You are here

The Rocky Mountain Synod Bishop

Claiming our Gifts, 5-Part Video Series 

As part of the Rocky Mountain Synod commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Lutheran Reformation, Bishop Gonia has put together a 5-part video series around the gifts we claim as members of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. All videos can be found on the RMS Vimeo page

Claiming our Gifts Summary Handout

Images for Claiming our Gifts

Part 1:  Introduction

Part 2: Theology

Part 3: Practice

Part 4:  Ecclesiology 

Part 5: Legacy


The Rev. Jim Gonia

Bishop Jim Gonia was elected to a six-year term on April 28, 2012, at the Rocky Mountain Synod’s annual assembly in Colorado Springs, Colo. He was installed on September 23, 2012. Bishop Gonia re-elected at the 2018 Synod Assembly May 3 for a second six-year term.

He served as a missionary in Madagascar from 1988 to 1998. From 1998 to 2009 he was called as the associate pastor of Atonement Lutheran Church in Denver. Prior to his election as bishop, he served the ELCA’s churchwide ministries as Global Mission Area Program Director for West Africa, Tanzania and Madagascar. In this position Bishop Gonia was responsible for overseeing the ELCA’s programs and relationships with Lutheran church bodies and partners in nine African countries.

Bishop Gonia received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University in Valparaiso, Ind., in 1982; a Master of Divinity degree from Luther Northwestern Seminary (now Luther Seminary) in 1988; and a Master of Theology degree in Islamic studies at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, Minn., in 1997.

His wife, Kim, is an ordained pastor in the ELCA serving Risen Lord Lutheran Church in Conifer, Colorado. They have three children, all graduates of Lutheran universities:  Caroline, Mallory, and Peter.