"Activated by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, we equip the saints and congregations for the work of ministry, for building up the Body of Christ." (Ephesians 4:11-13, adapted)


7241 Germantown Avenue
Wiedemann Center, Lutheran Theological Seminary at Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA 19119

Contact: 267.323.3737  |  Fax: 267.323.3777  |  Email: info AT sepa DOT org

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod

encompasses 150+ congregations and faith communities, more than 300 rostered leaders and more than 70,000 baptized Christians in the five-county Philadelphia area.

Synod comes from a Greek word that means “on the way together” and the Synod is a partnership for ministry between the people and congregations in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, the synodical organization, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod is one of the 65 regional synods of the ELCA. The ELCA is one church with three expressions:

  • Congregations, which provide Word and Sacrament ministry and service in their communities;
  • Synods, which provide oversight, resourcing and connections for congregations in a geographical area; and
  • the Churchwide organization, which provides leadership, resources and direction for ministry across the church.

Mission and Vision

The Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod’s vision is to resource congregations and leaders in our five-county area so that: the Gospel of Jesus Christ is proclaimed; congregations are encouraged and strengthened; people in the community receive justice, healing and mercy; and the unity our Lord envisioned for the church is realized.

The Synod organization’s ministry is a collaborative partnership with the people, clergy, congregations and agencies in the region. Most of our work falls in several key areas:

  • Casting a vision for and equipping congregations and leaders for ministry in a challenging culture marked by declining church involvement and increasing diversity and religious pluralism.
  • Developing resources to foster a vibrant, diverse and evangelical Lutheran witness in the five-county area.
  • Identifying, encouraging and forming professional church leaders — lay and clergy — to help the people of the church live into their baptismal calling in “the priesthood of all believers.”
  • Equipping congregations to reach across generational, racial and ethnic divides to strengthen ministry with youth and young adults, persons of color or primary language other than English, and other populations not historically served by the Lutheran church.

Synod Organization

The synod is organized with the bishop, a director for evangelical mission, 10 deans and synod staff providing support and resources for our rostered and lay leaders and more than 150 congregations and worshipping communities.

Congregations and leaders seeking assistance should contact their conference dean.

Congregations are also served by the synod Business Office and the program departments: Global Vision and Synod EventsMission Interpretation/Communications, and Youth Ministry.

The Synod is governed by an elected Synod Council comprised of lay and rostered leaders from all nine conferences.