Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest supports seven original sponsoring Lutheran agencies: Texas Lutheran University, Lutheran Sunset Ministries, Cross Trails Ministry, Upbring, Southwestern Texas Synod, Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod and Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, as well as the congregations and ministries of these synods. The ELCA Foundation is also part of our sponsoring organizations and allows us the opportunity to give to all ELCA ministries.

When working with The Foundation on your legacy plan, a majority of your gift has to be bestowed to one or more of our eight sponsoring organizations listed below.


God’s work. Our hands.


As a partner of the Lutheran Foundation of the Southwest (LFSW), the ELCA Foundation facilitates gifts to support all ELCA-related institutions: congregations, synods, camps, campus ministries, and churchwide programs like ELCA World Hunger, Lutheran Disaster Response, the ELCA Fund for Leaders and more.

Committed to the long-term sustainability of this church and its ministries, the ELCA Foundation offers variety of planned giving and investment options to serve individuals and congregations and their charitable goals.

Designed specifically for congregations and other ELCA ministries, the Foundation offers the ELCA Endowment Fund Pooled Trust-Ministry Growth Fund, as a collective, long-term investment of funds belonging to the church. With more than $750 million invested by more than 1,000 congregations and other participants, the Fund distributes more than $25M annually to support this church, LFSW, and the ministries we share.

Cross Trails Ministry

Our Mission is to provide unique settings and experiences in which youth, adults and families are strengthened in their relationship with Christ, each other, the church and community.


The day to day world is full of distractions that can make it difficult to focus on our relationship with God. Sometimes we all need to step away from our everyday to encounter God in new ways.

At Cross Trails Ministry we gather people of all ages for summer camp and retreats. Through intentional, focused time away… youth, adults, families and congregations discover God joyfully, playfully, loudly and softly lighting or reigniting the fires of their faith.

Thousands come to our two sites, Lutheran Camp Chrysalis and Ebert Ranch Camp, and through our off-site adventures and day camps each year. They strengthen their relationship with God and each other and return home to follow God’s call in the world. Thanks to those who give, Cross Trails is a hopeful and joyful ministry of faith formation, leadership training and outreach.



Mission: Texas Lutheran University is a community of learning and a community of faith.


Texas Lutheran University is a private, residential, undergraduate university offering academic programs in the liberal arts and sciences and preprofessional studies. On a spacious 184- acre campus in Seguin, Texas, TLU offers 27 majors, 37 minors, four graduate programs, and 12 pre professional programs, all of which are grounded in the liberal arts.

As a community of learning and a community of faith, TLU has a highly qualified and dedicated faculty who challenge, mentor, and know their students in a personal environment that enables sustained interaction on a regular basis. While a primary emphasis is still on teaching, TLU’s faculty also engage students in collaborative research and scholarly activities which enrich the teaching and learning environment.

The TLU experience emphasizes the development of the whole student. The co-curriculum is developed and implemented by students, faculty, and staff to provide a variety of opportunities in academic, social, cultural, spiritual, and physical activities and organizations. Special emphasis is placed on service learning and civic engagement, and the Jon and Sandra Moline Center for Servant Leadership coordinates a wide variety of activities through which students serve the larger community.

As a Lutheran institution which serves a diverse region, the university community believes its exceptional educational experience is directly tied to its diversity. In addition to its designation as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, TLU also serves a large population of first-generation students. Together, TLU’s students, faculty, and staff are committed to fostering a welcoming environment that respects and celebrates the contributions made by its diverse community and their cultures.



Upbring has a long history of making an impact on those in need. The agency’s roots go back to 1881, when a compassionate group of Lutherans founded the first Lutheran social ministry in Louisiana to care for children orphaned by the typhoid plague. In 1926, like-minded Lutherans established an asylum for widows and orphans in Round Rock, Texas. In January 1993, the two agencies merged to become Lutheran Social Services of the South, Inc.

In 2015, Lutheran Social Services of the South rebranded as Upbring with a renewed focus on its mission to break the cycle of child abuse by empowering children, families and communities. With a faith-inspired, research-based approach, Upbring continues to make a difference in the lives of those it serves in programs including foster care, adoption, education and residential treatment centers.



