Danish Church Abroad / Danish Seamen’s Church

The organization Danish Church Abroad / Danish Seamen’s Church (DSUK) is a private, ecclesiastical organization founded in 2004 as the result of a fusion between The Danish Church Abroad and The Danish Seamen’s Church in Foreign Ports

DSUK is working on an Evangelical-Lutheran foundation and in affiliation with the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark. Each church has one or more Danish pastors appointed to ensure an ecclesiastical service according to the customs and practice of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark – for Danes outside the country's borders. The seamen's churches in the large port cities provide a base for extensive onboard visits to Danish ships calling the world's largest ports. Every year, our port chaplains and/or assistants visit more than 1500 ships.

All pastors are subject to the supervision of a Danish bishop, and more than 1,000 Danish parish councils are members of DSUK. The anchoring in the Danish Evangelical-Lutheran Church, also called Folkekirken, is paramount for the churches abroad. The membership of Danish parishes and several organizations form DSUK’s democratic foundation, and three bishops are supervisors according to royal resolution. HM The Queen Margrethe II is patron of our organization.

Organization and management
The Danish Church Abroad / Danish Seamen's Church is led by a board of governors. The administration office at Frederiksberg, in Denmark, has nine employees led by Dean Selma Ravn who is the secretary general. From the office in Frederiksberg, administrative tasks, HR, fundraising in Denmark, payroll, development, and communication tasks are handled.

Today, DSUK comprises 48 Danish seamen's and overseas churches scattered around the world in cities with many Danish residents and in seaports with visits from a large number of Danish-flagged ships, as well as in South Schleswig. According to Statistics Denmark, more than 250,000 Danes currently work, travel, live and stay for longer or shorter periods outside the country’s borders. These are expatriate families, students, back-packers, seafarers, vacationers, emigrants, and the Danish minority in South Schleswig. DSUK’s churches work to support the lives of these Danes, as an extended arm of Denmark and the Danish Evangelical-Lutheran Church, with community, crisis preparedness and support. 

The pastors ensure an ecclesiastical service according to the customs and practice of the Evangelical-Lutheran Church in Denmark - from baptisms, confirmations, weddings/blessings, and funerals to church services and the marking of Danish holidays and traditions. Several churches are both "parish churches" and seamen’s churches; in other places the church does not have a building, but the pastor travels around.

The greatest part of DSUK’s expenses is covered by fundraising and by contributions from the local congregations, foundations, private donations and from the Danish maritime industry, while the Danish Ministry for Ecclesiastical Affairs gives a grant that covers a substantial part of salary expenses. 

DSUK fundraises more than 65 % of its funds, partly in Denmark, partly in the churches around the world. The churches are legally and financially independent and operate in accordance with local law and customs. The churches receive a subsidy from DSUK for part of the pastor’s salary, and must find all remaining funds themselves, from membership fees, activities, sales, and fundraising. 

For contact:

Danske Sømands- og Udlandskirker - Danish Church Abroad /Danish Seamen's Church
Smallegade 47
2000 Frederiksberg
DK - Danmark
CVR 2753 4570
EAN nr. 579 000 259 4212

Office hours:
Monday-Thursday 9am-4pm | Friday 9am-2pm
Phone +45 7026 1828