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.


Companion Synods

The Upstate New York Synod, which is headquartered in Camillus, NY, 
consists of 60,500 baptized members in 176 congregations. The synod has 302 pastors on its roster and 27 on its lay roster.

More Details: Official Upstate New York Synod Website 


The Malagasy Lutheran Church was established in 1950 as 1,800 Lutheran congregations united. With almost three million baptized members it is the third largest church in Madagascar and one of the fastest growing Lutheran churches in the world. It is the ninth largest church in the Lutheran World Federation. Madagascar is located off the southeastern coast of Africa, the world’s fourth largest island with a population of approximate 21 million. The church has a baptized membership of 3.2 million and sponsors programs for youth development, women’s ministry, interfaith cooperation, and radio broadcasts. Other ministries include: seminaries for men and women, hospitals, clinics, and nursing schools.

The Central/Southern Illinois Synod relates to the Ambovombe-Androy and Faradofay Synods of the Malagasy Lutheran Church, which has approximately 40 pastors who serve 60 congregations with 30,000 baptized members.

        (More Information:  ELCA - Malagasy Lutheran Church Details)




Number of Congregations  127   

Baptized Members  40,260   

Confirmed Members  31,290   

Average Weekend Worship 10,144   


Dean: Rev. Peter Hinrich

Number of Congregations 24  

Baptized Members  9,602  

Confirmed Members  7,459  

Average Weekend Worship  2,257

East Central

 Dean: Rev. Amy Ziettlow   

Number of Congregations 12

 Baptized Members 3,812  

Confirmed Members 3,039  

Average Weekend Worship 977        


Dean: Pastor Scott Egbers

Number of Congregations 17

Baptized Members 4,180

 Confirmed Members 3,199

Average Weekend Worship 1,032


 Dean: Pastor Ryan Anderson  

Number of Congregations 26

Baptized Members  9,039    

Confirmed Members  6,964  

Average Weekend Worship  2,205  

West Central

Dean: Rev. Greg Busboom

Number of Congregations 30

Baptized Members 9,220

Confirmed Members 7,319 

Average Weekend Worship 2,579


Dean: Pastor Melissa Waterman

Number of Congregations 18

Baptized Members  4,407

Confirmed Members  3,310

 Average Weekend Worship  1,094