Structure of the ELCI

The ELCI has a democratic structure. The members of the ELCI congregations, which are legally independent entities, are at the same time members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy. Through the Synod, they determine the life and tasks of the Church at a national level and decide on its properties and assets. The administrative headquarters and heart of the ELCI is the Deanery in Rome.

The ELCI Statute (2004) distinguishes between bodies and permanent committees. The bodies are the Synod, the Consistory, the Deanery, the Panel of auditors, the Arbitration Panel in faith and doctrine issues (Art. 15), while the permanent committees include the Conference of Pastors, the Conferences of Congregation Presidents and Treasurers and the Technical and Financial Commission. The members of the bodies are elected by the Synod, while those of the permanent committees are the holders of the respective offices in the single congregations. The bodies are responsible for their own decisions, the committees serve for mutual exchange and provide advice to the bodies and the Synod. The Synod and the Consistory have the possibility to institute temporary commissions or special commissions for particular issues.

In this way, through their Synod members, congregations make available both people with decision-making tasks that may be elected in the governing bodies, and, through their office holders (pastors, presidents, treasurers),  their local experience, that is the experience of the base of the ELCI members.