The Department for World Service is our internationally recognized humanitarian and development arm.

Rooted in Christian values of love, reconciliation and justice, we respond to human need throughout the world.

We serve all people irrespective of ethnicity, gender, religion, race, or political conviction. And we envision a world where societies live in peace and dignity and are united in diversity.

Like the Lutheran communion that mandates our work, we are locally rooted and globally connected. We work with both local and international partners to help communities achieve their full potential and advocate for their universal rights.

Our core commitments

Human rights
Respect for human rights is fundamental to reducing poverty.

We work hard to ensure that human rights are at the core of everything we do in order to bring about justice, peace, and sustainable development.

As a humanitarian organization, we promote and adhere to international humanitarian law.


The LWF assists affected people - irrespective of ethnicity, gender, religion, race or political conviction. Assistance is provided in response and relative to need, without discrimination or favoritism.

We promote and adhere to the Code of Conduct for The International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and NGOs in Disaster Relief.


We are committed to being responsible and accountable to the people we seek to serve. We strive for a culture of accountability at all levels – through leadership, policies, management systems, and field practices.

In 2012, we received the 2010 Humanitarian Accountability Partnership (HAP) Standard in Accountability and Quality Management certification.

In the coming years, we will continue to strengthen accountability practice, particularly in the areas of information sharing, participation, and complaints handling mechanisms.

Gender justice

We believe the role of women is central to development and we aim to ensure the equal participation of women in our programs.

We integrate gender perspectives in all aspects of our work and undertake specific advocacy to change attitudes and practices as well as to institutionalize gender justice.

We support the empowerment of women by designing specific opportunities and projects for women.

Climate justice & environmental protection

In light of the escalating effects of climate change on poor and marginalized populations, we prioritize adaptation activities and promote greenhouse gas mitigation initiatives.

We are committed to incorporating concern for the environment into all development operations.

We assess the environmental impact of our activities and adopt environmentally responsible and sustainable strategies.

How we work

Community-based empowerment

We engage with communities in ways that empower and involve people so that they can direct their own development.

We see the people as we serve both as individuals in their own right and as participating members of families, groups, and communities.

We encourage community participation and support the development of local networks and structures as a path to strengthening local civil society.

Rights-based approach

We believe that the people we serve are not objects of charity but, in fact, are rights holders.

By anchoring our work in raising awareness of human rights, we help communities and people become active citizens who challenge existing structures, address the root causes of poverty, and promote equality and social justice.

Programmatic integration

Actions within communities are inherently linked. For example, environmental issues, gender justice, and protection interconnect, and, therefore, our programs are integrated to maximize our impact.

Relief, rehabilitation, development, and disaster preparedness efforts are not always linear processes. Bridging the gap between emergency response and development is one of our key areas of competence.


People of the world, living in just societies in peace and dignity, united in diversity and empowered to achieve their full potential, claim their universal rights, meet their basic needs and improve their quality of life 


Inspired by God’s love for humanity, World Service responds to and challenges the causes and effects of human suffering and poverty

Our Core Values

  • Dignity and justice
  • Compassion and commitment
  • Respect for diversity
  • Inclusion and participation
  • Transparency and accountability

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