who we are

Redeemer is a diverse group of believers from university students to young families to empty nesters to retirees.  Redeemer was founded in the 1940s and has been a part of Ann Arbor ever since. 

Redeemer Lutheran Church is a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), the third largest Lutheran church body in North America, which supports ministry all over this country and around the world.  A confessional Lutheran denomination, WELS began in Milwaukee in 1850 and has grown to around 350,000 baptized members and over 1200 congregations served by about 1400 pastors.  WELS also operates one of the largest Lutheran school systems in the country, with around 300 elementary schools, 400 early childhood ministries, and 27 high schools.  

Learn more about WELS

what we believe

We believe that Jesus redeemed us, or bought us back, from the guilt of our sin and the slavery of death.  By giving his life for us, he released us from that bondage, even though we could offer nothing at all to him.  Jesus saved us all because of his grace and not because of any works or any goodness we could have hoped to offer to him.  That message of sheer grace and pure love to us we find in his Word, the completely true and relevant message for our lives.  That message is the power of God the Holy Spirit uses to create faith in our hearts, another of his gracious gifts to us, not a decision we make or a work we do for him.  Through the waters of baptism, the Holy Spirit forgives sins, creates faith, and saves us.  In the Lord's Supper, Jesus is truly present with his body and blood to forgive our sins and assure us of salvation.  Because we are saved by God's grace through faith, we serve not because we have to, but because in thankfulness we want to.

If you have questions about topics, teachings, or contemporary issues,

find out more in the Q & A section of our church body's website.

As a member of the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), 

find out more about what our national church body believes.

As a confessional Lutheran church body, 

find out more about the confessions of Lutheranism found in the Book of Concord.

our mission

Our mission is simple.  Our mission is clear.  Our mission is summed up in three words.  Everything we do at Redeemer is about glorifying God in worship, growing closer to God's people and God's Word, and going into our city with the Word.


"Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." 

1 Corinthians 10:31

No matter what we do at Redeemer, it is not for our glory but for God's glory.  Worship excellence during our Sunday service, one of the most important times of our week, is the heart and core of our mission to glorify God.  That's when we intentionally focus glorifying God by proclaiming the redemption he has done for us.  We do that through preaching that applies a specifically-chosen part of God's Word to real life in a university town, through church music that makes worship come alive, and through blending the best of old and new forms of worship.  Our worship strives to be authentic and engaging. It's about something bigger than ourselves or our individual congregation; it connects us to a community of thousands of believers past, present, and future.  One Sunday you may experience worship lead by the organ which leads congregational singing; another week you may experience worship lead by the piano and instruments.  One Sunday we might sing a hymn from the early church that's over a thousand years old; another week we might sing a song only composed a few years ago.  Other Sundays we might sing some of the most ancient Christian responses in modern, eclectic settings.  No matter what, we're all about purposeful worship that focuses on Jesus' message of sheer grace and explains what we do and why we do it. No matter what our strategic plans for the future may be, no matter how much we may strive for as much excellence as possible in all our ministry, it's not about how great we are but how great Jesus is.


"Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ."

2 Peter 3:18

At Redeemer, we are not about a superficial Christianity that only remains in the basics.  As Christians, we are called to continually grow in understanding Jesus as our Redeemer and living him in our world.  Instead of nominal Christianity, we want to put the Bible in the hands of the people and let it speak for itself as you discover God's message of love.  We invest hours every week to strive to be the teaching church that equips people to explain what they believe and why they believe it.  That's why our Bible studies are planned carefully with the latest research on adult learning in mind.  Our core learning opportunities including adult Bible study and kids Sunday School on Sundays at 9:30 am and catechism opportunities for our youth.  All are centered on growing deeper in our understanding, appreciation, and practice of our faith in Jesus our Redeemer.


"Go and make disciples of all nations."

Matthew 28:19

At Redeemer, the gospel about Jesus' love for us is too life-changing of a message to keep to ourselves.  So you won't find a country club clique but a church that wants to build community and get out into the community.  Once we glorify God and grow in his Word, we want to live our faith and take it to the streets.  Redeemer has a stated goal of at least two community service projects per year and four outreach events per year.  We've participated in Relay for Life to support cancer research, and every summer we go out to hundreds of homes in our neighborhood to collect food and home supplies for Pauline Apartments, part of Avalon Housing, which seeks to reduce homelessness in our city.  Whether we support the spread of the gospel around the world through our national church body, whether we invite our family and friends to hear the gospel of Jesus, or whether we serve in right here in Ann Arbor, we go with Jesus to the world.

philosophy of ministry

Our philosophy of ministry simply describes "why we do what we do the way we do it."  After a lot of careful research, Redeemer Lutheran Church intends to be a church that is:

  • centered completely on the unchanging, unconditional gospel of Jesus Christ, revealed in God’s inspired Word
  • equipped to articulate what we believe and defend why we believe it
  • mission-minded, with sensitivity to people of other backgrounds and cultures
  • intent on doing everything we do with purpose and God-pleasing excellence
  • friendly and relational, by growing deeper connections among believers, welcoming guests to worship, and extending connections and invitations in the community
  • engaging, by equipping members and students to get involved in appropriate ways, no matter how long they may be with us
  • flexible and willing to adapt to make our heritage relevant in changing circumstances
  • connected to our city and university

the rlc 5

The RLC 5 is a clear, simple, and unified path of ministry that shows how discipleship happens at Redeemer.  In other words, it turns a theoretical mission into practical steps everyone can take. 

Core Values

Core values describe what we, based on a study of Scripture and our ministry setting, are convinced are the most important activities and attitudes that must shape our ministry at this time.

At Redeemer Lutheran Church, we value:

  • Christ-centered worship that emphasizes the relevance of textual preaching, the importance of the sacraments, prayer, and vibrant church music as the heart and core of what we do (2 Timothy 4:2, Matthew 28:19, 1 Corinthians 11:24-25, 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Ephesians 5:19)
  • In-depth teaching of Scripture that provides opportunity to grow in faith, knowledge, and service (Hebrews 6:1, 2 Timothy 3:16)
  • Evangelism that is driven by the fact that Jesus died for all people in this world (Acts 1:8, 1 John 2:2)
  • Fellowship that builds not simply a friendly church but a church of friends who support and connect with each other (Acts 2:46, Ecclesiastes 4:9-10, 1 Peter 4:8-10)
  • Campus ministry at the University of Michigan that trains students to articulate and defend their faith (Psalm 78:4, 1 Peter 3:15)
  • Community service that cares for the physical needs of the people in our city (Proverbs 19:17, Isaiah 58:10, Matthew 5:16, James 2:15-16)
  • Hospitality that greets guests just as warmly as people we already know (Hebrews 13:2, Romans 12:13)
  • Cooperation that unifies our ministry and seeks to do it as excellently as possible (Psalm 133:1, Colossians 3:23, 1 Chronicles 29)