Sue Neff, Parish Nurse, has been appointed to serve as the English District Parish Nurse Ministry Coordinator. Sue will provide regular articles on various parish health topics on this web site and in the Servant To Servant. Sue stands ready to support English District congregations and schools in the parish nurse programs and to help congregations begin such ministries as well. Please feel free to contact Sue for services and support in this vital ministry area.

Parish Nursing

“You have helped me so much”. “You are an angel to me”. You came exactly at the time that I needed someone most”. “You explained things in a way I could understand”. These and other statements are familiar responses that parish nurses hear from our congregation members.

Parish nursing is a ministry supported and endorsed by the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod and the English District. As a parish nurse we serve 4 roles: Health education, personal health counseling, community liaison, and volunteer support group facilitator. Each role is specific to the congregation that we serve, and each Parish Nurse combines her nursing strengths and her faith to provide whole person health to the members. In the 1980’s a Lutheran pastor and chaplain, Dr. Granger Westberg, saw the need for the church to support its members not merely by hospital and home visits when they are ill, but also by supporting the emotional and spiritual needs of the person to promote whole person health. Hence, he began what is known as the modern Parish Nurse ministry. The Parish Nurse ministry is a complementary ministry to the Pastor. When the pastor and parish nurse make a hospital call, the pastor can provide spiritual care and support, while the parish nurse can interpret the medical dynamics that are occurring and provide comfort and support to the patient and family.

The qualifications to be a Parish Nurse include: A Registered Nurse with an active license in the state he or she practices, A person in good standing in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, A person of spiritual maturity, Two or more years of nursing experience, Commitment to the wellness of the whole person as understood in the Christian gospel, and Completion of a recognized Parish Nurse preparation program. The Lutheran Church Missouri Synod offers several options to receive a Parish Nurse certifications: Concordia University Wisconsin offers a 4-day Christian Caregiving Conference to receive a certification in Parish Nursing. For information please contact Dr. Carol Lueders-Bolwerk at  A Distance Learning Program that will offer you a certificate in Parish Nursing with home study and a mentor to assist you through the program. For more information please contact Dr. Marcia Schnorr at (This is the program that I took).

My name is Sue Neff and I serve as the District Representative for Parish Nursing in the LCMS-English District. I served at First Lutheran Church, El Cajon, CA from 1991-2019. I continue to serve at the district level as the District Representative and am a member of the Ministerial Health Commission,and I also serve as a charter member and treasurer of Lutheran Parish Nurses International, a not for profit network organization that works with parish nurses around the world. Please contact me if: You are an English District Parish Nurse. I would love to add you to my email list to provide updates and future opportunities. You are a congregation that is interested in learning about beginning a Parish Nurse ministry in your church.

Luke 9:2 says that Jesus “sent them out to preach the word and heal the sick.” We are the hands and feet of Jesus. Let us go and serve our fellow man in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus. Blessings, and I continue to serve HIM! 

Location & Contact


Sue Neff