Thrivent considering allowing non-Lutheransby Annie Baxter, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minneapolis-based Thrivent Financial for Lutherans says it's considering backing off its Lutheran membership requirement.
Most of Thrivent's 2.5 million members are Lutheran. And in recent polling, they supported expanding the non-profit's customer base.
General counsel Terry Rasmussen said Thrivent's tax status requires some common bond among members, so any expansion would likely be across Christian denominations.
But Rasmussen doubts that will dramatically change the institution.
"We don't think people are going to stampede to our door," Rasmussen said. "I think even five years down the road, our membership is going to be overwhelmingly Lutheran."
Rasmussen said Thrivent does provide its exclusive insurance and annuity products to some non-Lutherans, such as workers at Lutheran institutions. And customers of any denomination can purchase Thrivent mutual funds.
Members could vote on the measure next year. Thrivent is a Fortune 500 company with about 260,000 members in Minnesota.