Candidacy is the process of discernment and preparation leading individuals to approval for public ministries of the ELCA and participation as leaders in the church.

There are a variety of vocational choices in the ELCA. We have pastors, but we also have accountants, chaplains, youth workers, musicians, evangelists, nurses, office managers, counselors, and caregivers. We are a church that believes God is calling us into the world — together. The ELCA has many needs to fill as we carry out our mission to share God’s boundless love with the world.

So how do you know if you should become a leader in the ELCA?

Do you have a sense of wonder?

We need aware, caring, courageous people leading the church in the 21st century. We need passionate, joy-filled and adventurous people who want to bring healing and hope to other people in this broken world.

Are you a natural leader?

Are you looking for a vocation that uses your gifts of creativity, requires an appreciation of spirituality and will be a way for you to give voice to God’s call? Are you interested in benefits such as quality worship, a chance to teach, partnering with colleagues, a caring community, variety, lifelong learning on the job, incredible opportunity to care for others and a place to use your imagination? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, please contact Dn. Cheryl Erdmann, Assistant to the Bishop.

The ELCA candidacy process is meant to be a welcoming and joyful opportunity for people to discern how to serve in and through the church. It is a formalized, yet personally and relationally focused, journey that assists people in discernment for church leadership. Discernment is a life-long process which continually assesses how God may be calling a person into ministry. It is a means for determining who might serve as a rostered leader, as well as who might serve in a variety of lay leadership roles in the church or in the world. The candidacy process is successful when a person graciously discovers, through the nurturance of mentors, congregations, and others how and where to serve according to the Spirit’s leading.

Find out more at elca.org/candidacy.

Candidacy information from the ELCA