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This is a List of Lutheran dioceses and archdioceses currently active, grouped by national (or regional) church, and showing the titles of the bishops of those dioceses. Where relevant, the Metropolitan bishop or Primate (bishop) is listed first. As in other Christian denominations, many Lutheran Metropolitan and Primate bishops bear the title Archbishop.

This list does not contain historical or defunct dioceses, although links are provided (at the end of the list) to former Lutheran dioceses of particular historical note.

This list is solely for dioceses of those Lutheran churches which have retained, or established, episcopal polity. There are also many Lutheran churches with congregational polity, which do not have bishops, or who use the title bishop for their presiding officer, but in a sense other than that of the historic episcopate.

Contents

Europe (outside Germany)

Church of Denmark

An established state church in Denmark and Greenland. The Bishop of Copenhagen is the Primate (Primus inter pares), but not a Metropolitan, having no actual jurisdiction superior to that of any other diocesan bishop.

Estonian Evangelical Lutheran Church

The Archbishop holds authority throughout Estonia, assisted by Bishops of regional dioceses,[1] including the Extra-Estonian Diocese, which had been a separate church until 2010.[2] The College of Bishops is usually larger, due to the practice of giving most retiring Bishops the status of Bishop Emeritus (or Archbishop Emeritus).[3]

  • Archbishop of Tallinn (Primate and Metropolitan) (See located at Tallinn)
  • Bishop of the Western and Northern Region (See located at Haapsalu)
  • Bishop of the Southern Region (See located at Tartu)

Church of the Faroe Islands

Formerly a diocese of the Church of Denmark, it is now an autonomous church consisting of a single diocese.

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland

One of two state sanctioned national churches in Finland. The Archbishop of Turku is the Primate. In addition to the dioceses listed below there is also a "Military Bishopric", although the Ordinary is not required to be in Bishop's Orders, and may be a senior priest.

Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland

Born within the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland (ELCF), the Mission Diocese is an independent ecclesial structure under episcopal oversight, formed by congregations, without being part of the administrative structures of the ELCF.[4]

  • Bishop of the Mission Diocese

Lutheran Church in Great Britain

An autonomous church structured as a single diocese.

National Church of Iceland

Since 1801 the Church of Iceland has been united as a single diocese. Since that year, the Bishops of Skálholt and Hólar have been suffragans to the Bishop of Iceland. They retain their respective cathedras (seats) in Skálholt Cathedral and Hólar Cathedral. The Bishop of Iceland's cathedra is located in Reykjavík Cathedral.

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia

The Council of Bishops (of which all Latvian bishops and archbishops are members) is the highest authority in the church;[5] the archbishop is Primate and is sometimes styled Archbishop of Riga and Latvia.

Latvian Evangelical Lutheran Church Abroad

An autonomous church formed as a single diocese, and operating worldwide. Originally for Latvians overseas, the church now has congregations in Latvia also, where its inclusive ordination policy contrasts with the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia, which ordains only men.

  • Archbishop of the LELCA

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Lithuania

An autonomous church structured as a single diocese.

Church of Norway

Changes in 2012 and 2016 have given the church increased autonomy from the state, although it remains partially state-funded. The Preses (Presiding Bishop) is the primate and metropolitan and also has Ordinary jurisdiction over the cathedral deanery in Nidaros (Trondheim), notwithstanding the existence of a Diocesan Bishop of Nidaros (see below).

Evangelical Augsburg Church in Poland

The Primate is styled Bishop of the Church[6] and is based in Warsaw.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan and Central Asia (ELCROS)

With its origins in several separate denominations within the former Soviet Union, this has been a united church since 1999. The Primate is based in St Petersburg.

  • Archbishop of St. Petersburg (Russia) (Primate)
  • Bishop of Evangelical-Lutheran Church in European Russia (Russia) (Cathedral in Moscow)
  • Bishop of Evangelical-Lutheran Church of the Urals, Siberia and the Far East (Russia)
  • Bishop of Union of Evangelical-Lutheran Church Congregations in Belorussia (Belarus)
  • Bishop of Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Georgia (Georgia)
  • Bishop of Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Kazakhstan (Kazakhstan)
  • Bishop of Evangelical-Lutheran Church in the Kyrgyz Republic (Kyrgyzstan)
  • Bishop of Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Uzbekistan (Uzbekistan)
  • Bishop of German Evangelical-Lutheran Church in the Ukraine (Ukraine)

Evangelical Lutheran Church of Ingria in Russia (ELCI)

A single-diocese church. Unlike ELCROS (above) the ELCI does not ordain women.

