The Eastern North Dakota Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is committed to preventing sexual abuse within the church by rostered ministers and to responding promptly with justice and compassion when such abuse occurs no longer how long ago it occurred. All forms of sexual abuse by rostered ministers within the church are unacceptable. This process also applies to persons in Candidacy or serving as Synod Authorized Ministers and is adapted according to their status.

What is Sexual Abuse?

Any rostered minister who uses their position in the church for personal sexual gratification misuses the ministerial office and betrays the ministerial relationship. Sexual abuse includes, but is not limited to, request for sexual favor or any sexual contact between the rostered minister and a congregational member, person being counseled, employee, volunteer, or another rostered minister. Please see ‚ÄúDefinitions and Guidelines for Discipline: Rostered Ministers, Congregations, and Members of Congregations‚ÄĚ, approved by the Church Council of the ELCA, for a more detailed definition.

How can rostered minister sexual abuse be reported?

Reports can be directed to the Bishop or an associate to the Bishop. Contact may be by mail, telephone, email, or in person.


Important Note: Mandated Reporting

If the report involves a minor or vulnerable adult, North Dakota law requires a mandatory report to local authorities. An investigation of a mandated report by social services and/or law enforcement takes precedence over investigation and action by the synod to maintain the integrity of the mandated report investigation; investigation and action by the synod may resume after the mandated reporting process has concluded.


Bishop Tessa Moon Leiseth

Pastor Bradley Skogen Associate with the Bishop

Deacon Laura Carson Associate with the Bishop



If the report is regarding the Bishop, the synod vice president is the person to contact. (Elna Solvang: 218-299-3435.) This person has been authorized by the synod to receive reports of sexual abuse and any information they are given will be shared with the Bishop (unless it is the Bishop who is being accused of sexual abuse, in which case the presiding Bishop of the ELCA will be contacted).



Reports may also be made to ELCA representative Barbara Keller at 773-380-2568 or email