Are you interested in a career as a public leader in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America?
Go to elca.org/en/Our-Work/Leadership/Vocation-Become-a-Leader to read about different careers for service in the ELCA. Rostered leadership includes serving as a pastors, Associate in Ministry, Deaconess and Diaconal Minister.
Step One: Prayer and Conversations
Pray that this is where God is leading you. Pray with and enter into conversation with your pastor, your family and other significant people in the congregation or community about your gifts for public ministry. Keep in mind that the call to public ministry comes both from within the individual and from the community.
Take a look at then contact Bishop Wickstrom at email@example.com to begin the conversation.
Step Two: Discernment
Discernment is the process which leads you from sensing the call to ministry to actually becoming a rostered leader of the ELCA. Discernment includes the role of the Synod Candidacy Committee, your congregation, the seminary, the ELCA and you. Attention is paid to personal and family readiness, personal finances, educational preparedness, openness to serving the entire church and not just one single community, your personal gifts and an awareness of personal growth areas.
Step Three: Timeline
As a timeline, please allow at least six months, preferably twelve months, to get the application process in order. The application process for ELCA Candidacy includes an application, initial interview, congregational registration, an autobiographical essay, a background check and psychological screening. It takes time to complete all of those steps. The Synod Candidacy Committee normally meets twice a year. The Synod Candidacy Committee works in partnership with the seminaries and decisions regarding entrance need to happen with the the Candidacy Committee and the seminary of choice.
Do You Want to Change the World?
The Holy Spirit continues to call, gather, enlighten, sanctify and keep us in faith. If that sounds familiar, it is Martin Luther's explanation of the Third Article of the Apostles Creed. The Holy Spirit is at work in and through each of us.
If you have wondered about serving as a pastor or deacon, elcaseminaries.org offers resources to help you sort that out.
Bishop Shelley, your own pastor or a neighboring pastor are ready to help in your discernment.