The growing list of Lutheran churches ordaining women

16 Jun

In 2012, we first posted the incomplete list of Lutheran Churches which ordain women. We have now updated the list but it is still a long way from being complete. Can you help us?


1926 The Netherlands – Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Nederland ordains female priests
1927 Evangelical (Lutheran) Church in Germany accepts Pfarrhelferinnen (Assistants to Priests), 1930s woman Vicars. In Eastern part of  Germany women took over more and more as actual priests during WW2, and remained so after  the war.
1930(estimation) Germany – Evangelical-Lutheran Church of Hanover
1960 Women priests in West Germany and 1978 total equality with male priests.
Before 1938 Lutheran Church in Austria Vicars
1948 Denmark – Evangelical Lutheran Church of Denmark
1948 The Lutherans in Schlesia
1951 Slovakia — The Evangelical Lutheran Church of the Augsburg Confession
1960 Sweden – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Sweden
1961 Norway – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Norway
1964 Belgium – Evangelical Lutheran Church in Belgium
1970’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
1974 Evangelical Lutheran Church in Iceland
1986/88 Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland
1988 Indonesian Lutheran Church
2000 The Church of Pakistan ordained its first women deacons. It is a united church which dates back to the 1970 local merger of Anglicans, Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and other Protestants
2000 USA (South Carolina) – ordained women at its inception
2001 Ethiopia – Ethiopian Lutheran Church ordains women
2002 Central African Republic
2004 Taiwan – Lutheran Church of Taiwan ordains first women pastors
2005 Zambia – Zambian Lutheran Church ordains first female pastors.
2006 Norway – Evangelical Free Church of Norway (a nationwide Lutheran Church) ordains its first female pastors.
2008 – The Bolivian Evangelical Lutheran Church.  15 out of the 16 LWF member churches in the Latin American and Caribbean region now ordain women – dates yet to be determined
2009 Mexican Lutheran Church
2009 Cameroon Lutheran Church.
2011 The South Andhra Lutheran Church (SALC) in India ordained its first women pastors on 12 January
2012 Cameroon – Evangelical Lutheran Church ordains first women ministers.
2014 Lutheran Church in Chile ordains its first woman pastor. Link Link2

It is our understanding that in 2000 over 90 Lutheran Churches worldwide ordained women.  We are waiting confirmation of details.

Women Bishops (some of them)
1993 Church of Norway – First woman bishop Link
1997 Church of Sweden – Christina Odenberg
2001 Evangelical Church of Bremen – Margot Käßmann
2003: The Lutheran Evangelical Protestant Church (GCEPC) USA — Nancy K. Drew
2007: Evangelical Lutheran Church in CanadaSusan Johnson
2009 Great Britain – First woman bishop of Lutheran Church of Great Britain is consecrated
2009: Evangelical Church in Central GermanyIlse Junkermann
2010: Evangelical Lutheran Church of FinlandIrja Askola
2011 Hong Kong – Jenny Chan installed as Bishop of Lutheran Church of Hong Kong
2011: North Elbian Evangelical Lutheran ChurchKirsten Fehrs
2011: Evangelical Church of WestphaliaAnnette Kurschus, titled praeses
2012: Church of IcelandAgnes M. Sigurðardóttir. Link1  Link2 (in language)
2012: Church of DenmarkTine Lindhardt
2012 ELCA Alaska Synod installs first woman bishop
2013: Evangelical Lutheran Church of AmericaElizabeth Eaton


Posted by on June 16, 2014 in sociology, theology


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4 responses to “The growing list of Lutheran churches ordaining women

  1. John Miller

    June 17, 2014 at 10:22 am

    Hmmmm, Not sure why you’d bother. If you’re living in a pluralist society and an organisation you belong to doesn’t accept the fundamentals of plurality – democracy, equality of opportunity, justice, fairness, tolerance, reason, respect for diversity, inclusion … then leave.

    I’m still waiting for someone to demand that the General Church Council call this year’s AGM as required by the SA Associations Act under which the LCA is incorporated. This move will have the backing of the Supreme Court of South Australia.

    The LCA just doesn’t believe that someone out there has the guts to demand that it LCA observes the law under which it is incorporated. This is in contravention of the Seventh Commandment. The LCA hierarchy is stealing from it’s members their right to be heard and their wishes to be incorporated into its statutes.

    Men, women and congregations who are being denied the opportunity to speak up for and vote on the abolition of misogyny within the LCA, have two options: to keep their wallets closed (at least until their voice is heard) or vote with their feet.

    • Katie and Martin

      June 17, 2014 at 9:42 pm

      You’ll probably find that the requirements of the AGM have been given over to the General Church Council. Rightly or wrongly.

    • John Miller

      March 17, 2015 at 10:14 pm

      Oops, not the 7th, the 8th.

  2. John Miller

    June 19, 2014 at 3:03 pm

    You may be right, but it’s worth testing these two aspects of the legislation:

    Division 3—Annual general meeting
    39—Annual general meeting
    (1) Subject to this section, a prescribed association must hold an annual general meeting within five months after the end of the financial year of the association.
    (2) A prescribed association may hold its first annual general meeting at any time within the period of 18 months after its incorporation.
    (4) The Commission may, on the written application of a prescribed association, or on its own motion, exempt an association from the obligation to comply with a requirement of this section.
    (5) An exemption under subsection (4) may be granted upon such conditions as the Commission thinks fit and may, at any time, by instrument in writing, be varied or revoked by the Commission.
    (6) This section does not apply to an incorporated association where the rules of the association do not provide for the membership of the association.

    Member congregations need to find out if the LCA has been granted an exemption under clause (4). If an exemption has been granted member congregations need to know why, when and on whose authorization.


    (6) The committee of a prescribed association that has members must cause—

    (a) the audited accounts including the statement prepared in accordance with subsection (2)(c); and

    (b) the auditor’s report on those accounts; and

    (c) the report of the committee prepared in accordance with subsection (5), to be laid before the members of the association at the annual general meeting of the association or, if an annual general meeting is not to be held, within five months of the end of the financial year to which the accounts relate.


    Full details of the Act can be found on this link:

    Click to access 1985.30.UN.PDF

    As the Royal Commission into Institutional Child Abuse is finding out, religious organisations in Australia have an aversion to the proper due process, openness and accountability to their members. The Catholic Church has no members, requires no membership fee and is run as a theocracy. The salaried employees are not accountable to the people who sit in the pews and fill the plate with their voluntary donations. And when theocrats are in charge they run amok – in this case causing grievous bodily harm.

    Georgie Porgy has run away. What a spineless, devious character.

    Compared to a bad bunch, the LCA doesn’t look too bad. But until the democratic process has been tidied up and the Blaess-Hebart misogyny statement expunged from its books, its reputation is still tarnished.


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