The Rev. Leila Michelle Ortiz is La_Luthercostal; an inspired preacher, teacher, and speaker who was raised in the Pentecostal Church and addressed by the Gospel anew in the Lutheran Church. Given her spiritual formation and theological liberation, Leila dares to work with the Spirit as She restores a fractured church and heals wounded souls. Leila has a heart for serving God’s people in practical and pastoral ways. Leila is called to preach and teach in communities that wrestle with their complicity in the unjust systems present in the church and in society. She is especially interested in co-creating sacred space with people who:
· believe the church is “BS,” but know that God isn’t
· have been hurt by toxic theologies
· are enduring spiritual trauma
· may feel spiritually homeless
· are fierce followers of Jesus and
· are intimately familiar with the movement of the
Simply put, Leila is committed to threading the messy, muddy waters of hard truths
for the sake of theological and soul liberation for all.
Rev. Ortiz is a pastor and theologian in The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) and serves as the Assistant to the Bishop of The Metropolitan Washington D.C. Synod. She works alongside pastors, councils, and church members as they discern their call in the church for the sake of the world.
Leila is also a doctoral candidate at United Lutheran Theological Seminary of Pennsylvania with a concentration in Systematic/Contemporary Theology. Her areas of interest are 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 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, 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.
Leila is an alumni of the 2015 Lewis Fellowship sponsored by the Lewis Center of Church Leadership of Wesley Theological Seminary. She is also a current participant in 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.
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 in Gather Magazine and in the journal Dialog: A Journey of Theology (Wiley Online Library). Currently Leila is a member of the Theological Education Advisory Committee of the ELCA; an advisory body established to address issues of theological education, leadership development, and candidacy for discerning, called, and rostered leaders. She also serves on the board of Select Learning.