Church Council

The Church Council of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is both the board of directors of a Minnesota nonprofit corporation and the interim legislative authority of the churchwide organization, one of the three “expressions” of a denomination with deep roots in the U.S. In fulfilling its dual constitutional roles, the Church Council exercises fiduciary, strategic, and generative responsibilities to govern the ELCA churchwide organization.

The voting members of the Church Council are the four officers, the chair of the Conference of Bishops and 32–45 individuals elected by the Churchwide Assembly. There also are nine liaison synod bishops, one from each region, who serve as advisory members with voice but not vote. The Church Council meets together at least twice a year and communicate by other means when necessary.

To enable and support the work of the ELCA in a way that is consistent with its vision, decision-making processes and constitution, the Church Council’s ongoing work includes:

  • Reviewing procedures and policies of the churchwide organization to assure that churchwide purposes, policies, and objectives are being fulfilled.
  • Acting on proposals, resolutions, and policies, subject to review by the Churchwide Assembly.
  • Shaping relationships between the churchwide organization and independent, cooperative, and related Lutheran organizations.
  • Submitting budget proposals to the Churchwide Assembly.
  • Arranging the processes for all elections as specified in the ELCA's constitution.
  • Establishing committees and nominating or electing members as necessary to carry out functions assigned to the Church Council.
  • Reporting its actions to the Churchwide Assembly.

The Church Council is a vital aspect of how we strive to do God’s work in the world with thoughtfulness, integrity, respect, and partnerships that share a common vision.