Are you Called?

All of the baptized are called to be disciples who witness and work for God’s mission. Some people are also called to be set aside to witness in a specific role as ordained/ rostered ministers in our ELCA.

Our church has two rosters:

    • Ministers of Word and Service (deacons)
    • Ministers of Word and Sacrament (pastors)

Both deacons and pastors go through intense formation processes that include seminary training and candidacy.

Path of Formation

The path to ordination occurs on two parallel lines: studies through a seminary of the ELCA (a special religious graduate school) and candidacy (a supportive discernment process through a candidate’s synod).

While everyone’s timeline and path are unique, there are some standard milestones along the way. A Candidacy Committee comprised of pastors, deacons, and lay- people from our synod accompanies candidates from the time they begin to consider their call all the way to their ordination or their discernment that they are called to serve in ways other than ordained ministry.

Steps in Candidacy

Each candidate goes through assessments and interviews at Entrance (beginning), Endorsement (middle), and Approval (completion of the process).

Once a candidate is approved, they are ready to be assigned to a synod and begin interviewing for a call.



If you’ve ever thought about ministry, or had people suggest it to you, I encourage you to continue praying and talking about it! Our church continues to need ministers who come from a variety of backgrounds and life experiences.

Today’s options for formation are flexible to allow for both residential seminary studies as well as distance learning that can enable learners to stay where they are, keep their job, or be more flexible for family until they are ready to serve. TEEM ministry can be a wonderful option when a congregation recognizes a leader within the congregation and could see that person serving as their pastor after a formalized formation process. There are many paths towards ordination, beginning in prayer and conversation with people who know you and continuing with making contact with your own pastor/deacon and the NEMN Synod Office.