Lutherans/women ministers


What Lutheran Church ordains women to be pastors? I have gone to several Lutheran services and am really interested in finding out more about your church. I feel strongly that women should be equal in all ways, including the churches we attend.

Thank You,


Thank you for your question.  Of the three main Lutheran bodies in the US, the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS); the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS); and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), only the ELCA currently ordains women for Word and Sacrament ministry as pastors. For the past forty plus years (incorporating three predecessor bodies -- the ALC, LCA, and AELC -- that merged in 1987, we have enjoyed the diversity of gifts and strengths embraced by both male and female pastors, and have been the richer for the experience.  

Depending on where you live, there should be an ELCA congregation near you.

I hope that this is helpful.

Martin Eldred


All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Martin W. Eldred


I have been a Lutheran Christian for 55 years and a Lutheran pastor for almost 27. I can answer most general questions about Luther, Lutheran History, Lutheran Theology, and a Lutheran approach to Biblical Interpretation. I am ELCA, for those who know what that means, and I tend to be moderate theologically. I hope that I can converse with those that are either more conservative or liberal than I, and especially with those who are really just seeking.


Pastors are "generalists" and generally have a working knowledge on many subjects. We are also used to working with a variety of answers from a variety of people. I teach a great deal, especially in the area ofthe New Testament. I particulalry enjoy the Pauline literature.

I have been a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, an international gathering of biblical scholars and teachers, since the late 1980s.

I have written a few book reviews for the journal, "Lutheran Quarterly."

I have a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Religion (Biblical Studies)and a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary, and I am currently completing a PhD in New Testament.

©2016 All rights reserved.