Lutherans actually do ordain women

As a Lutheran woman married to a Lutheran pastor, I read “Fourth-generation pastor finishes 43 years of service” (Aug. 3) with interest. I was surprised, however, to read on page A10 that “Lutherans don’t ordain women.”

Although the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod does not ordain women, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), the largest Lutheran denomination in the U.S., calls both women and men to serve as pastors.

The ELCA’s two predecessor bodies, the American Lutheran Church and the Lutheran Church in America, began ordaining women in 1970, almost 50 years ago. As of 2018, nearly one-third of ELCA clergy were women, and there are equal numbers of men and women studying in ELCA seminaries.

The Rev. Elizabeth A. Eaton has been our presiding bishop since 2013, and both ELCA congregations in Fredericksburg (Resurrection Lutheran and Christ Lutheran) have female senior pastors. For the record, the ELCA also welcomes LGBTQ pastors to serve its congregations. As the ELCA website ( puts it, “We...will challenge dynamics of power and privilege that create barriers to participation and equity...”

Martha Martin


Load comments