Candidacy for ELCA Rostered Ministers


Becoming A Rostered Leader: Three Points of Decision 
Persons who want to be rostered in the ELCA are expected to take part in all steps of this process—a shared responsibility of the candidate and the Candidacy Committee.

  • Entrance begins a journey of discernment that explores an individual’s potential for rostered ministry and readiness to begin the process of theological study and candidacy in the ELCA. One year of active membership in the ELCA is required before the entrance process can begin. Then an application portfolio must be completed, to include: application form biographical essay congregational registration initial interview psychological evaluation/career counseling consultation background check and entrance interview. Normally, an applicant must receive a positive entrance decision before being admitted to an ELCA seminary.
  • Endorsement encourages and affirms those who clearly demonstrate gifts and qualities for a specific form of ministry in the ELCA, as well as identifies areas for growth and development. Before endorsement, a candidate must complete at least two semesters of seminary study, parish fieldwork, and a unit of Clinical Pastoral Education. Candidates complete an endorsement essay, which is discussed with the Candidacy Committee during an endorsement interview. Only endorsed candidates may participate in an ELCA internship.
  • Approval comes when all academic and practical requirements have been successfully completed. The candidate needs to prepare an approval essay and take part in an approval interview. After official approval, the leader becomes available for assignment, ordination and first call for service to the whole church.

New Candidates Encouraged 
If you or someone you know wants to explore an ELCA vocation as an ordained pastor, associate in ministry, diaconal minister or deaconess, the Candidacy Committee wants to encourage you in this.

For initial inquiries about public ministries in the ELCA, contact The Rev. Rebecca Seely at [email protected].

ELCA seminaries

ELCA Candidacy