The Central/Southern Illinois Synod…

“…where ministry opportunities abound”


Located in the heartland of mid-America, the Central/Southern Illinois Synod is a diverse synod comprised of 127 congregations in 76 of the 102 Illinois counties. The synod territory covers the lower three-quarters of the State of Illinois. Although approximately two-thirds of our congregations are rural and small town, we also have congregations located in the cities of Peoria, Springfield, Champaign/Urbana, Bloomington/Normal, Quincy, Decatur, Carbondale, and the Metro East area of St. Louis.

Several large colleges/universities are located within our synod borders. In addition to the University of Illinois in Champaign and Springfield, we have Illinois State University in Normal, Eastern University in Charleston, Southern Illinois University in Carbondale and Edwardsville, and Western Illinois University in Macomb. The synod has two official campus ministry centers and congregations have the opportunity for additional ministry with other sites. There are also several four-year private colleges and two-year community colleges on synod territory.

Chicago and St. Louis seem to be the two major metropolitan areas towards which people gravitate for a variety of purposes, e.g. professional sporting events, theatre and concerts, major airline hubs, etc. There are also major cultural opportunities in many of the cities scattered throughout the synod. The synod office is located in Springfield, which is home to the state capitol and to many Abraham Lincoln historical sites. For those who enjoy camping and the “great outdoors”, the Shawnee National Forest and several recreational lakes are located within the synod.

The synod is proud of its connection to the ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and the synods of Region 5. In addition, the synod is allied with Augustana College, Rock Island, IL; and Carthage College, Kenosha, WI; the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; and Wartburg Seminary, Dubuque, IA; the Lutheran Outdoor Ministry Center, Oregon, IL; and Lutheran Social Services of Illinois. Synod congregations also strongly support the ELCA World Hunger Appeal, Lutheran World Relief, Global Missions, and the ELCA Global Barnyard ministries. In November, 2013, when tornadoes touched down in several spots across the state, congregations responded with an outpouring of gifts and concern. In 2014, a synod delegation traveled to Madagascar to visit our companion synod.

If you would like to do ministry in a metropolitan area or in a small rural area, we may have a place for you. If you want to serve as a member of a church staff or in a multi-parish setting, we may have a place for you. If you want the convenience of living near a metropolitan area, but would prefer the less congested spaces, we may have a place for you. If you have the heart of a pastor and care deeply for people, consider a call to the Central/Southern Illinois Synod…where ministry opportunities abound.