A Great Tool To Help You Understand the Formation Of Lutheran Synods In America!

September 27th, 2013 Post by

roseI attended the same Lutheran congregation for 20 years (CLBA), until I went off to college .  In college I began attending a small Association Free Lutheran Church.  Several years later I found myself serving a small country church for my field work experience in seminary.  This country church had its roots in the old United Norwegian Lutheran Church of America.  Now, I find myself leading the liturgy in the vicarage status at the LCMS church in my home town.

Why do I share this with you?  I share it with you because I was relatively unaware of all the different strains of Lutheranism for the first twenties years of my life.  After leaving for college, I found myself introduced to several new strains of Lutheranism, thus causing me to realize that there were/are a plethora of Lutheran Synods/Denominations in America.

If you are like me, this realization may have caused you to ask, “Where did they all come from?”  In asking this question though, I must caution you that it is fairly difficult to derive a simplistic answer.  Indeed, the history of Lutheranism in America is a fairly complex story.  It is complex due to the various immigration waves, the different historical geographical locations where Lutherans culminated, and, of course, some language barriers.

Thankfully, I recently came upon an incredible diagram that has helped me in understanding the historical formation of Lutheran Synods in America.  It is a graphic that I obtained from one of my colloquy classes this summer at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis.  This graphic was put together by David Herald.  It is an extremely nice visual that gives a bird’s-eye view to the formation of Lutheran Synods in America.  It was a blessing to me and I hope it is a blessing to you in understanding the formation of Lutheran Synods in America.  Enjoy this tremendous resource!

CLICK HERE for the “Formation of Lutheran Synods in America” PDF Sheet.


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  1. Shawn Stafford
    September 27th, 2013 at 09:54 | #1

    One correction I would make on this chart is that the LFC (1897) did not go into the NLC(A) of 1918 but instead to the ALC formation of 1960/2. This led to the formation of the AFLC in 1963.
    Otherwise, this chart is the most extensive of its kind, including footnotes of history that don’t make it onto the common charts found in Nelson’s history of Lutheranism in America or “WELS and Other Lutherans” by NPH.

  2. Rev. Roger D. Sterle
    September 30th, 2013 at 11:22 | #2

    Nice but it is very hard to read the printing. Is there a version that has bigger print even if it is on two pages????

  3. September 30th, 2013 at 11:39 | #3

    Download the PDF and print it on an 11×17 page .. it’s mostly readable, but would look better even larger.

  4. October 8th, 2013 at 14:18 | #4

    Thanks for the sharing this great resource!

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