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The Mission and Ministry of Stephen Ministries

Who Is Stephen Ministries?

The Stephen Ministries Center in St. Louis, Missouri.

Stephen Ministries (or Stephen Ministries St. Louis) is an independent, not-for-profit Christian educational organization, founded in 1975 and based in St. Louis, Missouri. (Learn more about our history.)

We are a team of 40 dedicated people—pastors and laity—from a variety of denominational backgrounds, committed to serving God and equipping God’s people for ministry. (Learn more about our staff.)

Our organization draws its name from St. Stephen. In the book of Acts, Chapter 6, Stephen was chosen to provide caring ministry to those in need. Since the days of the Apostles, caring ministry has been a hallmark of the Christian faith community—and is at the heart of all we do at Stephen Ministries.

The Resources Offered by Stephen Ministries

This page describes Stephen Ministries, the organization in St. Louis, Missouri. To understand who we are and what we do, it is helpful to distinguish between:

  • Stephen Ministries (or Stephen Ministries St. Louis), the not-for-profit, transdenominational Christian training organization based in St. Louis


  • The Stephen Series (or Stephen Ministry), a lay caring ministry system offered by Stephen Ministries St. Louis and used in thousands of congregations and other organizations worldwide.

In addition to the Stephen Series, Stephen Ministries St. Louis also offers many other resources (adult education courses, books, and videos) that you can read about on this website. These include:

The Mission of Stephen Ministries

Stephen Ministries Center Lobby Mural by Timothy Botts.

The mission of the Stephen Ministries organization is summed up in St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians.

“To equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13).

These words describe why our organization exists, what we do for people and congregations, and the difference we hope to make in the world. You’ll find these words written on the wall in the entryway of the Stephen Ministries Center in St. Louis, an encouraging reminder to our staff that always keeps us focused on our mission.

The Core Values of Stephen Ministries

The core values of the Stephen Ministries organization are:

  • Incarnational theology (God in Christ, and Christ caring for people through people)

  • Ministry as the privilege and responsibility of all God’s people

  • Empowering those we serve to get excellent results

  • Personal humility

  • Organizational stability

  • Positive work environment

These core values are the unifying beliefs, principles, and ideals that drive the way we think, talk, and act at Stephen Ministries St. Louis.

Check out the Stephen Ministry by the Numbers booklet for a brief overview of Stephen Ministry.

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