The ELCA is committed to identifying and supporting you, to whom God has given the gift of missional imagination and the ability to provide leadership in the church.

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.

This is the second major point of discernment in the candidacy process, when candidacy partners recognize and affirm your demonstration of appropriate gifts and characteristics for a particular roster.
For this 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 wherever you are needed in the life of the church and God’s mission in the world, whether it be a familiar or unfamiliar place.