National Headquarters

At the national headquarters of WELS in Waukesha, Wis., different boards and commissions coordinate various areas of ministry work. For example, WELS has both a Board for Home Missions and a Board for World Missions to help us reach out with Christ’s love in new places around the United States and the world. The Board for Ministerial Education oversees the training of pastors, teachers, and staff ministers. The Congregation and Ministry Support Group helps WELS congregations by conducting workshops and conferences, producing materials, and offering advice. Various other groups support this work in the areas of technology, finance, communication, and gifting.

Laypeople, pastors, teachers, and staff ministers from around the synod participate in this national work as board or commission members. They meet periodically—either in person or through teleconference—to discuss direction and goals for each area.

Four separately incorporated subsidiaries—WELS Church Extension Fund, Inc.; WELS Foundation; WELS Investment Funds, Inc.; and Northwestern Publishing House—work closely with WELS to provide resources necessary to carry out ministry work. Additionally, WELS Benefit Plans addresses the retirement and health care needs of both called and hired workers.

Described as theologically conservative, WELS is the third largest Lutheran church body in the United States with about 390,000 members and 1,300 congregations. Its headquarters is located in Waukesha, Wis.


Looking for resources to help you with your ministry? They are now housed on the WELS Resource Center, WELS’ downloads site for called workers and congregational leaders.


Haven’t made it to the new WELS Center for Mission and Ministry yet? Check out photos in this virtual tour.