Executive Director for Domestic Mission

Job Posted On: August 14, 2018

This position brings decisive and visionary leadership to this unit charged with wide-ranging work and relationships with churchwide units, synods, congregations, and other partners. Strong oversight of the unit’s work will enable its vital contributions to and participation in this church’s efforts in reaching out in witness to the Gospel in all contexts and cultures within the territory of this church.

Work involves equipping synods and congregations; developing new ministries, seeking to renew strategic ministries; and collaborating with synods to support synodical work with congregations in programs and strategies for evangelical mission.

Administrative direction is received from the presiding bishop and management direction is provided to subordinate managerial staff.

Reporting to the presiding bishop, this position requires about 25% travel. The position is located in Chicago at the ELCA Churchwide Offices.

This is an at-will, 4-year term position. In November 2018 the presiding bishop will present the final candidate to the Church Council for election, with the newly elected Executive Director taking his or her position on or before February 1, 2019.

Application Process

Application, resume and cover letter should be submitted through the ELCA job board.

Inquiries about the position may be directed, in confidence, to Gaye Lindfors of Significant Solutions, Inc., the consultant assisting with this search (Gaye@SignificantSolutionsInc.com; 651-490-9550).

 THE ELCA at a Glance

The ELCA is one church with three expressions – a churchwide organization in Chicago, 65 synods throughout the country, and a network of 9,300 congregations.  The three interdependent parts work together to form the ELCA.  In addition, the ELCA ecology incudes a number of institutions including 285 social ministry organizations and other entities that address human needs, 26 colleges and universities, 7 seminaries, 2 theological education extension courses, and a variety of camps, retreat centers, schools and early childhood education centers.


Together in Jesus Christ we are freed by grace to live faithfully, witness boldly and serve joyfully.


A world experiencing the difference God’s grace and love in Christ makes for all people and creation.

For more information please see ELCA Future Directions 2025 at www.elca.org/future.

Domestic Mission

Domestic Mission reflects our belief that God has called us to work together using the diverse strengths, leadership, skills, perspectives and experiences of our members, congregations, synods, institutions, agencies and other partners to accomplish the work that God calls us to in the world. In this rich mix, the Holy Spirit helps us discover how to be a bold, active and vibrant church in any context. Participating in God’s work puts us face-to-face with the people we are called to love and serve.

For those looking for resources for a particular ministry, seeking training as a leader, trying to join a network of people engaged in similar work or want to connect with someone who can work with you, Domestic Mission offers a wealth of opportunities and assistance in the areas of:

  • Advocacy
  • Congregational Vitality (New Congregations, Congregational Renewal)
  • Congregation-based Organizing
  • Campus Ministry, Youth Ministry, ELCA Youth Gathering, Young Adult Ministry, Outdoor Ministry
  • Ethnic Specific and Multicultural Ministries
  • Leadership Ministries and Support
  • Poverty and Justice Ministries
  • Synodical Partners for Mission

We are here to serve with you and build connections throughout this church for the purpose of furthering the mission to which God has called you. Liberated by our faith, we embrace you as a whole person – questions, complexities and all.

Principal Accountabilities: Executive Director, Domestic Mission

  1.  Cultivates a vision and develops strategies for the unit, coordinates and oversees all evangelical outreach and domestic mission functions of the churchwide organization in keeping with the goals of the Churchwide Assembly, the Church Council, Future Directions 2025, and the presiding bishop.
  2. Plans, establishes, and supports the outreach and discipleship of this church among persons of color and those whose primary language is other than English.
  3. Oversees strategic deployment of human, financial and information resources for the unit.
  4. Selects, supervises, develops and supports qualified staff members, enabling them to function successfully as a team in advancing the work of the unit; develops and cultivates an ongoing network of people of color and/or primary language other than English to recruit and retain a racially and ethnically diverse workforce.
  5. Develops and fosters close working relationships with churchwide units, synods, congregations, institutional networks, ethnic associations and governance.
  6. Supports synods, congregations, and institutional agencies of this church through the work of the Congregational Vitality and Leadership Team
  7. Maintains effective relationships with this church’s Separately Incorporated Ministries.
  8. Performs other duties as required.


  1. Demonstrated ability to administer an organization of the unit’s breadth and depth in a creative and forward-thinking manner, including the ability to balance change and continuity, manage multiple projects, delegate and negotiate with ease and authority, manage staff and budget and develop clear priorities and realistic goals
  2. Strong leadership qualities as evidenced by the ability to conceptualize, initiate, manage, coordinate, motivate, and select quality staff
  3. Demonstrated ability to develop collaborative relationships with different areas of this church, such as other churchwide units, bishops of the church, and congregational leaders
  4. Proven ability to communicate effectively and clearly; to build consensus and facilitate teamwork
  5. Knowledge of the ELCA, its constitution and structure and proven ability to work effectively with governance and others in authority
  6. Understanding of and commitment to the vision, spirit and mission of the ELCA; in-depth knowledge of international and national church issues and trends
  7. Considerable knowledge of the theology of mission
  8. Considerable experience in congregational and synodical settings
  9. Outstanding organizational skills, strategic agility and flexibility, disciplined, able to meet deadlines, self-starter, able to work under the pressure of demanding priorities and deadlines


Physical Requirements

Overnight travel required. Must be willing and able to travel by air and automobile; about 25% of the time.

Physical Demands

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear, use hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone. This position requires sitting for long periods of time. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Application Process

Application, resume and cover letter should be submitted through the ELCA job board.

Inquiries about the position may be directed, in confidence, to Gaye Lindfors of Significant Solutions, Inc., the consultant assisting with this search (Gaye@SignificantSolutionsInc.com; 651-490-9550).