarantee that your User Contributions will not be viewed by unauthorized persons.

Information We Collect Through Automated Data Collection Technologies

As you navigate through and interact with our Website, we may use automatic data collection technologies to collect certain information about your equipment, browsing actions, and patterns, including:

  • Details of your visits to our Website, including traffic data, location data, logs and other communication data, and the resources that you access and use on the Website.
  • Information about your computer and internet connection, including your IP address, operating system, and browser type.

We also may use these technologies to collect information about your online activities over time and across third-party websites or other online services (behavioral tracking). Click here ( for information on how you can opt out of behavioral tracking on this website. Click here ( for additional information on behavioral tracking.

The information we collect automatically is statistical data and we may maintain or associate the data with personal information we collect in other ways or receive from third parties. It helps us to improve our Website and to deliver a better and more personalized service, including by enabling us to:

  • Estimate our audience size and usage patterns;
  • Store information about your preferences, allowing us to customize our Website according to your individual interests;
  • Speed up your searches; and/or
  • Recognize you when you return to our Website.

The technologies we use for this automatic data collection may include:

  • Cookies (or browser cookies). A cookie is a small file placed on the hard drive of your computer. You may refuse to accept browser cookies by activating the appropriate setting on your browser. However, if you select this setting you may be unable to access certain parts of our Website. Unless you have adjusted your browser setting so that it will refuse cookies, our system will issue cookies when you direct your browser to our Website.
  • Flash Cookies. Certain features of our Website may use local stored objects (or Flash cookies) to collect and store information about your preferences and navigation to, from and on our Website. Flash cookies are not managed by the same browser settings as are used for browser cookies. For information about managing your privacy and security settings for Flash cookies, see Choices about How We Use and Disclose Your Information.
  • Web Beacons. Pages of our the Website and our e-mails may contain small electronic files known as web beacons (also referred to as clear gifs. pixel tags and single-pixel gifs) that permit the Company, for example, to count users who have visited those pages or opened an e-mail and for other related website statistics (for example, recording the popularity of certain website content and verifying system and server integrity).

We do not collect personal information automatically, but we may tie this information to personal information about you that we collect from other sources or you provide to us.

Third Party Use of Cookies and Other Tracking Technologies

Some content or applications, including advertisements, on the Website are served by third parties, including advertisers, ad networks and servers, content providers and application providers. These third parties may use cookies, either alone or in conjunction with web beacons or other tracking technologies, to collect information about you when you use our website. The information they collect may be associated with your personal information or they may collect information, including personal information, about your online activities over time and across different websites and other online services. They may use this information to provide you with interest-based (behavioral) advertising or other targeted content.

We do not control these third parties' tracking technologies or how they may be used. If you have any questions about an advertisement or other targeted content, you should contact the responsible provider directly. For information about how you can opt out of receiving targeted advertising from many providers, see Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information.

How We Use Your Information

We may use information that we collect about you or that you provide to us, including any personal information:

  • To present our Website and its contents to you;
  • To provide you with information, products, or services that you request from us;
  • To allow you to register for events and programs;
  • To fulfill any other purpose for which you provide it;
  • To enable you to make donations and for us to acknowledge them;
  • To carry out our obligations and enforce our rights arising from any contracts entered into between you and us, including for billing and collection;
  • To notify you about changes to our Website or any products or services we offer or provide though it;
  • To allow you to participate in interactive features on our Website;
  • To allow you to participate in the mobility process;
  • To allow you to apply for employment;
  • In any other way we may describe when you provide the information; and
  • For any other purpose with your consent.

We may also use your information to contact you about goods, services, events, and ministries that may be of interest to you. If you do not want us to use your information in this way, if the form on which you are submitting the information has a box allowing you to opt out of this use of the information, please check that box. If the form does not have such a box, e-mail us at  For more information, see Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information.

We may use the information we collect from you to enable us to display advertisements to our advertisers' target audiences. Even though we do not disclose your personal information for these purposes without your consent, if you click on or otherwise interact with an advertisement, the advertiser may assume that you meet its target criteria.

Disclosure of Your Information

We may disclose aggregated information about our users, and information that does not identify any individual, without restriction.

