WELS Endowment Funds

An endowment is a permanent fund in which gifts are invested. The income from the fund is then used to meet increasing gospel ministry expenses year after year. WELS has three categories of endowment funds that provide financial support to operating, missions, and ministerial education.


The WELS Operating Endowment Fund supports the synod’s operating fund for the benefit of all areas of ministry.


The WELS Missions Endowment Fund supports the continued proclamation of the gospel to people in our nation and the world by WELS missions programs. Fund distributions are coordinated by the WELS Joint Missions Council toward diaspora (people-group) ministries, where immigrants who have joined our fellowship in North America take the gospel back to friends and family in their country of origin.

The WELS Home Missions Endowment Fund supports planting churches and assisting mission-minded congregations in North America. WELS Board for Home Missions coordinates the use of the fund’s distributions.

The WELS World Missions Endowment Fund supports gospel outreach outside of North America. WELS Board for World Missions coordinates the fund’s distributions.

Ministerial Education

The WELS Ministerial Education Endowment Fund provides financial assistance to students preparing to serve in the public ministry of WELS and continues the quality training provided by WELS ministerial education schools. Distributions are coordinated by the WELS Board for Ministerial Education.

There is also a WELS endowment fund for each of the synod’s four ministerial education schools. Distributions from these endowment funds are coordinated by each school’s governing board. The boards follow the approach of the WELS Ministerial Education Endowment Fund to use distributions to provide student assistance and continue the quality education provided by each school.

  • The WELS Luther Preparatory School Endowment Fund supports our Watertown, Wis., high school, which prepares and encourages young people to become WELS pastors, teachers, and staff ministers.
  • The WELS Michigan Lutheran Seminary Endowment Fund supports our Saginaw, Mich., high school where students are prepared for the public ministry of the gospel.
  • The WELS Martin Luther College Endowment Fund supports our New Ulm, Minn., college that trains a corps of Christian witnesses who are qualified to meet WELS ministry needs.
  • The WELS Wisconsin Lutheran Seminary Endowment Fund supports our Mequon, Wis., seminary where they equip pastors for WELS, its churches, and cultural groups within our confessional fellowship.

Why did WELS establish these endowments?

  1. WELS programs of mission and ministry are long-term programs requiring continuing and predictable financial support. These endowments help provide financial stability.
  2. Economies change. In strong economies gifts increase and ministry expands. In weak economies gifts decrease and ministry is reduced, often adversely affecting what has been accomplished. These endowments provide a beneficial financial buffer.
  3. The ministry and mission programs of WELS are very inflation-sensitive. This affects compensation, health care, utility, and insurance costs. These endowments provide additional support.
  4. Endowments meet the desire of many WELS members. They want to give the Lord substantial gifts through their Christian estate plans. They like being able to continue their offerings to ministry even after being taken to heaven. They want WELS to be able to use those gifts wisely. Endowments meet these desires.

How do I include these endowments in my giving?

We welcome all gifts—current and deferred, whatever the size—and give thanks to God for them! Click below to donate to a WELS endowment fund or to contact your local WELS Christian giving counselor for free gift assistance.


Thank you for considering a gift to help WELS proclaim the life-changing, soul-saving gospel of Jesus Christ to the world.


WELS has Christian giving counselors all over the country that can help you meet your Christian giving goals.