CONSTITUTION OF THE EVANGELICAL LUTHERAN CHURCH IN AMERICA
The relationship between the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and its related colleges is described in the following sections from the constitution adopted by the E.L.C.A. at its constituting convention and as amended through August, 1999.
CHAPTER 8 - RELATIONSHIPS
8.32 Colleges and Universities. This church shall express its responsibility for higher education through its colleges and universities, its Division for Higher Education and Schools, and its synods. While variation is possible in college relationships across this church, this church recognizes the desirability of some degree of uniformity of relationship for colleges within the same region. Therefore, synods shall determine initial policies and thereafter review periodically such policies consistent with recommendations from the board of the Division for Higher Education and Schools and in consultation with that board and the colleges and universities within the region with respect to and consistent with the bylaws, as set forth herein.
8.32.01 A variety of relationship patterns is possible including relationship with the Churchwide Assembly, the Division for Higher Education and Schools, a synod assembly, or a corporation whose voting members are, or have been elected by, synod assemblies, other organizational units (conferences, clusters, etc.), or congregations.
8.32.02 Primary responsibility for recruiting members for its board belongs to each college. This responsibility is best exercised when appropriate structures of this church are substantially involved.
8.32.03. The college and the appropriate synods shall determine how many of the college board members are to be elected or ratified by the approved form of relationship as provided in 8.32.01.
8.32.04. The responsibility for initiating changes in constitutional documents rests with each college. Each college will reach agreement with the appropriate structures of this church as identified in 8.32.01 regarding changes in constitutional documents. This church's participation may range from prior consultation to final approval.
8.32.05. Representation of members of this church on college boards, limitation of terms for board members, whether or not college presidents shall be members of this church, and representation of bishops of synods on college boards shall be determined by each college and the appropriate synods.
8.32.06. Subject to approval by the appropriate synods, a college or university may be owned by a not-for-profit corporation that has voting members at least 90 percent of whom shall consist of members of the biennial Churchwide Assembly. Meetings of such corporations shall be held in conjunction with the Churchwide Assembly for the purpose of electing or ratifying members of the governing board and approving amendments in the governing documents. At least 60 percent of the members of the governing boards of such corporations shall be members of this church.
8.32.A97. The relationship of this church to its colleges and universities shall be guided by policies fostering educational institutions dedicated to the Lutheran tradition wherein such institutions are an essential part of God's mission in the world; faithful to the will of God as institutions providing quality instruction in religion and a lively ministry of worship, outreach, and service; diligent in their preparation of leaders committed to truth, excellence, and ethical values; and pledged to the well-being of students in the development of mind, body, and spirit.
CHAPTER 10 - SYNODS
10.21 Each synod, in partnership with the churchwide organization, shall bear primary responsibility for the oversight of the life and mission of this church in its territory. In fulfillment of this role, the synod shall. . . b. provide for leadership recruitment, preparation, and support in accordance with churchwide standards and policies, including: 5) supporting recruitment of leaders for this church's colleges . . . and i. Support relationships with and provide partnership funding on behalf of colleges, universities, and campus ministries.
CHAPTER 16 - CHURCHWIDE UNITS
16.11.D91 - Division for Higher Education and Schools
This division shall be responsible for the educational activities of this church through its colleges and universities, its campus ministries, and its early childhood education centers, and elementary and secondary schools. It shall advocate to this church for these educational enterprises and for this church to these educational efforts. This division also shall develop programs and recommend policies in response to this church's commitment to mission in education, and, thereby, shall help to prepare leaders for church and society. To fulfill these responsibilities, this division shall:
- encourage, assist, and sustain the colleges and universities of this church, both individually and as a community of institutions. To do so, this division will:
- render services in policy, planning and oversight for this church's colleges and universities; distribute churchwide funding in consultation with synodical partners; encourage and provide funding for colleges and universities to use the services of a common auditor; assist colleges and universities in providing health-insurance programs through voluntary employees' beneficiary associations; and provide risk management services for the colleges and universities and, in cooperation with the Division for Ministry, for the seminaries of this church.
- cooperate with congregations, synods, and the colleges and universities in student recruitment; and work in partnership with congregations, the ELCA Foundation, other funding sources, and colleges and universities to encourage and develop scholarship opportunities.
- assist the colleges and universities in the recruitment and development of faculty and administrators.
- promote relationships between groups of colleges and universities and synods; provide for the creation and support of a council of college and university presidents and be represented on each college board by an advisory member; and participate in the search for and election of college and university presidents.
- make recommendations to the Church Council on long-term educational policy, including the establishment and location of colleges and universities.
- assist colleges and universities to develop international education opportunities in consultation with the Division for Global Mission.
- recruit--in consultation and cooperation with the Division for Ministry, the Commission for Multicultural Ministries and the Commission for Women, the colleges and universities of this church, and this church's campus ministry programs - candidates for ordained and lay ministries of this church and other leaders for congregations, and seek to develop methods for helping students and academic personnel to discover and strengthen their Christian vocation in the church and in the world.
- represent the colleges, universities, and schools of this church in public policy matters under the coordination of the Division for Church in Society; and encourage, support, and promote relationships with associations and entities related to higher education and to schools.