We may disclose personal information that we collect or you provide as described in this privacy policy:

  • To our affiliates and affiliated Lutheran organizations;
  • To contractors, service providers, and other third parties we use to support our mission and who are bound by contractual obligations to keep personal information confidential and use it only for the purposes for which we disclose it to them;
  • To a successor in the event of a merger, divestiture, restructuring, reorganization, dissolution or other sale or transfer of some or all of the ELCA's assets, whether as a going concern or as part of bankruptcy, liquidation or similar proceeding, in which personal information held by the ELCA about our Website users is among the assets transferred.
  • To fulfill the purpose for which you provide it. For example, if you provide information as part of the mobility process, we will transmit that information to synods in which you are interested in serving.
  • For any other purpose disclosed by us when you provide the information.
  • With your consent.

We may also disclose your personal information:

  • To comply with any court order, law, or legal process, including responding to any government or regulatory request.
  • To enforce or apply our terms of use or terms of any agreement you enter into with us, and other agreements, including for billing and collection purposes.
  • If we believe disclosure is necessary or appropriate to protect the rights, property, or safety of the ELCA, its employees, or others. This includes exchanging information with other companies and organizations for the purposes of fraud protection and credit risk reduction.

Choices About How We Use and Disclose Your Information

We strive to provide you with choices regarding the personal information you provide to us. We have created mechanisms to provide you with the following control over your information:

  • Tracking Technologies and Advertising. You can set your browser to refuse all or some browser cookies, or to alert you when cookies are being sent. To learn how you can manage your Flash cookie settings, visit the Flash player settings page on Adobe's website. If you disable or refuse cookies, please note that some parts of this site may then be inaccessible or not function properly.
  • Promotional Offers from the ELCA. If you do not wish to have your e-mail address or other contact information used by the ELCA to promote products, services, events, or ministry opportunities, you can opt-out by checking the relevant box located on the form on which we collect your data (if there is such a box), by logging into the Website and adjusting your user preferences in your account profile (if you have an account profile with user preferences) or by sending us an e-mail stating your request to If we send you a promotional e-mail, you may send us a return e-mail asking to be omitted from future e-mail distributions.
  • Targeted Advertising. If you do not want us to use information that we collect or that you provide to us to deliver advertisements according to our advertisers' target-audience preferences, you can opt-out by checking the relevant box located on the form on which we collect your data (if there is such a box), by logging into the Website and adjusting your user preferences in your account profile (if you have an account profile with user preferences) or by sending us an e-mail stating your request to For this opt-out to function, you must have your browser set to accept browser cookies.

We do not control third parties' collection or use of your information to serve interest-based advertising. However these third parties may provide you with ways to choose not to have your information collected or used in this way. You can opt out of receiving targeted ads from members of the Network Advertising Initiative ("NAI") on the NAI's website (

Accessing and Correcting Your Information

You may send us an e-mail at to request access to, correct or delete any personal information that you have provided to us. If you have a user account, we cannot delete your personal information associated with that account except by also deleting that user account. We may not accommodate a request to change information if we believe the change would violate any law or legal requirement or cause the information to be incorrect.

If you delete your User Contributions from the Website, copies of your User Contributions may remain viewable in cached and archived pages, or might have been copied or stored by other Website users. Proper access and use of information provided on the Website, including User Contributions, is governed by our terms of use.

Your California Privacy Rights

California Civil Code Section § 1798.83 permits users of our Website that are California residents to request certain information regarding our disclosure of personal information to third parties for their direct marketing purposes. To make such a request, please send an e-mail to or write us at: ELCA Churchwide Ministries, 8765 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631.

Data Security

We have implemented measures designed to secure your personal information from accidental loss and from unauthorized access, use, alteration and disclosure.

The safety and security of your information also depends on you. Where we have given you (or where you have chosen) a password for access to certain parts of our Website, you are responsible for keeping this password confidential. We ask you not to share your password with anyone. We urge you to be careful about giving out information in public areas of the Website like message boards. The information you share in public areas may be viewed by any user of the Website.

Unfortunately, the transmission of information via the internet is not completely secure. Although we do our best to protect your personal information, we cannot guarantee the security of your personal information transmitted to our Website. Any transmission of personal information is at your own risk. We are not responsible for circumvention of any privacy settings or security measures contained on the Website.

Changes to Our Privacy Policy

It is our policy to post any changes we make to our privacy policy on this page with a notice that the privacy policy has been updated on the Website home page. If we make material changes to how we treat our users' personal information, we will notify you through a notice on the Website home page. The date the privacy policy was last revised is identified at the top of the page. You are responsible for periodically visiting our Website and this privacy policy to check for any changes.

Contact Information

To ask questions or comment about this privacy policy and our privacy practices, contact us at:

ELCA Churchwide Ministries, 8765 W. Higgins Road, Chicago, IL 60631

or via our toll-free number: