Each year, the social ministry committee is allocated funding by the Northern Illinois Synod which is approved in the annual budget at the Synod Assembly and comes from your congregation’s Mission Support dollars. This grant process is the conduit for funneling your generous offerings to your congregation back to assist people serving their neighbors in need in our communities.

We are so grateful for the work you do and the vision for the ministry you have. The committee wishes to thank you for this potential opportunity to financially partner with your congregation or community in its mission to care for those in need, serve our neighbors, and seek justice and righteousness for all people in the name of Jesus!


When reviewing Social Ministry Support Fund applications, the Committee looks for a project that:

  • Addresses the social ministry priorities of the Northern Illinois Synod
  • Is related to a ministry of the Northern Illinois Synod (congregation / agency / institution)
  • Has a sound Lutheran theological basis from concept through implementation
  • Does the best possible job of combining ministry, service, education, and advocacy to and for those in need
  • Focuses on empowering over maintaining
  • Shows a long-term impact on reducing or eliminating the primary need
  • Could become a model for others who wish to deal with reducing or eliminating the same need
  • Shows a broad range of sources of financial commitment to achieve the goal
  • Will be directed with sound financial care
  • Will be summarized with proper documentation of expenditures, use of other resources, and goals achieved.


To apply for the Social Ministry Support Fund, please download and complete the Social Ministry Support Fund Application and return the completed form to Rev. Josh Ebener at jebener@nisynod.org.

The Fiscal Year of the Northern Illinois Synod is from February 1 – January 31. Therefore, we suggest those who wish to apply for funds submit the request by December 31 of the year prior to the fiscal year for which the grant funding is sought. Example: A congregation plans to request $500 in funds for a project to feed children during the next summer break in 2025. Therefore, the congregation should submit the form by December 31, 2024. Institutions may apply in the current fiscal year for a project that will be completed in the same fiscal year, but it is possible that the funds may not be distributed by that time. If you have any questions, please contact Rev. Josh Ebener at jebener@nisynod.org.