Mission: Providing person-centered services based on Christian values.


Since 1954, Lutheran Sunset Ministries (LSM) has provided inspired retirement living options for every stage of life. Nestled in a vibrant neighborhood in Clifton, Texas, the 32acre campus is the only retirement community in Bosque County that offers a full continuum of person-centered support. Their programs include retirement living, assisted living, long-term care (with rehabilitation and therapy services), memory support, companion services and hospice. Regardless of what life stage you are approaching, you’ll find that the ideal environment awaits you at LSM.

Lutheran Sunset Ministries provides residents with maintenancefree accommodations in a charming, active community. As a not for-profit entity, all net proceeds are invested back into the LSM community, creating added value and services for their residents. All denominations are welcome and are continuously provided opportunities for spiritual, physical, intellectual and social growth.

In early 2020, LSM will be opening a new rehabilitation/therapy gym, connected to the Norse wing of Sunset Home. The therapy center will be staffed by the same highly-trained therapists we’ve always had, but with easier access for outpatient clients and advanced exercise equipment in a more spacious gym.

For more information on Lutheran Sunset Ministries or to schedule a tour, please visit or call 254-675-8637. Visit their website for helpful blog articles on successful aging, to sign up for their tri-annual newsletter and much more.


Mission: To make disciples.


Planted in one of the fastest growing and demographically diverse areas of the country, the Northern Texas-Northern Louisiana Synod is committed to developing leadership to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ, planting and growing our congregations, and welcoming all people to share in the lifegiving message of hope, inclusion, and justice of the kingdom of God. The synod is comprised of 104 worshipping communities serving a geographic area of over 200,000 sq. miles across North Texas and Louisiana including congregations in Durant, OK and Clovis, NM. We have worshipping communities utilizing four different languages to connect with the growing diversity of our territory. We support this shared mission by our work training leaders through the Briarwood Leadership Center ( in which we partner with innovative programs of leadership formation for every generation. We are a leader in Latinx theological education through our Secondary School of Theological Education and look to grow our ability to share these leadership gifts throughout the church and world.


Southwestern Texas Synod

Mission: God’s people–growing in faith, outwardly focused, doing mission!


The 130 congregations and worshipping communities of the Southwestern Texas Synod cover a vast territory spanning from Pecos county in West Texas to north of Austin and to the southernmost tip of the state in the Rio Grande Valley. We have the largest southern border in the nation. We unite in faith across vast distances and a variety of settings which include the US/Mexican border, farms, ranches and the multicultural urban centers of San Antonio, Austin and Corpus Christi. Some of the fastest growing communities in the country are in our territory as are areas of the most extreme poverty.

Our people strive for the sake of spreading the good news of Jesus Christ to rising generations, and caring for others. We guide our life and work together with the statement that God’s grace transforms and connects us to learn, to love, to lead. We witness to the grace of God that transforms us. We connect first with our Triune God, then with other congregations, denominations, agencies and institutions. We are committed to learn together by courageously embracing new practices and perspectives; to love our neighbor through active engagement that deepens relationships and destroys barriers of hate; and to lead each other toward peace and justice in this broken but beloved world. We invite you to be part of our mission in Southwestern Texas Synod.


Mission: A network of growing, Christ-centered, outwardly-focused congregations passing the faith to the next generation.

The Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is a network of 108 Lutheran congregations working together to plant churches, support churches around the world, prepare pastors, help congregations find pastors, support congregations in crisis, encourage evangelism, generosity and ministry among people of all ages.

Each congregation is a mission outpost called to a unique setting and gifted in particular ways to carry out their mission. We represent many predecessor expressions of Lutheran tradition and weave together our various pasts for the hope of a stronger mission in partnership with one another.

The Lutheran witness is undergoing transformation we enter into a new time in the history of the Christian movement. The post-post modern world where we are called to bear witness is calling us to clarify our vision, mission, values and strategies in new ways to reach a pluralistic world. The opportunity for us collectively and for congregations individually to examine why they exist and to claim their mission for the future is exciting and urgent.

We encourage you to join us as we wonder and explore and discover the exciting mission-centered ministry God is calling us to do in the Texas-Louisiana Gulf Coast Synod.