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Mission & Ministries

Mission & Ministries

The South Dakota District is thankful for the partnership in the Gospel it has with our District congregations and schools. Working together we are able to share the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ in various places around South Dakota and the world through many different types of ministry and service. Through our congregations’ generous offerings to the District, together we are able to:

  • Support the mission and ministry of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod
  • Share the love of Jesus with our Native American brothers and sisters on two of South Dakota’s Native American Reservations
  • Provide Word and Sacrament Ministry to students attending South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota
  • Encourage and strengthen our District pastors, DCE’s, and Lutheran school teachers through continuing education
  • Fund a chaplain to make hospital visits in Sioux Falls when a home pastor is unable to travel
  • Support seminary education in Novosibirsk, Siberia, Russia through Rev. Alan Ludwig and Together In Mission
  • Provide for Deaf Ministry in Sioux Falls and around South Dakota

These are just a few examples of the Gospel work that is made possible by the generous congregations of The South Dakota District. The District seeks to be good stewards of the congregations’ gifts and offerings. Below you will find pie charts of the District’s current fiscal year budget of expenses and projected support and income.

Native American Ministry

Jesus said, “And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd” (John 10:16). The South Dakota District engages in mission work on two South Dakota Native American Indian Reservations: Rosebud and Pine Ridge. Here you can learn more about the mission and ministry of our District’s Native American Ministry.

Rev. Andrew Utecht

Rev. Andrew Utecht is a faithful servant of the Lord who serves the people of the Rosebud Indian Reservation. He shares the Gospel of the Savior Jesus Christ, offers Biblical counsel, and performs acts of mercy and care in Rosebud and Parmalee. He is involved in a sewing factory that provides jobs to Native Americans sewing Native American Star Quilts and other products.

You can learn more about Pator Utecht’s mission among the Native Americans at the Rosebud Lutheran Church and Lord’s Warriors Lutheran Church, Parmelee website.

Rev. Albert Sutton

Rev. Albert Sutton faithfully serves the people of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He shares the Gospel of the Savior Jesus Christ, offers Biblical counsel, and performs acts of mercy and care in the Evergreen housing development near Porcupine on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. He serves alongside his ministry team: Larry and Doris Belitz and Jeff and Diane Falin.

Deaf Ministry

The South Dakota District supports deaf ministry in South Dakota through Trinity Lutheran Church of the Deaf in Sioux Falls, SD. Rev. Matthew Nix, who serves Christ Lutheran Church and Trinity Lutheran Church of the Deaf, is available to provide sign language services throughout South Dakota.

Trinity Lutheran Church of the Deaf meets at 8:30 a.m. on Sunday mornings at Christ Lutheran Church, 4801 East 6th Street, Sioux Falls, SD. Pastor Nix communicates through sign language during this service.

Pastor Matthew Nix

Sioux Falls Hospital Chaplain

605-338-LCMS (5267)

Sioux Falls Hospital Chaplaincy

St. James writes, “Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him…” (James 5:14). Many in South Dakota who need hospital care end up in one of the several hospitals in Sioux Falls. In cases where pastors cannot make the trip to Sioux Falls for a hospital visit, the South Dakota District supports an LCMS hospital chaplain who will visit the patient on behalf of their pastor. When calling the chaplain, please provide him with as much information as possible, such as: name, names of other family members with them, hospital, and room number.

Pastor Matthew Nix

Sioux Falls Hospital Chaplain

605-338-LCMS (5267)

Together In Mission

At the 2021 South Dakota District Convention, convention delegates adopted Resolution 2-02 to financially support Rev. Dr. Daniel Jastram, LCMS Missionary to Southeast Asia and Rev. Dr. Cory Rajek, LCMS Missionary to Eurasia. The congregations of the district agreed that their Together In Mission offerings to the district would be evenly distributed between both missionaries.

Rev. Dr. Daniel & Joan Jastram

Rev. Dr. Daniel Jastram serves as a missionary on behalf of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod throughout Asia, based in Tokyo, Japan. His responsibilities include developing and implementing a strategic mission plan for this area. He coordinates theological education opportunities and supervises and evaluates theological educators throughout Asia. When needed, Dr. Jastram teaches courses at Japan Lutheran Theological Seminary, Tokyo, Japan. Dr. Jastram’s wife, Joan, was born in Mitchell, SD, where her childhood congregation was Zion Lutheran Church, Mitchell, SD. She received both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of South Dakota, Vermillion, SD. She received her Doctor of Psychology degree from the Minnesota School of Professional Psychology at Argosy University, Twin Cities, MN. 

To learn more about Rev. Dr. Daniel and Joan Jastram, read their LCMS Prayer Card.

Rev. Dr. Cory & Jennifer Rajek

The Rev. Dr. Cory and Jennifer Rajek serve the Lord through The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod (LCMS) in Riga, Latvia. In this role, Cory teaches at the Luther Academy, the seminary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia. He also serves as a missionary pastor to the area and leads Riga’s English-language service, which relaunched after being suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Cory is originally from Merrill, Wis. He received his bachelor’s degree in Pastoral Ministry/Theological Languages from Concordia University Wisconsin, Mequon, Wis., and his Master of Divinity degree from Concordia Seminary, St. Louis. He also has a master’s degree in Servant Leadership from Viterbo University, LaCrosse, Wis., and a doctorate in Leadership for the Advancement of Learning and Service from Cardinal Stritch University, Milwaukee. Before becoming a missionary, Cory served parishes in Iowa, Wisconsin and South Dakota. 

