Becoming a Leader

About Candidacy

Candidacy is an offering! Because of God’s love for the world, we notice the world around us and the needs of our neighbors. The world’s needs call out our gifts in service to our neighbor — and then we figure out how we need to be equipped to live out that service. This is the vocation of all the baptized as we live out our callings in the world.

For some, the world’s needs call them to consider professional service under call in the church. Candidates for public ministry make themselves available to discernment that considers both the call that wells up within them, as well as the call that is affirmed by others in the church, in a process of professional leadership development we call candidacy in the ELCA.

Candidacy is a partnered process. Candidates, their family and friends; congregations, along with campus and outdoor ministries that nurture and develop faith; synods and their candidacy committees; seminaries and their faculties and staff; and staff from the churchwide organization, all play important roles in the candidacy process.


Resources and Information for Candidates


Background Check – Safe Gatherings

Candidacy in the ELCA
Explore the tabs (essays, checklists, candidates, congregations, internship & seminary, synods) to find the specific resources and an overview of the whole process as outlined by the ELCA.

ELCA Forms Related to the Candidacy Process

Scholarship Support
The Gulf Coast Synod is committed to helping candidates manage their academic debt throughout seminary with need-based scholarships through the Live On! endowment fund.

This process raises up, prepares, certifies and places public leaders in the ELCA. Rostered leaders include commissioned Associates in Ministry, consecrated Diaconal Ministers and Deaconesses and ordained Pastors.