FAQs — Recognized Service Organizations



What is a Recognized Service Organization (RSO)?

A 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that is independent of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) but whose operations foster the mission and ministry of the church, whose program activities are in harmony with the Synod, and who agrees to respect and not act contrary to the doctrine and practice of the Synod. Such organizations that meet this criteria have applied for and have been granted status as an RSO.

Return to menu


What are the benefits of becoming an RSO?

There are a number of benefits for the applying organization. For example, an RSO has the ability to call ordained and commissioned ministers on the LCMS roster, use the LCMS logo, and obtain loans through the Lutheran Church Extension Fund.

Return to menu


Who may apply to become an RSO?

RSO status may be granted to independently incorporated 501(c)(3) organizations for a period of five years. After five years, organizations must re-apply to retain their status.

Return to menu


How can my organization apply to become an RSO?

Begin by browsing the application packet to learn more about becoming an RSO. To submit an application, complete and return the appropriate forms (listed under “Forms to Complete”) along with the requested information listed on the “Checklist of Required Documents” to:

Office of the Secretary
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis, MO  63122

Return to menu


Join us on the journey

Vision and Mission

Making Disciples for Life Resource Center

Making Disciples for Life

Making Disciples for Life Resource Center

Church Work Recruitment Initiative

Making Disciples for Life Resource Center

Contact Us

  Email us

  Church Info Center: 888-843-5267
  Staff Switchboard: 800-248-1930
  Donor Care Line: 888-930-4438

 1333 S. Kirkwood Road, St. Louis, MO 63122-7226





Employment   |   For the Media   |   Site Map   |   Privacy   |   Social Media Directory   |   Social Media Guidelines

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.

Our Tax Identification Number: 43-0658188

View Donor Transparency Resources



Guide Star Logo BBB Logo





© 2003 – 2010   The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod. All Rights Reserved.