Parish Nurses

Published on March 21st, 2021

“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Thessalonians 5:23

Q: What is a Parish Nurse?
A: The Gospels show us many examples of Jesus having compassion on the people and healing their body, minds, and spirits through His words, His presence, and His touch. Parish Nurses strive to promote Christ centered health and wellness of the body, mind, and spirit by teaching their congregational members the value of living in a healthy manner and the importance of faithfully receiving God’s means of grace through word and sacrament.

Q: Who can serve as a Parish Nurse?
A: To be designated as a Parish Nurse the nurse must have an active nurse’s license through the American Nurses Association and have completed a Parish Nurse course. However, nurses, professionals in other health related fields, and those who have a passion for health ministry, can serve in a similar capacity as a Congregational Health Advocate.

Q: Do Parish Nurses get paid?
A: A few do, but most are volunteers who use their God-given gifts to serve others.

Q: What does a Parish Nurse do?
A: Nurses are trained in how to care for the whole person and in a congregational setting the Parish Nurse can minister to the soul as well as providing direction in the care of the body and mind. This can be done in a variety of ways and may look different in each congregation by:

  • Providing information and resources to promote health and wellness for congregational members.
  • Offering emotional and spiritual care for members through personal visits.
  • Awareness and promotion of community programs for health and wellness.
  • Advocacy to ensure adequate health care and assistance in navigating the health care system.

Q: Are there congregations in the Indiana District who already have an active Parish Nurse?
A: Yes. Currently there are 14 congregations in the Indiana District who are blessed to have a Parish Nurse or Congregational Health Advocate serving in their congregation.

Q: Is someone available to discuss the possibilities for my congregation?
A: Yes. Janet Hitzeman R.N. serves Faith, Bloomington in this role and also serves as the Indiana Parish Nurse Representative for the Indiana District of the LCMS. Contact her at jhitzema@indiana.edu or 812-345-0882.

Q: How can I become a Parish Nurse?
A: In order to use the title Parish Nurse, in addition to having an active nursing license, it is important for the nurse to complete a basic parish nurse course.

The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod’s preference is given to a course that includes theology consistent with the teaching and culture of the LCMS. Currently there are two ways that this can be completed:

  • Concordia University Wisconsin
    Contact carol.luedersbolwerk@cuw.edu for more information.
  • LCMS Parish Nurse Council
    A distance learning course is offered through the collaboration of LCMS Parish Nurse Council and Lutheran Nurses Association of Australia. Contact marcyschnorr2009@gmail.com

Q: What Indiana District Congregations have a Parish Nurse or Congregational Health Advocate?

CityChurchPhone Number
BloomingtonFaith812-332-1668
Columbia CitySt. John260-244-3712
DecaturZion260-547-4248
DeMotteFaith219-987-3730
ElkhartTrinity574-674-8800
EvanstonSt. John812-547-2007
Fort WayneEmmanuel260-423-1369
Fort WaynePeace260-744-3869
Fort WayneMt. Calvary260-747-4121
KnoxOur Redeemer574-772-4186
LowellTrinity219-696-9338
MonroevilleSt. John Flat Rock260-639-6404
New HavenEmanuel260-749-2163
New PalestineZion317-861-5544
PlainfieldLiving Christ317-839-4800
Wolf LakeLiving Water260-635-2336