Imagery of church-related people and places.

ELM’s Work At a Glance

Freed and compelled by the Gospel of Jesus Christ to proclaim God’s love and seek justice for all, Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries envisions a church where all may serve God according to their callings.

Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries affirms and supports LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders and those preparing for rostered leadership while engaging allied congregations and ministries to proclaim God’s love and seek justice for all.

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 LGBTQ rostered leaders, candidates, and seminarians.

We  support a professional network for publicly identified LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ people in Lutheran candidacy.

This program provides support and advocacy for LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ 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 LGBTQ leaders, while celebrating and highlighting extraordinary congregations and ministries impacted by the ministry of LGBTQ leaders.


Our 2013 – 2015 Strategic Goals

1.         Expand our role as a leader in extraordinary and innovative ministries.

2.         Identify 90 congregations open to calling rostered leaders in Proclaim.

3.         Identify and/or create at least 12 viable internship sites that would make excellent settings for LGBTQ candidates.

4.         Distribute candidacy resources to every synodical candidacy committee.

5.         Increase our intercultural competency and our capacity to raise up ministry candidates connected with underrepresented communities.

6.         Proclaim members will be actively engaged in planned strategies geared toward creating a church where all may serve according to their callings.

7.         Develop new relationships with key leaders whose work directly impacts ELM’s constituencies.

8.         Become an organization that meets widely accepted benchmarks for nonprofit excellence.

9.         Expand organizational capacity through increased giving from existing and new supporters.