Office of the Bishop
Bishop Wilma S. Kucharek is a graduate of Valparaiso University and the Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg, where she earned her MDiv and STM degrees. She has served as Bishop of the Slovak Zion Synod–ELCA since 2002.
Prior to her election, Bishop Kucharek served as a parish pastor in Connecticut and Pennsylvania, and briefly as a deaconess in Indiana and New York. She received the Servus Dei Award from the Slovak Zion Synod in 1999 and 2019, and the Distinguished Alumna Award from Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg in 2015. She has served as Secretary of the Board of ELCA’s Division for Global Mission, as a Liaison Bishop on the ELCA Church Council, as a member of the National Council of Churches’ Task Force for Korean Women, as Chair of the Synod’s Ecumenical and International Relations Committee, as Chair of the Synod’s Christian Education Committee, and as a member of the Board and Disaster Response Team of the American Red Cross. She has served on delegations to the Lutheran World Federation, North Korea, South Korea, the Holy Land, Russia, and Central and Eastern Europe.
Bishop Kucharek currently serves as the Advisory Bishop to the Executive Board of the Women of the ELCA, on the Board of Trustees of United Lutheran Seminary, on the Board of Trustees of Muhlenberg College, and as a member of the Conference of Bishops’ Global Mission Liaison Committee. She is a co-author of Heritage of the Slavs and co-translator of Lutheran Churches in Slovakia; She and her husband, the Rev. Dr. Thomas J. Drobena, have two sons: Thomas, a pastor on sabbatical in Cambridge, England, and Joshua, a student at the University of Connecticut.
The Bishop shall “Preach, teach, and administer the sacraments in accord with the Confession of Faith of this church… [And] Have primary responsibility for the ministry of Word and Sacrament in this synod and its congregations, providing pastoral care and leadership for this synod, its congregations, its ordained ministers, and its other rostered leaders…”