  • Bishop of the ELCI

Church of Sweden

The largest Lutheran church in Europe. The Archbishop of Uppsala is the primate and metropolitan; although also the Ordinary (diocesan bishop) of Uppsala, much of this work is legally delegated to the Bishop of Uppsala, a suffragan bishop who functions as the effective diocesan bishop. There are 13 dioceses (listed below). Additionally the Church of Sweden Abroad forms a 14th jurisdiction, consisting of 45 churches, in 3 deaneries, all outside Sweden; it is under the episcopal oversight of the Bishop of Visby.

Germany

United Evangelical Lutheran Church of Germany

VELKD, established in 1948. All member churches are also members of the all-Protestant umbrella EKD. Only Lutheran member churches are listed below.

Single-diocese member churches

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany

Established in 2012 from unions of several older denominations, and also part of the VELKD, but consisting of multiple internal dioceses. The State Bishop or Presiding Bishop is in overall charge. There are currently two Bishops of Mecklenburg and Pomerania (located respectively at Greifswald and Schwerin), but this is a temporary arrangement following mergers of denominations.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Oldenburg

Evangelical State Church in Württemberg

The Presiding Bishop (or State Bishop) is in overall charge,[7] with the diocese divided into regions, which function as small dioceses.[8]

Asia

United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India

A group of Indian bishoprics with very different origins and founders, which retain their autonomy, but have united into a single denomination.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

A single-diocese church operating in Jordan, Israel, and Palestine. The current bishop is also President of the Lutheran World Federation.

  • Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia

A single-diocese church operating in Malaysia. The Bishop's seat is located at Zion Cathedral, Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur.

  • Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Malaysia

North America

Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

  • Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Diocese of North America

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

  • National Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada

Africa

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Kenya

The Archbishop is the primate, and is also responsible for a small diocese, comprising his cathedral in Nairobi and its immediate surrounding precincts.

United Church Council of the Lutheran Churches in Namibia

Namibia's three Lutheran denominations have a long history of co-operation together, and in 2007 formed the United Church Council as a parent body, within which they are working towards full visible unity as a single church.

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia

Working predominantly in the north of the country.

  • Presiding Bishop (Primate, elected position held by one of the diocesan bishops.)
  • Bishop of the Western Diocese
  • Bishop of the Eastern Diocese

Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Republic of Namibia

Working predominantly in the south of the country.

  • Bishop of the ELCRN

German-speaking Evangelical Lutheran Church in Namibia

Working nationwide amongst the German-speaking community.

  • Bishop of the GELC

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa

The largest Lutheran church in southern Africa is headed by a Presiding Bishop. It operates in South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland, and Lesotho. In addition to the dioceses listed below there is also a Lesotho mission area, not yet large enough to be formed into a diocese.

  • Presiding Bishop (Primate and Metropolitan - no fixed see, elected from amongst the diocesan bishops below)
  • Bishop of Botswana Diocese
  • Bishop of Cape Orange Diocese
  • Bishop of Central Diocese
  • Bishop of Eastern Diocese
  • Bishop of Northern Diocese
  • Bishop of South Eastern Diocese
  • Bishop of Western Diocese

Evangelical Lutheran Church in Tanzania

The Presiding Bishop is the primate, and may be elected from amongst all the diocesan bishops. There is no fixed see for the Presiding Bishop.

  • Presiding Bishop of ELCT (Primate and Metropolitan)
  • Bishop of Central Diocese
  • Bishop of Dodoma Diocese
  • Bishop of East of Lake Victoria Diocese
  • Bishop of Eastern and Coastal Diocese
  • Bishop of Iringa Diocese
  • Bishop of Karagwe Diocese
  • Bishop of Konde Diocese
  • Bishop of Lake Tanganyika Diocese
  • Bishop of Mara Diocese
  • Bishop of Mbulu Diocese
  • Bishop of Meru Diocese
  • Bishop of Morogoro Diocese
  • Bishop of Northern Diocese
  • Bishop of North-Central Diocese
  • Bishop of North-Eastern Diocese
  • Bishop of North-Western Diocese
  • Bishop of Pare Diocese
  • Bishop of Ruvuma Diocese
  • Bishop of Southern Diocese
  • Bishop of South-Central Diocese
  • Bishop of South-East of Lake Victoria Diocese
  • Bishop of South-Eastern Diocese
  • Bishop of South-Western Diocese
  • Bishop of Ulanga Kilombero Diocese

Former bishoprics of historic note

References

  1. ^ The Bishops and their jurisdictions listed and illustrated at EELK website (in Estonian).
  2. ^ Details of reunion at World Council of Churches website.
  3. ^ Current bishops (in English).
  4. ^ "About Us". The Evangelical Lutheran Mission Diocese of Finland. 
  5. ^ Position defined at official website (in English).
  6. ^ English language version of official website.
  7. ^ Details of Presiding Bishop.
  8. ^ See cities indicated on map.

See also