Candidacy in the ELCA is the churchwide process of preparation and formation leading to

  • the ordained ministry of Word and Sacrament,
  • the commissioned ministry of associate in ministry, or
  • the consecrated ministry of diaconal minister or deaconess.

The candidacy process is a partnership among the candidate for rostered ministry, the synod candidacy committee, the seminary and the Vocation and Education unit of the ELCA. In the Lutheran tradition, a person’s individual or internal sense of call to ordained, commissioned or consecrated ministry must be confirmed by the larger community of the church. By the power of the Holy Spirit, the candidacy process invites chosen representatives of the church to determine whether a person’s character, ability, health and wellness, spiritual formation, preparation and commitment are appropriate for the roster on which that person seeks to serve.

TALK with your pastor, who will put you in touch with a member of the synod staff. From here, the formal process can begin.

Beginning paperwork includes an application, biographical sketch, congregational registration form, psychological evaluation, background check and interview.

Following a minimum of one year of seminary study and completion of a term of Clinical Pastoral Education, encouragement and steps to continue training such as internship or field study are assessed.

Successful completion of all prior steps is declared, leading to the availability of the candidate for her/his first call as a rostered leader of the ELCA.

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