World Missions

WELS World Missions conducts gospel outreach in 44 countries and is exploring outreach opportunities in 18 prospective new mission fields. World Missions brings the light of God’s Word to the world through evangelism efforts, church planting, training national workers for ministry, and providing religious materials in foreign languages through Multi-Language Productions (MLP).

World Missions supports mission work:

  • on Native American reservations, where the gospel has been shared on the Apache reservations in Arizona for more than 125 years and exploratory mission work is beginning on other reservations throughout North America;
  • in Africa, where missionaries partner with national church bodies in six countries and are exploring outreach in at least seven more countries throughout the continent;
  • in Asia, where the two missionary teams have joined together to equip, encourage, and empower others to bring the good news of Jesus Christ to 1.8 billion unreached souls;
  • in Latin America, where hundreds of thousands of people are being reached through Academia Cristo online courses and more than 40 individuals are being trained to plant a church;
  • in Europe, where missionaries partner with national churches to train the next generation of church leaders and bring the true gospel to countries without a strong Lutheran presence;
  • and through Multi-Language Productions, which has produced materials in more than 56 languages and reaches tens of thousands of English-speakers in more than 30 different countries through the TELL online training platform.

For more information, visit


Did you know?

Forty-nine world missionaries partner with almost 500 national pastors to conduct outreach and train more than 380 students for service in Christ’s kingdom.

Academia Cristo

Meet Marli (front row, second from right) in Cuernavaca, Mexico. After intensive study with Academia Cristo, Marli now participates in the advanced classes of the program and is personally guided by a missionary as she shares the Word of God with the small group in her community (pictured). Her group meets regularly, digging into the Word of God, sharing Sunday school lessons with youth, and even doing periodic humanitarian services in the area.

As Academia Cristo has grown, many of those studying God’s Word are women. Elise Gross is now serving as the dean of women for Academia Cristo to encourage these women to carry out the Great Commission in their homes and respective communities while embracing biblical principles and Christian freedom.

Gross’s primary focus is the same as that of the rest of the Academia Cristo mission team:

Make disciples in Latin America by sharing the message of God’s grace with as many people as possible.

  1. Identify and train potential leaders.
  2. Encourage those leaders to make disciples who plant churches.

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Over a year ago Joseph stumbled across a Facebook ad for TELL and had to see what it was all about. After completing the three self-study courses he began live group classes with a pastor, studying the Bible and Lutheran catechism on Zoom. He formed friendships with students thousands of miles away. His best friend is from Trinidad. They make TELL T-shirts and share what they’re learning with others.

In October Dan Laitinen, a TELL missionary, visited Joseph’s home in Nairobi, Kenya. The two (pictured) finally had a Bible study together in person. Sitting knee to knee Joseph told Laitinen his story. He is the eighth of eight children, raised by his oldest sister. His parents passed away before he knew them. As a child, he learned how to work and paid for his own schooling through grade twelve.

Joseph could identify that sin was the problem and God’s grace was the solution. He has learned how to read the Bible and express his faith to others. Throughout the visit, Laitinen encouraged Joseph in his studies; introduced him to the local church affiliated with WELS’ sister church body, Lutheran Congregations in Mission for Christ–Kenya; and presented the next steps for him to gather in a Bible study group.

“Did you go to church as a child?” Laitienen asked. “No,” Joseph said, “We did not go to church.”

“Are you going to church now?” Laitinen asked. “I am,” Joseph replied, “with you and the teachers at TELL Network.”

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WELS is supporting the Ukrainian Lutheran Church, our sister church body, by providing aid for clothing, food, medicine, and other supplies. Before Russia invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian Lutheran Church had 700 baptized members in 17 congregations served by 11 national pastors.







Mission work in Africa is changing. Missionaries working with WELS’ established missions—Cameroon, Malawi, Nigeria, and Zambia—focus on assisting the national synods and their churches as they mature, while also helping with their pre-seminary and seminary programs. Two synods in Ethiopia and Kenya reached out for assistance and are now in full fellowship with WELS and partner in outreach initiatives.

The new work before WELS missionaries is outreach, as individuals and church groups in seven additional African countries have reached out to WELS and the Lutheran Church of Central Africa (LCCA) for fellowship and theological training. Visits have been made to Liberia, Mozambique, South Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, and Zimbabwe.

Pictured are participants of an evangelism workshop held for members of the Lutheran Church of Central Africa–Zambia in November 2022. The workshop was a joint effort of WELS’ One Africa Team and Pastoral Studies Institute.



WELS Friendly Counselor Greg Bey visited WELS’ sister church in Indonesia, Gereja Lutheran Indonesia, to attend its synod convention, visit with leadership and discuss ministry ideas, and teach courses at the seminary there. Bey also visited Hosiana congregation to celebrate its 31st anniversary. Pictured is Bey with two of the founding members of Hosiana, who opened their home as a meeting place when the congregation first formed. Their son is now a pastor serving Gereja Lutheran Indonesia, which has 29 congregations.