The Pennsylvania Ministerium was the first Lutheran church body in North America. With the encouragement of Henry Melchior Muhlenberg, the Ministerium was founded at a meeting of German-American Lutheran clergy on 26 August 1748. The group was known as the "Ministerium of North America" until 1792, when it adopted the name "The Ministerium of Pennsylvania and Adjacent States." The Pennsylvania Ministerium was also the source of the first Lutheran liturgy in America. Because of its unique place in the history of North American Lutheranism, the Ministerium continued to influence the church politics of Lutherans in America into the twentieth century.
Pietism was a movement within Lutheranism, lasting from the late 17th century to the mid 18th century and later. It proved to be very influential throughout Protestantism and Anabaptism, inspiring not only Anglican priest John Wesley to begin the Methodist movement, but also Alexander Mack to begin the Brethren movement. The Pietist movement combined the Lutheranism of the time with the Reformed, and especially Puritan, emphasis on individual piety, and a vigorous Christian life.
The Lutheran liturgical calendar is a listing which details the primary annual festivals and events that are celebrated liturgically by various Lutheran churches. The basic element to the calendar is Sunday, which is a festival of Jesus’ resurrection. However, Christian Churches have historically observed other festivals which commemorate events in the life of Jesus or of significant individuals in the history of the Church. The purpose of the liturgical calendar is to guide commemorations as a part of the daily worship of the Lutheran Church. There is some variation associated with the observance of the calendar, as each Lutheran Church creates its own calendar and each congregation must choose independently how many individuals will be commemorated within a given year and how many festivals and lesser festivals they will publicly celebrate, especially if they do not coincide with a Sunday.
The Book of Concord or Concordia (1580) is the historic doctrinal standard of the Lutheran Church, consisting of ten credal documents recognized as authoritative in Lutheranism since the 16th century. They are also known as the symbolical books of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. The Book of Concord has been categorized as a "body of doctrine" or corpus doctrinæ since it was intended to supplant the other German territorial copora doctrinæ like the Corpus doctrinæ Philippicum or Misnicum. It was compiled by Jakob Andreae and Martin Chemnitz at the behest of their rulers, who desired an end to the religious controversies in their territories that arose among Lutherans after the death of Martin Luther in 1546. The list of writings predating the Formula of Concord that would be included in the Book of Concord are listed and described in the "Rule and Norm" section of the Formula. The Book of Concord was published in German on June 25, 1580 in Dresden, the fiftieth anniversary of the presentation of the Augsburg Confession to Emperor Charles V at the Diet of Augsburg. The authoritative Latin edition was published in 1584 in Leipzig.
Sola scriptura (Latin ablative, "by scripture alone") is the assertion that the Bible as God's written word is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter ("Scripture interprets Scripture"), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine. Sola scriptura was a foundational doctrinal principle of the Protestant Reformation held by the reformer Martin Luther and is a formal principle of Protestants today (see Five solas). Beyond the Reformation, as in some Evangelical and Baptist denominations, sola scriptura is stated even more strongly: it is self-authenticating, clear (perspicuous) to the rational reader, its own interpreter ("Scripture interprets Scripture"), and sufficient of itself to be the final authority of Christian doctrine. It may be contrasted with Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Anglican, and Oriental Orthodox teaching in which doctrine is taught by the teaching authority of the church, drawing on the "Deposit of Faith" and based on what they consider to be Sacred Tradition, of which the Bible is a subset.
Laestadianism is a conservative Lutheran revival movement started in the middle of the 19th century. It is strongly marked by both pietistic and Moravian influences. It is the biggest revivalist movement in the Nordic countries. It has members mainly in Finland, North America, Norway, Russia and Sweden. There are also smaller congregations in Africa, South America and Central Europe. In addition Laestadians have missionaries in 23 countries. The number of Laestadians worldwide is estimated to be between 144,000 and 219,000. Because of doctrinal opinion differences the movement has been split into 19 branches, of which about 15 are active today. All branches share many essential teachings: a central emphasis on the Lutheran doctrine of justification (forgiveness and grace), an essential difference between believers and unbelievers, and that every believer has the authority to testify that others' sins are forgiven. Their central activities are revival meetings, the biggest of them being the annual Summer Services of Conservative Laestadians.