Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries anticipates a church in which queer leadership is valued, empowered, and celebrated: queer-led ministries are dynamic and thriving; all marginalized communities are liberated and honored, and justice flows from the sacraments as they overwhelm us and bring us to life.

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries organizes queer seminarians and rostered ministers, confronts barriers and systemic oppression, and activates queer ideas and movements within the Lutheran Church.

For a richer understanding of our history and vision, please read the Rev. Erik Christensen’s forward to Joel Workin’s book here.


Proclaim – a professional community for publicly identified LGBTQIA+ rostered leaders, candidates, and seminarians.

We support a professional network for publicly identified LGBTQIA+ rostered leaders, candidates, and seminarians from multiple Lutheran rosters committed to raising the visibility of extraordinary leaders and ending discrimination towards people for reasons of sexual orientation and gender identity.  The Proclaim community gathers annually for learning and renewal and connects throughout the year for networking and mutual support.

Proclaim is uniquely positioned to help the Lutheran church and society become more welcoming and inclusive of church leaders of diverse sexual orientations and gender identities. Proclaim is open to rostered leaders or those preparing for rostered ministry from multiple Lutheran rosters (for example, ELCA, ELCIC, LCMS, ELM).

Interested in knowing more about the roots of ELM and Proclaim? Read this interview on the history of ELM and how Proclaim became a program of ELM.

Candidacy Accompaniment  – Grassroots, candidate-driven accompaniment for LGBTQIA+ people in Lutheran candidacy.

This program provides support and advocacy for LGBTQIA+ persons in the Lutheran candidacy process through direct work with candidates, and relationship and resource development for synods, seminaries, candidacy committees, and other church leaders.  Resources for LGBTQIA+ candidates may include written resources practice teams, chaplain support, feedback on candidacy forms, and advocacy as needed when candidates are experiencing barriers to candidacy based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  This team created and shared a comprehensive resource for candidacy committees as they work with LGBTQIA+ candidates. Resources for candidates and candidacy committees are found on our Resource Page.  

ELM no longer offers extraordinary candidacy, rather we accompany those in other Lutheran candidacy processes.

Ministry Engagement  engaging extraordinary congregations and ministries.

This program supports engagement with congregations and ministries throughout the Lutheran church.   We seek to support and create more calls for gifted LGBTQIA+ leaders while celebrating and highlighting extraordinary congregations and ministries impacted by the ministry of LGBTQIA+ leaders.

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries Explicit Practices

We respond boldly to God’s love and call to justice in these ways:

  • We listen deeply.
  • We publicly claim our identities.
  • We work collaboratively.
  • We act transparently.
  • We ask, “Who is not here?”
  • We speak truthfully, even when it’s hard.
  • We laugh together.