Director for Evangelical Mission-Allegheny Synod

    • Job Tracking ID: 512830-655348
    • Job Location: Altoona, PA
    • Job Level: Any
    • Level of Education: Any
    • Job Type: Part-Time/Regular
    • Date Updated: October 29, 2018
    • Years of Experience: Any
    • Starting Date: ASAP
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Job Description:


This position represents the Domestic Mission (DM) unit in the territory of the Allegheny Synod, and is responsible for engaging synodical leaders, structures and strategies in the formation and development of Congregational Vitality: "Communities of Jesus that nurture life-changing relationships with God, one another and the world," and reflects the purposes, principles and commitments of the synod, DM and the ELCA as a whole. This position will coordinate and staff the education of all evangelical mission, mission support and stewardship ministry in the synod through the formation and coordination of three synodical initiatives:

1. mission support and/or stewardship

2. congregational vitality; and

3. alignment with Future Directions 2025 (

The person in this position is expected to fully participate in the life and ministry as the synod staff, synod initiatives, and is responsible for implementing and building upon ELCA commitments to ethnic-specific communities, communities of color, the young-adult population; as well as people and communities experiencing poverty. This person participates in resourcing the synod mission strategy with an emphasis on congregational vitality and leadership.

This position will be co-terminus with the synod bishop and supervised jointly by both the Bishop of the Allegheny Synod and DM staff. Other assignments of responsibility will be made by the Synod Bishop and Director, DEM Relationships. The position will be based in the Allegheny Synod and will serve as a living representation of the interdependent nature of the ELCA. This position is .75 FTE.


1. Responsible for the development and formation of a mission support/stewardship table. This table will create a mechanism for synodical mission support that includes stewardship education, mission interpretation, convenes mission support conversations, strengthens synodical and congregational generosity and promotes asset thinking and planning. DEM supports the ELCA Comprehensive Mission Support Strategy in the synod.

2. Responsible for the formation and coordination of a synod mission table that identifies potential fields and resources for the vitality of existing congregations and new mission development of evangelizing congregations in the synod, including area ministry strategies, congregational mission plans, and congregational vitality.

3. Responsible for the development and coordination of synod mission strategy including building and developing key relationships with missional leaders who will form the synod mission strategy table. This position and table pays particular attention to the implementation of ELCA commitments to be in ministry among ethnic, multicultural and emergent communities; as well as ministry among people living in poverty.

4. Responsible for the administration of partnership support for the synod’s Congregational Vitality portfolio.

5. Responsible for identifying and recruiting of leaders for synod tables as well participating in the behavioral interview process to raise leaders who can also serve as mission developers and redevelopers.

6. Responsible for being a public voice on behalf of the churchwide organization and synod including preaching, share learnings and other leadership opportunities. Provides a visible witness to the interdependent nature of the church and communicates our shared mission and vision.

7. Responsible for participation in quarterly Relator conference calls which are scheduled for intentional conversation.


Must be willing to travel frequently via automobile and air (approximately 30%). Travel within the synod can usually be accomplished within the same day. Overnight stay may be required.

Physical Effort

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to talk and hear, use of hands and fingers to operate a computer and telephone. This position requires sitting for long periods of time. Reasonable accommodations can be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential function.

Experience and Skills:

1. Effective grounding in Word and Sacrament ministry, missional theology, the theories and practice of mission development, the Missional Church Movement, and in the biblical and Lutheran understanding of stewardship that responds to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

2. Effective communicator in preaching, sharing learnings, writing and evangelical outreach.

3. Demonstrated ability working with leaders in adaptive ways and facilitating group processes as well as knowledge, experience and/or willingness to learn, listen and utilize the arts of community organizing in growing leaders and building tables.

4. Extensive knowledge of the organizational structure of the ELCA and its congregations.

5. Ability to utilize congregational trend reports and demographic data in the process of the development of congregational vitality for new and existing congregations.

6. Experience with missional strategies for the vitality of new and existing congregations.

7. Proven effective time-management and administrative experience and ability to meet deadlines.

8. Exceptional interpersonal, organizational, analytical and communication skills and the ability to work in partnership with peers, other DM unit staff, synod and regional staff.

9. Demonstrated competency among communities of color; and well as with people and communities experiencing poverty. Ability to relate and communicate well in diverse cultural, ethnic and socio-economic situations.

10. Active participation in a Christian congregation and God’s mission.

11. Ability to seek out additional resources and persons who can expand the capacity of the unit in doing God’s mission.

Synod Information

The Allegheny Synod is one of 7 ELCA Synods located in Pennsylvania. The territory covers seven counties of central Pennsylvania: Clearfield, Centre, Blair, Huntingdon, Cambria, Somerset, and Bedford counties. Large towns in the Synod include Dubois, State College, Altoona, Johnstown, Somerset, and Bedford. The Synod Office is in Altoona, PA. From Altoona any location Synod can be reached by car in less than 2 hours. This is an Appalachian Synod located in the heart of central Appalachia.

The Allegheny Synod has 115 congregations. Many of these congregations operate as part of multi-point ministry. At this time the Allegheny Synod has 16 two-point parishes, 4 three-point parishes, and 2 four-point parishes.

There are 55 active ministers of word and sacrament on our roster. We have 1 active deacon on our roster who serves as Lutheran Campus minister at Penn State. Currently we have 2 candidates in the TEEM program serving congregations. Additionally, we have a core of 27 authorized Lay worship leaders who rotate weekly to lead worship in congregations without a called pastor.


The goal of the Synod staff, over these last 4 years, has been to remind all our congregations that Christ is still alive and moving in the Allegheny Synod. This is a region that has lost people, job opportunities, and infrastructure over the last 30 years. Most of our congregations can remember times when Sunday worship had three-quarters to twice as many people in worship. Those people are not here anymore. The ones who are left are aging and many of their children have left the area. But there is still work for us to do. Jesus still has a plan for the Allegheny Synod. It doesn’t matter if we have 400 in worship or 14, God still calls us together and empowers us for the sake of the gospel. The Synod staff has worked to remind our people that they still matter to God, they are still known and beloved, and there is still work to be done.