Rostered ministry in the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America (ELCA) has many paths for you to explore.
Discernment is an ongoing process which continues throughout candidacy. It involves not only listening to God’s call on your life, but also God’s call to you through others. This is the time to talk with your pastor, friends, family and other congregation members about your specific gifts for ministry.
This is also the time to think about the timeline for entering into the Candidacy Process. Attention to family readiness, finances, education preparedness, ability to accept a call to the whole church, spiritual gifts and areas of growth.
Explore Ministry Discernment Retreat
October 28, 2023
9 a.m. – 3 p.m.
Questions? Please contact Cheryl Sondergeld (firstname.lastname@example.org) Or contact your synod staff member who works with the Candidacy process.
Our candidacy process consists of three main sections:
Entrance, Endorsement and Approval.
Please take a moment to familiarize yourself with the flow of this process.
This phase of the process will explore your potential for rostered ministry and readiness to begin the process of seminary preparation and candidacy in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). You must have one year of active membership in an ELCA congregation to begin the entrance process.
The Entrance Process Includes:
- Candidacy Application and Entrance Essay
- Initial Interview
- Congregational Registration
- $800 application fee to help cover…..
- Academic Transcripts
- Background Check
- Psychological Evaluation
- Entrance Panel
Endorsement encourages and affirms those who clearly demonstrate gifts and qualities for a specific ELCA roster of ministry (Word and Sacrament / Word and Service) as well as identifies area for growth and development.
Candidates at this stage will take part in an Endorsement Panel that will make a recommendation to the Northern Ohio Candidacy Committee for an Endorsement decision. Once endorsed, candidates will complete an approved ELCA internship that is supervised by an ELCA seminary.
The Endorsement Process includes:
- Endorsement Essay
- CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education) Evaluations
- Follow up on Entrance Panel recommendations
- Endorsement Panel
Approval occurs when a candidate articulates the call to ministry and demonstrates readiness to assume a leadership role as a rostered minister in the ELCA. A positive decision must be made in order to be available for assignment and the corresponding process of ordination or consecration.
The Approval Process includes:
- Approval Essay
- Internship Evaluations
- ELCA Faculty Recommendation
- Follow up on Entrance and Endorsement Panel recommendations
Interested in Exploring Further?
The place to begin is in prayer and scripture. How is God speaking to you and guiding you? Talk with your pastor and other leaders in your congregation.
Consider attending a discernment retreat offered by area synods. Details are available with other candidacy information at:
Please contact Cheryl Sondergeld at the Northwestern Ohio Synod office to begin your candidacy journey.
Coordinator of Programs and Candidacy
621 Bright Road Findlay, OH 45840
Office: 419. 423. 3664
“Jesus said, ‘Go and make disciples.’ Jesus never said ‘Go and make members.’”
~Bishop Daniel Beaudoin