Health Ministry

Parish Nurse Education

Encouraging Christ-centered wellness for church workers and laity

What is Parish Nursing?

The parish nurse is a registered nurse who is committed to — and, on a broad level, is an integral part of — the concept of LCMS Health Ministry. He/she works with the members of the health ministry committee or health cabinet, helping and enabling people of the congregation and the community attain, maintain and/or regain optimal health.

Parish nursing is a unique blending of professional nursing and spiritual caregiving. We recommend the parish nurse attend a special preparation program for parish nursing.

Opportunities for basic preparation and continuing education are available within The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. You might consider the following sources of Lutheran parish nurse preparation:


Lutheran Parish Nurse Education


Alternative and Distance Educational Opportunities

Scope and Standards of Practice for Faith Community Nurses 2nd ed. (2012) identifies specialized education as a prime requisite for anyone who practices as a parish nurse. This education can vary in depth, but there are minimal standards.

Health Ministry recommends parish nurses within the Synod complete a parish nurse course that includes theology taught by an LCMS clergy as minimal preparation.

Contact the LCMS Church Information Center for information on opportunities for parish nurse education and/or for international inquiries about Lutheran Parish Nurse Training.

Contact us


Portfolio Review

Portfolio Review is possible for persons who have completed a self-directed study with experience as a parish nurse but have not completed a formal educational program. Persons desiring a portfolio review must complete an application and interview prior to initiating the review process.

Upon successful completion of the portfolio review, the parish nurse will receive a Certificate of Completion, a parish nurse pin and listing in the LCMS Directory of Parish Nurses.

Download portfolio review information sheet


Special topic videos

Special topic videos will continue to be added to the listing of educational offerings through LCMS Health Ministry. These videos will come with a study guide and can be used either individually or in small group settings.

The person desiring a Certificate of Completion for any of the topical studies will be asked to submit a request with a reflection paper as described on the study guide.

View video series

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The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod Inc., including Mission Central (in Mapleton, Iowa), is an IRS registered 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charity.

A contribution designated (restricted) for a specific purpose when accepted, will be used only to fund expenses related to that purpose. Occasionally, we may receive more in contributions for a particular purpose than can be wisely applied to it in the foreseeable future or the purpose may cease to be feasible. In these situations, the LCMS will make reasonable attempts to contact contributors to apply their contribution differently. If a contributor cannot be contacted, the LCMS will use the gift to meet a similar pressing need that most closely matches the contributor's original intent. Consistent with Synod Board policy, no more than 13.5 percent of a charitable contribution may be allocated to administering gifts and communicating with contributors. Contributions received and accepted by the LCMS are deemed to be in agreement with this statement.

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