Photo used with permission of the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago.

Each Lutheran women pastor has stories to tell about her life and ministry. And there are additional stories to be told by members of congregations and other people to whom these women have ministered. Some are stories of rejoicing and blessings, some are stories of struggle and sorrow. Here is small sampling of such stories and listings of additional sources.

  • Being first is a common experience for many women pastors: the first woman to serve in a particular congregation, the fhe first woman a funeral go-er heard preach, the first woman to pray at a public event. The eight women St. Olaf student Erin Magoon introduces here are notable for what they were first at: to be ordained by their church body or elected as bishop.
  • The first twenty-five women ordained by the Lutheran Church in America, the American Lutheran Church, and the Association of Evangelical Lutheran Churches are listed along with the names and terms of the thirty-three women who were elected as bishops by 2019.
  • Women who are named in “Proof of the Pudding” are listed here with basic information about their lives and work and indications of additional sources. For some only barest minimum is available; for others, a small sampling.
  • Other projects include or focus on stories of Lutheran women, both clergy and lay. These enrich and extend what we have been able to accomplish here.


Barbara Andrews

Ruth Frost and Phyllis Zillhart

Patricia Davenport and Viviane Thomas-Breitfeld

April Larson

Elizabeth Eaton

Elizabeth Platz

About women named in the story map

Additional resources