To learn more about Rev. Dr. Cory and Jennifer Rajek, read their LCMS Prayer Card.

Lay Leadership Institute

The South Dakota District has established the Lay Leadership Institute (LLI) to train and equip lay leaders to be of greater service to their pastors and congregations. The Lay Leadership Institute has three levels of involvement:

  • Level 1: This level is available to anyone seeking a deeper knowledge of Scripture, Christian doctrine, or church history.
  • Level 2: This level is available to those whose congregations have identified a gifted lay man or woman within their congregation to serve in a particular type of ministry. Examples include: evangelism, outreach, music, parish nursing, youth leader, etc.
  • Level 3: This level is available to lay men whose congregations have agreed to their participation and wish:
    • To receive training in order to assist their pastor in many areas of pastoral ministry (teaching, leading worship, visitation).
    • To seek a route to ordained pastoral ministry through traditional seminary education or through the Specific Ministry Pastor (SMP) program.

To learn more about LLI, read the Lay Leadership Institute Description


LLI consists of 11 courses and costs $200 per course:

  • Old Testament
  • New Testament
  • Interpreting the Bible in Translation
  • Christian Doctrine
  • Church History 1
  • Church History 2
  • Lutheran Worship
  • Fundamentals of Pastoral Care
  • Teaching the Faith
  • Homiletics
  • Mission Outreach in Context



Have questions about the Lay Leadership Institute? This LLI FAQs will answer some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Lay Leadership Institute.

Graduate Guidelines

Does your congregation have someone who has completed the Lay Leadership Institute program? Guidelines for Congregations with an LLI Graduate will explain what a congregation can reasonably expect from an LLI graduate.

Main Street Living

Main Street Living produces an hour long television program endorsed by The South Dakota District of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod.  The program is made possible by the generous financial support of LCMS congregregations in South Dakota and by other viewers and congregations in the program’s viewing area.

The first half hour are Remastered episodes of the Emmy award-winning Lutheran Hour Ministries “This is the Life” program were originally aired from the 1950’s to the 1980’s. This program has been re-mastered to the modern format.
The second half-hour is an abbreviated worship service led by an LCMS pastor from the South Dakota District.

Main Street Living can be seen each Sunday morning at 10:00 a.m. (Central Time) on KDLT-NBC, Sioux Falls and at 9:00 a.m. (Mountain Time) on KEVN-Fox, Rapid City.

For pastors preparing to tape a worship service, the service format is found here:  Service Format

Lutheran Schools

Jesus said, “‘Let the children come to me, do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of God…’ And Jesus took them in his arms and blessed them, laying his hands on them’ (Mark 10:14, 16). The mission of Lutheran schools is to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with students and families while providing a high quality, affordable education. This page contains resources to promote and support the mission of Lutheran schools in the South Dakota District.


LCMS Office of School Ministry

Learn more about Lutheran school education in The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod from the LCMS Office of School Ministry.

Learn More

South Dakota Department of Education

Stay informed of the latest news and information in the world of education from the South Dakota Department of Education.

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LuthEd encourages, connects, and informs Lutheran school administrators and teachers with all of the latest news and events in Lutheran education. LuthEd is the source to find LCMS school ministry mailings, National Lutheran Schools Week materials, Chapel Talks, early childhood resources, and so much more.

Learn More

Protecting Your Ministry

The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod and Alliance Defending Freedom have collaborated on this manual, Protecting Your Ministry, to help congregations, schools, and ministries protect against and prepare for religious liberty intrusions. This manual provides helpful legal advice and sample policies to protect your school from possible litigation.

National Lutheran School Accreditation

National Lutheran School Accreditation (NLSA) serves as the accrediting body for Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod schools across the United States. All National Lutheran School Accreditation information and documents can be found on the NLSA homepage.

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Early Childhood Resources

In His Hands is a manual from the LCMS Office of School Ministry to help begin and maintain an early childhood program. The state of South Dakota has established SD Early Learning Guidelines to assist early childhood educators track the progress of their students.


Commissioned Minister Candidate Request Form

If your congregation or school is looking to call a new Commissioned Minister candidate from one of the Concordia University System schools, you are required to fill out this Candidate Request Form.

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Church Worker Update

Rostered Commissioned Ministers in the LCMS can update their personal information for the LCMS Office of Rosters and Statistics through the Church Worker Update. A login and password are required to access this site.

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Commissioned Minister Information Form

The Commissioned Minister Information Form (CMIF) is a tool designed to assist LCMS entities to find the right Commissioned Minister for their open positions. A login and password are required to access this site.

Learn More

Premium Services & Group Purchasing

The LCMS Office of School Ministry has worked with service vendors to provide discounts to all LCMS schools on a variety of products. The LCMS also has group purchasing agreements with several businesses that provide products and services to Lutheran schools. Discover how your school could potentially save money through these Premium Services and Group Purchasing.

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Disaster Response

SD District Disaster Response Coordinator: Reverend Adam Welton

Synod’s Disaster Response web page


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