Bishop Leila M. Ortiz

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The Rev. Leila M. Ortiz is a pastor and theologian in The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and serves as the Bishop of The Metropolitan Washington D.C. Synod since September of 2019. She works alongside pastors, councils, and church members as they discern their call in the church for the sake of the world. Leila joined the synod staff in 2016 as Assistant to the Bishop.

Bishop Leila completed graduate degree coursework and comprehensive exams at United Lutheran Theological Seminary of Pennsylvania and is currently “All bur dissertation.” Her concentration was in Systematic/Contemporary Theology with a special interest in Protestant Latinx Liberation Theologies in the United States and the impact of Latina hermeneutics on Lutheran ecclesiology.

Given her particular perspective and call to the church, in the fall of 2012 Bishop Leila served as a representative from the United States at The Lutheran World Federation (LWF) Global Theological Consultation in Wittenberg, Germany, to assess Lutheran heritage and the Reformation in defining what it means to be Lutheran in a fast-changing world. She served in this capacity again at the 2016 consultation in Geneva, Switzerland.

In the spring of 2013, Bishop Leila served as a member of the LWF Resource group, which prepared Lutheran Theological Education Network guidelines that would define the goal, process, roles, and responsibilities of the network at different levels within Lutheran communion. That fall she was invited to participate in The Global Ecumenical Institute in Busan, South Korea; an initiative of The World Council of Churches that gathered theological students and lecturers for a major project promoting ecumenical leadership formation, intense theological learning, and mutual dialogue.

Bishop Leila is an alumna of the 2015 Lewis Fellowship sponsored by the Lewis Center of Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. She is also an alumna of A Convocation of Christian Leaders, a series of four gatherings designed for promising young leaders from around the country who seek extended conversation about the theology and practice of leadership in Christian institutions hosted by Leadership Education of Duke Divinity.

Bishop Leila is a contributing author in “Global Lutheranism: Vitality and Challenges,” co-authored a chapter entitled “Pentecostal Latinas: Engendering Selves in Storefront Congregations” in Faith on the Avenue: Religion on a City Street (Oxford University Press, 2014), and has published articles and commentaries in Gather Magazine, in the journal Dialog: A Journey of Theology (Wiley Online Library), and Currently she serves as the Conference of Bishop’s liaison to the Association for Teaching Theologians of the ELCA and is on the board of Select Learning.