ELCA Seminaries

Learn how to change the world

The Why

A Seminary is a graduate theological educational institution where students are introduced to a deep study of Scripture, tradition, Lutheran Confessions and the rich history of this church while encouraging humility of service and confidence in God’s power to reconcile and renew communities.

Students examine the complexities and questions of life, communities and the world so they can better communicate God’s living Word in contexts that are always changing. Most importantly, students and leaders are called to be teachers in word and action, inviting and equipping people to participate in listening to God, each other, and to the world so that together we can love and serve our neighbor with a living, daring confidence in God’s grace.

How it Works

Candidacy is a formalized, yet personally and relationally focused journey to help you discern your call to become a pastor or deacon in the church.

To begin the candidacy process you contact your synod. A synod staff person will ask you to complete the Candidacy Application Form, where you express your intent to enter candidacy.

Discernment is about being open, curious and attuned to what God is up to. Prior to entering candidacy, you have a sense that God is calling you, with your unique gifts and abilities, to serve as a pastor or deacon in the story of God’s love for the world.

Typically takes place before you begin your seminary studies, this is the first formal discernment by you and your Candidacy Committee of your readiness for candidacy.

The second major point of discernment in the candidacy process, candidacy partners recognize and affirm your demonstration of appropriate gifts and characteristics for a particular roster.

A significant milestone in your lifelong journey of discernment, you, your Candidacy Committee and your seminary discern your readiness to serve as a rostered minister.

The ELCA calls and sends you as a rostered minister to where you are needed in the life of the church and its participation in God’s mission in the world, whether it be to a familiar or unfamiliar place.

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