Parish Nurse - Health Ministry | Michigan District, LCMS

Parish Nurse - Health Ministry

What is Parish Nursing?

"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ" (Galatians 6:2 NIV).

Congregational Health Ministries/Parish Nursing is committed to promoting and supporting the physical, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing as part of the Christian stewardship of the whole person. There are over 60 congregations with active health ministries in the Michigan District.

  • Parish Nurses can offer physical, emotional, and spiritual care for the members of a congregation. May also lift some of the burden from a Pastor with visitations.
  • A Parish Nurse understands and promotes the relationship between faith and health and is uniquely qualified to assist in this area.
  • Parish Nurses empower people with information and resources to help congregations members make wise healthcare decisions.
Why should your congregation have a Parish Nurse?

Health is not the absence of disease, but instead a wholistic way of living that includes balanced spiritual, physical, emotional and relational wellbeing. The parish nurse seeks to promote an understanding between faith and health by lifting up lifestyle practices as a matter of stewardship, and works directly with the pastoral staff to provide professional care.

As each LCMS congregation is unique in parishioner demographics, the parish nurse/health ministry is individualized to meet the needs of your congregation. Programs are developed and implemented based on identified needs with the church, in conjunction with the pastoral staff.

Compensation and hours of the parish nurse vary among congregations. Some parish nurses are salaried, while others work on a volunteer basis. Some compensation is encouraged to give credibility to the ministry.

Parish Nursing - A Guide to Parish Nursing (.pdf brochure)

Functions of the parish nurse/healthy ministry
  • Health Educator - provides opportunities for individuals and groups to learn about health issues, teaches safety classes, and develops/facilitates support groups for the church and community.
  • Health Counselor - discusses health concerns, answers health-related questions and encourages a healthy lifestyle.
  • Referral Advisor/Liaison - provides referrals to health care and social service resources within the community.
  • Health Advocate - Helps members of the congregation and community obtain needed health-related services. Empower people with information and resources to make wise healthcare decisions.
  • Visitation - provides Christ-centered home and hospital visitation upon request to offer prayer, support, and encouragement of parishioners and family caregivers.
  • Volunteer Coordinator - recruits, prepares, and oversees congregational volunteers who help those in need with meals, transportation and other identified needs.
  • Registered nurse, licensed in Michigan, functioning under the American Nurses Association Scope and Standards of Practice for Faith Community Nursing
  • Member in good standing of the congregation
  • Person of spiritual maturity
  • Two or more years of nursing experience
  • Completion of an LCMS-based parish nurse preparation program which consists of 30 contact hours

Are All Parish Nurses Women?

Yes. Although there is a trend of employing more men as health care providers, the vocation of parish nurse allows a female presence in the church to provide care and support, which is different than the male pastor role.

LCMS Basic Preparation and Continuing Education

Special preparation programs, opportunities for basic preparation and continuing education are available at the following universities and institutions:

Educational Networking

The Michigan District, LCMS Parish Nuse Council hosts an annual convocation in Ann Arbor in December. Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon hosts an annual conference in May. Contact Christie Hansard for more information. 

The Michigan District, LCMS Parish Council

Christie Hansard, RN, BSN
Michigan District, LCMS Parish Nurse Representative
Faith, Grand Blanc | Genessee County | 810-516-1693

Lisa Riviera, RN, BSN
Council Member
Trinity, Clinton Township | Macomb County | 583.213.1339

Laura Tom, RN, BSN
Council Member
St. John's, Rochester | Oakland County | 586.201.9162


Christie Hansard, RN, BSN, PN

Christie Hansard, RN, BSN

Parish Nurse Representative

Christie Hansard, RN, BSN is the Michigan District, LCMS Parish Nurse Representative for the Michigan District, LCMS. She is a member of Faith, Grand Blanc.


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