Lutheran Church–Canada

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Lutheran Church–Canada
Lutheran church canada logo.jpg
Classification Protestant
Orientation Mainline
Confessional Lutheran
Theology Lutheran
Polity Congregationalist
Synodical President Rev. Dr. Robert Bugbee
Associations International Lutheran Council
Origin 1988
Congregations 311
Members 66,394
Ministers 221 Pastors
95 Deacons
Publications The Canadian Lutheran
Official website
Statistics as of 2011[1]

Lutheran Church–Canada (LCC) is a confessional Lutheran denomination in Canada. It is the second largest Lutheran body in Canada after the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada (ELCIC). LCC was founded in 1988 when Canadian congregations of the St. Louis-based Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS) formed an autonomous church body with a synodical office in Winnipeg, Manitoba.[2] LCC has no substantial theological divisions from LCMS and continues to have cooperative and sharing arrangements.


Lutheranism in Canada dates back to Danish explorers in 1619 and German settlers in Nova Scotia in 1749, the latter encouraged to populate the territory by George II of Great Britain; a first church was raised in Halifax in 1752.[3] As Canadian settlement spread west, Ontarian congregations followed in the late 1700s, Manitoban ones in the 1800s, and Albertan ones in the early 1900s. For two centuries Lutheran churches in Canada tended to be organized under shifting arrangements of sponsorship from various American synods and conferences until coalescing into LCMS in 1958 and ELCIC in 1967, and from 1958 to 1988 LCC existed as a federated group under the LCMS umbrella.[4]

Following its independent establishment in January 1988, LCC created three districts: The Alberta-British Columbia (ABC) District, with offices in Edmonton, Alberta; the Central District, in Winnipeg, Manitoba; and the East District, in Kitchener, Ontario. At present LCC has a congregational roster of 58 churches in British Columbia; 78 in Alberta; 62 in Saskatchewan; 20 in Manitoba; 124 in Ontario; 11 in Quebec; 2 in New Brunswick; and 2 in Nova Scotia. Services are variously offered in English, German, Spanish, French, and Korean. Sixteen Canadian congregations — one in Montreal, and the rest in Ontarioremain affiliated with LCMS.


Like other conservative Lutheran bodies, LCC professes the Lutheran Confessions as contained in the Book of Concord (e.g. the theology of an inerrant Bible). LCC practices closed communion, viewing communion as an intimate act shared only with other Christians who subscribe to LCC's doctrines. LCC practices infant baptism and normally requires confirmation instruction for full congregational participation. The church body is in communion with some member synods of the International Lutheran Council (e.g. LCMS). Many LCC congregations use the Lutheran Service Book as their hymnal.

While LCC churches do not permit women in ministerial roles, women serve in elected or appointed lay offices in churches, such as elders, teachers, readers, and deaconesses.[5]


The church body has two seminaries established for the training of pastors, Concordia Lutheran Theological Seminary in St. Catharines, Ontario (opened 1976), and Concordia Lutheran Seminary in Edmonton, Alberta (opened 1984).

Concordia University of Edmonton, an independent university in Edmonton established by the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod in 1921, became an auxiliary of LCC in 1988 and remained so until 2010. Concordia provided training programs for church workers until their suspension in 2015, citing low student numbers.[6] In the mid-20th century, health care initiatives also grew with the establishment of auxiliary hospitals and senior citizens' homes under LCC auspices, as well as military and prison chaplaincies.[7]

The official archive of Lutheran Church–Canada, the underlying districts, and auxiliaries was the Lutheran Historical Institute, Edmonton. It closed in August 2015 after Concordia University of Edmonton withdrew its funding. [8] The executive director and archivist was Dr. Grant W. Grams.

LCC is involved with foreign mission efforts in the following countries: Nicaragua, where work begun in 1997 resulted in the founding of the "Iglesia Luterana Sinodo de Nicaragua" (ILSN) in 2008; southeast Asia, where it assists in providing theological education for future pastors in Thailand and Cambodia; Venezuela; and Ukraine, where it partners with the "Synod of Evangelical Lutheran Churches of Ukraine" (SELCU) in the training of future pastors at Concordia Seminary in Usatovo (near Odessa) in the southern part of the country. LCC has funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars per year to these Lutheran missions even though it was debated if these missions was the best usage of LCC funds, this includes President Robert Bugbees trips to Thailand despite supposed LCC financial problems.


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