ELEA works in the following ways:

  1. The association provides both Elementary and Early Childhood Accreditation Programs which assure high quality in our schools and early childhood centers. We also offer a new "Wrap-Around" process, where we accept several other major secular accreditations with a school or center completing the faith-based portions of ELEA's process.

  2. The association provides a Centers of Wellness Certification Program to help schools and early childhood centers evaluate 7 areas of wellness and help children, families and staff be healthy in all areas.

  3. The association sponsors workshops and conferences for administrators, teachers, board members and pastors, including an annual School Administrator & Pastor Conference, and an annual intensive "Boot Camp" program for new or "need a boost" early childhood directors.

  4. The association distributes resources - print, video and Internet-based - in curriculum, administration and governance that strengthen the uniqueness of ELCA schools and centers.

  5. The association provides Member Benefits Programs - a free $3,000 Death & Dismemberment policy is given to all employees working 20+ per week or more in member congregations/schools; excellent rates on disability and term life insurance policies are available with no medical underwriting when purchased during open enrollment periods; Student Accident insurance is also provided for a nominal fee.

  6. The association has negotiated discounts for members with vendors such as Discount School Supply, Kaplan School Supply, Lakeshore Learning, ABC School Supply, TreeRing Yearbooks, Child Care Exchange, and many others.

  7. Testing and developmental screening tools are available to members utilizing Northwest Evaluation Association's Measures of Academic Progress and Children's Progress Academic Assessment tools.

  8. The association provides monthly electronic newsletters and other periodic communications with pertinent articles and association news for administrators, teacher, pastors and boards.

  9. The association provides support and advocacy for its members.


The organization continues to be governed at the national level by a Board of Directors.

The newly implemented Regional Ambassador Program affords for another layer of leadership, with Ambassadors connecting with schools and centers, as well as Synods and other leadership within their Regions. Member benefit programs such as accreditation, employee benefits plans, annual national pastor and administrator conferences, and other serivces continue to expand and grow to meet the ever-changing and increasing needs of ELEA's members.

The Future. . .

ELEA has remained a stable association throughout decades of change in leadership and structure, and looks to the future with a vision for strengthening newly utilized Regions, providing more opportunities for training and conferencing, helping more schools and early childhood centers participate in our Accreditation processes, and increased services and advocacy for members.

Board Leadership

National Board members meet with the Executive Director twice per year in person, and two additional times by conference call, to share information concerning the activities of the networks, new association services, resources available through the association and set goals for the Director for the coming year.

National Services

Centers of Wellness
ELEA provides a Centers of Wellness program which provides a self-study workbook allowing schools and early childhood centers to become aware of and in line with the seven areas of wellness; physical, emotional, social, intellectual, financial, vocational, and spiritual. The workbook is free for ELEA members. If a school or center chooses to become certified for 3 years upon completion and submission of the workbook, there is a $250 fee which also inclues a box of resources for your school or center.

Employee Benefits
The ELEA Employee Benefits Plan offers group plans for schools and centers (individual ELEA members may not participate) and their eligible employees, in an "unbundled" plan. It includes Disability and Life Insurance, and Student Accident Insurance. The Employee Benefits Plans are administered by Nancy Bond Insurance Services, 201 West Lemon Avenue, Monrovia, CA 91016. Phone: 866-899-8559. A percentage of all proceeds from these programs are donated by Nancy Bond Insurance Services to ELEA. For more information on Benefits, click here.

Resource Materials
ELCA maintains printed resources that are available through the ELEA national office—800-500-7644 or email at ELEANational@cs.com. Many free downloadable resources are also available on this website.

Administrator and Pastor Resources and Support
Administrators and pastors of all member schools and centers receive services and support in a variety of ways to help boost their skills and connectedness, particularly in the church/school relationship.

Testing Programs
ELEA is proud to be a partner with Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA) and offer MAP - Measures of Academic Progress and soon CPAA - Children's Progress Academic Assessment as state-of-the-art benchmark assessment programs.

Early Childhood Center and Elementary School Accreditation Programs
Accreditation of a school or early childhood center is an important benchmark in its history. ELEA utilizes an instrument that requires that each school complete an in-depth self-study. Upon completion of the self-study, an outside team will visit the school to evaluate the self-study and measure compliance with standards. Recommendation for accreditation is based on the team’s evaluation.

ELCA "Ministry of the Congregation" Recognition Program
Recognition is issued by ELEA upon completion of a short self-study entitled “The Early Childhood Center, Ministry of the Congregation: a self-study of ministry and relationship.” This process is designed to strengthen the relationship between the congregation, its leadership, and its school or early childhood center. The Recognition program is a prerequisite to both the ELEA Elementary Accreditation and the ELEA Early Childhood Accreditation programs.

Annual Fund Drive
ELEA invites your participation in its ongoing Annual Fund Drive by asking you to give a financial gift to support the work of the association in supporting our ELCA schools and centers. Are you a Thrivent Financial member? Also consider making ELEA a recipient of your ThriventChoice dollars! Gifts may be made payable to ELEA and mailed to: 500 North Estrella Parkway, Suite B2, Box 601, Goodyear, AZ 85338 or by clicking here to donate online.