Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


Historical Theology

First Advisor

William Schumacher

Scripture References in this Resource

Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:18-21


The history of the Association of Lutheran Mission Agencies (ALMA) is an important chapter in the mission history of The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod (LCMS), as well as in the history of Protestant mission efforts in the United States. ALMA is an organization of independent mission agencies affiliated with The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod. This relationship with a specific denomination is unique among independent mission organizations.

The development of ALMA and its relation to LCMS missions reflects important changes in mission activity and attitude both within the Synod and outside. This study will show how the changes of the twentieth century influenced some individuals of the Synod to form independent mission societies and also led the Synod to recognize the contribution of these societies as partners in mission.

As of2006, 90 of the 125 known mission societies affiliated with the LCMS are members of ALMA. 1 Some of the agencies have been in existence since the mid-1900s while others are in the start-up stage. They vary in organizational structure, purpose, location, and relationship to the Synod, districts, and/or local congregations. They have in common members who are passionate about sharing the Gospel. ALMA, the societies, and individual agency members are about the mission of witnessing about Jesus Christ (Acts 1:8b) and disciple making (Matthew 28: 18-21).In examining ALMA's origin and relationship to The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, especially the department of World Mission, the following are some considerations: How did The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod arrive at the point in 2006 where mission work is being done by mission agencies, where the Synod encourages their mission work, and where congregations and individuals support the agencies? How did the relationship of the Synod and its structures and these societies and ALMA develop? What does this mean for the Synod, LCMS World Mission, and the mission work of the Synod? Who takes responsibility for missions?

This study will show that the Synod does not relinquish its mission responsibility, but recognizes the contribution of individuals and mission societies. Responsibility for missions in The Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is shared by the Synod, congregations, individuals, and mission societies in a beneficial, effective partnership unique to the LCMS.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.