Skip to main content

Northwest District (LCMS) Youth Work Records

Identifier: NWD.27
The collection consists of minutes, reports, and correspondence from the various administrative levels. It shows the relationship between the official District programs and the programs of the Walther League.


  • 1939 - 1977

Language of Materials

Collection materials are in English.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is available for research by appointment.

Conditions Governing Use Note

The Northwest District Archives is the owner of the materials in the District youth work Collection and makes available reproductions for research, publication, and other uses. Written permission must be obtained from the Northwest District Archives before any reproduction use. Copyright resides with the creator of the documents or their heirs. The status of copyright is governed by the Copyright Law of the U. S. (Title 17, U.S.C.). In some cases, permission for use may require seeking additional authorization from the copyright owners.


0.6 Linear Feet


The records of the Northwest District's work with youth in the Lutheran Churches on an administrative level.

Historical note

Early formal programs for Lutheran youth in the Northwest District of The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod were provided by the International Walther League, which was a youth-led organization. On the District administrative level, the School Board (Board of Education) was responsible for young people's work. Even though some in the District were concerned about duplication of effort, the Board of Education "kept in touch with the Walther League" and served as a link between the Walther League and the District. While the Walther League was in existence, the District depended on it to do most of the religious training of youth of high school age and upward.

In 1942 the District introduced a Board of Directors to administer the programs of the District in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. One of the new standing committees was a Committee on Student Support and Young People's Work (sometimes called the District Youth Committee). In 1956 the District raised the profile of young people's work when it called a staff person to coordinate a number of programs, including youth. Carl F. Nitz, together with the District Youth Committee, now provided a staff level link between the 3 Walther League Districts, with their zones, and the District office. He served until 1972.

The 1965 Synodical Convention directed each district to establish a separate youth board or committee. The Synodical Board for Young People's Work was to supply these district boards with resources and training. The District Youth Committee reported to the 1968 District Convention that some structural changes had indeed occurred. The Walther League Districts had been eliminated. Youth programs were being financed from the District budget. A new structure had been introduced:

a) Each state (Idaho, Washington, and Oregon) had a Youth Commission made up of youth of high school age, with an adult advisor, responsible to the State Youth Board.

b) Each state had its own State Youth Board, made up of adults, and responsible to the District Youth Board for youth work in the state.

c) A District Youth Board (with 2 members from the Board of Directors and 2 members from each State Youth Board) administered the youth programs as determined by the Board of Directors. (The 1969 Synodical Convention Workbook has an organizational chart on page 371.)

By 1967, the International Walther League was being phased out, although the District Youth Board still communicated with the existing Walther League boards. In 1973 Arthur L. Linnemann was called to the District office of Associate Director of Parish Services, Education, and Youth.

After another structural change in 1977, the year when the Walther League ceased to exist, a newly-formed District Youth Committee consisted of a member of the Board of Directors, the staff counselor, and the chairperson from each of 5 newly-formed Conference Youth Boards (South Idaho, Inland Empire, Oregon, Puget Sound, and Alaska). This District Youth Committee guided the youth work of the District for nearly twenty years. In 1997, after a reorganization of the District administrative structure, youth work was subsumed under the office of Congregational Services, headed by Richard L. Weniger.


The collection is arranged in two series to reflect the significant administrative change that occurred in 1967. Series 1 is for the records to the middle of 1967; series 2 contains the records from 1967 to 1977.

Related Materials

Reports on youth work in the District from the founding of the District in 1899 may be found in the records of the District Board of Directors and its predecessors.
Guide to the Northwest District (LCMS) Youth Work Records
Nolan R. Bremer
Description rules
Language of description

Repository Details

Part of the Northwest District (Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod) Archives Repository

Northwest District Archives
Concordia University
2811 NE Holman St.
Portland Oregon 97211-6099 USA