Candidacy Committee

Gifts of All Believers for Ministry

"Central to our understanding of the call to ministry is that each of us, being baptized people of God, is called to minister in the name of Jesus Christ. That means that you and I have been given gifts and abilities which equip us to do ministry in our daily lives. Some of us, however, are given gifts and talents that move us into the area of providing leadership in one of the rostered ministries of the Church." - Pr. Ed Saling, former New England Synod candidacy committee chair

A Churchwide Process

The candidacy committee of the New England Synod is intentionally linked to the churchwide process of discernment, preparation, and formation leading to approval for the public ministry of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. All synods follow a process developed within the ELCA.

Partners In This Process

  • The Candidate - whose personal faith and commitment are at the heart of the decision to seek a call to serve
  • The Home Congregation - the nurturing community which identifies and assists in discernment of potential leaders for rostered ministry and continues to support them through prayer, communication, and financial gifts
  • The Synod (via the candidacy committee) - performing the sensitive task of discerning baptismal gifts, recognizing developmental needs of a candidate, and assessing character to assure that we are approving persons who are healthy, safe, and properly motivated for ministry in the ELCA
  • The ELCA seminary - ensuring sound theological education and also overseeing on-site internships that develop further the candidate's gifts and maturity
  • The ELCA Unit for Vocation and Education - providing standards and procedures that provide for a Churchwide pool of candidates who are well prepared to serve

Steps In The Process

  • Entrance - "In the beginning" - The candidate begins a process of discernment, exploring potential for rostered ministry and readiness to begin seminary preparation. Beginning paperwork includes application, biographical sketch, congregational registration forms, psychological evaluation, a background check, and interviews. These materials are part of the information that guides the committee in helping the candidate discern the path.
  • Endorsement - "An affirmation" - The endorsement decision, done in conjunction with the ELCA seminary, affirms and encourages the candidate who demonstrates the gifts and qualities for a specific form of ministry in the ELCA. This follows one year minimum of seminary study and a term of Clinical Pastoral Education. Developmental needs are addressed for the continuation of training, which will include a supervised internship or field study, as appropriate to the track
  • Approval - "For the church" - Following internship and near the end of seminary classes, the candidate meets with the candidacy committee to articulate the call to ministry and demonstrate readiness for the leadership role. The approval decision, based on successful completion of all prior steps, makes him/her available for first call. All candidates are then assigned to regions and synods throughout the ELCA.

EmailThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Associate to the Bishop for Candidacy and Mobility 

Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Chair of Committee

ELCA Vocation Page

ELCA Candidacy Forms

Candidacy Committee Members

    • Dr. Nancy Fontneau, Chair
    • Dcn Natalie Bloomquist
    • The Rev. Britta Carlson
    • The Rev. Cassandra Chavez
    • The Rev. Dr. Guy Erwin
    • The Rev. Derrick Fallon
    • The Rev. Dr. James Hazelwood
    • The Rev. Joanna Hertzog Betkoski
    • Ms. Lisabeth Huck
    • Mr. Nat Larson
    • Ms. Tito Moore
    • The Rev. Alissa Oleson
    • The Rev. Duane Pederson
    • Mr. Eben Rauhut
    • The Rev. Rebecca Resch
    • The Rev. B. Santiago Rodriguez
    • Mr. Mario Silva-Rosa
    • Ms. Beth Thiemann
    • Mr. Mark Winzler
  • The Rev. Rebecca Resch, ELCA Regional Manager
  • The Rev. Richard Olson, Chaplain for Candidates