Nominations and Elections

LCMS National Convention   •   July 29–Aug. 3, 2023   •   Milwaukee

Nomination and Election Processes

Process for Nominations

The Handbook (2016) describes the procedures for the Synod to follow for the entire nomination and election process, beginning with the election of the Committee for Convention Nominations (CCN) members.

This committee is charged with selecting candidates from the list of nominees gathered by the nomination process, from the submission of nominations for the various positions, to the selection of the candidates, and finally the election of individuals to these positions by the national LCMS convention.

The nomination process is not the same for all positions. The President, First Vice-President, and regional vice-presidents are handled differently from the process involving the Secretary, board and commission positions.

A significant change by the 2016 convention placed the regional LCMS Board of Directors, LCMS Board for National Mission and LCMS Board for International Mission positions under the responsibility of the CCN (Bylaw, and allowed for nominations to be received from inside and outside the region for which a position is open.

Nominations for the regional board positions will therefore be submitted on the same form as that used for the Secretary and board and commission positions.

The 2016 convention also amended Bylaw 3.12.1 to make residence the sole standard of region membership, eliminating reference to congregational membership. All nominees for a particular region must reside within the boundaries of the region for which they are nominated.

For more information, see 2016 Handbook, Bylaws 3.12, pp. 169–176.

Process for Regional Nominations

The purpose of positions requiring regional representation is to improve communications and coordination of functions throughout the Synod. Positions elected at convention that require regional representation are:

  • Regional Vice-Presidents (second through sixth)
  • Regional lay member of the LCMS Board of Directors
  • The members of the Boards for National and International Mission

The Synod divides itself into regions to accommodate regional nominations and elections. The Board of Directors of the Synod and the Council of Presidents, acting jointly, designated five geographic regions (2016 Handbook, Bylaw 3.12.1).

LCMS Regions & Districts Map

In 2016, Bylaw 3.12.1 was amended to make residence the sole standard of regional membership, eliminating reference to congregational membership. This affects regional elections at the Synod and district levels.

An individual must reside within the designated region to be eligible for nomination to that regional position (Bylaw[a] and[c]).

Note to all nominees:

In addition to the commitment of the necessary time and energy required for service, officers and members of boards and commissions agree to serve in accordance with the Constitution, Bylaws, doctrinal statements, and resolutions of the Synod. For more information regarding these positions and qualifications, refer to the Officer, Board, and Commissions document.

Here is the information from the 2016 Handbook on regulations regarding holding multiple offices.


No one, either in the Synod or a district, or between the Synod and a district, shall hold more than one elective office; or hold more than two offices, although one or both be appointive; or ever hold two offices of which one is directly responsible for the work done by the other.

(a) An office shall be regarded as elective only if it is an office filled through election by a national or a district convention, even though a vacancy in such an office may be filled by appointment.

(b) Doubtful cases shall be decided by the President of the Synod.


The 2016 Handbook also require disclosure of any Conflicts of Interest. If elected, you will be required to sign a “Conflict of Interest” statement form. Here is the information from the 2016 Handbook.

Bylaw 1.5.2:

Every board or commission member, officer, and all staff of corporate Synod and every agency of the Synod shall avoid conflicts of interest as described in this bylaw.

(a) Every agency shall implement the synodwide conflict-of-interest policy, and that policy shall be applicable to them and all staff operating under them. This policy shall include the following provisions:

(1) Every board or commission member shall disclose to the chairman of the agency and all staff shall disclose to the chief executive or executive director of the agency any potential conflicts of interest. Each chairman or chief executive or executive director shall disclose personal potential conflicts of interest to the appropriate board or commission.

(2) Such disclosures shall include board membership on, a substantial interest in, or employment of the individual or a relative by any organization doing business with corporate Synod or any of the agencies of the Synod.

(3) Every board or commission member, officer, and all staff of corporate Synod and every agency of the Synod who receives honoraria or payments for any sales or services rendered to corporate Synod or any of the agencies of the Synod shall disclose such information.

(4) All such disclosures shall be reported to the respective board or commission to determine by a vote of its remaining impartial members whether an inappropriate interest exists, and such vote shall be recorded in its official minutes. In the case of officers, all such disclosures shall be reported to the President of the Synod to determine whether an inappropriate interest exists.

(b) Responsibilities shall be carried out in a manner reflecting the highest degree of integrity and honesty consistent with the Scriptures, the Lutheran Confessions, the Constitution, Bylaws, and resolutions of the Synod, the policies of corporate Synod and the agencies of the Synod, and civil laws.

(1) Activities shall not be entered into which may be detrimental to the interests of the Synod. Any inappropriate activity shall cease or the position will be vacated.

(2) Information acquired in the course of carrying out duties of the Synod shall not knowingly be used in any way that would be detrimental to the welfare of the Synod.

(3) No one shall vote on any transaction in which the individual might receive a direct or indirect financial gain.

(4) The Board of Directors shall establish policy regarding the acceptance of gifts, entertainment, or favors from any individual or outside concern which does or is seeking to do business with corporate Synod or the agencies of the Synod.

(c) Individuals, prior to accepting elected, appointed, or staff positions, shall initially and annually thereafter sign statements stating that they have received, understand, and agree to abide by this bylaw and the Synod’s conflict of interest policy.

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