Steps in the Candidacy Process:
- Speak with your pastor and/or deacon about your call to ministry
- You are invited to make use of Called to Lead: God’s Call, Your Vocation – a very helpful resource for discerning how God is calling you to use your gifts for the sake of the gospel for the sake of the world.
- You are encouraged to attend the Virginia Synod Vocations Conference.
- Contact Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick for more information and to begin the formal Candidacy Process
- Begin exploring seminary options, including these ELCA seminaries:
- Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary; Berkeley, CA
- Luther Seminary; St. Paul, MN
- Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago; Chicago, IL
- Wartburg Seminary; Dubuque, IA
- Trinity Lutheran Seminary; Columbus, OH
- United Lutheran Seminary; Gettysburg & Philadelphia, PA
- Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary; Columbia, SC
- If you are considering a non-ELCA seminary or divinity school, you need to affiliate with an ELCA seminary as soon as possible. Please contact Pastor Kelly Bayer Derrick for more information.
- The Entrance process in candidacy is the first formal discernment by a candidacy committee and applicants of their readiness for candidacy.
- A decision to grant Entrance officially accepts an applicant into candidacy.
- Normally, a candidacy committee will grant Entrance prior to an applicant’s beginning seminary studies. (In unusual circumstances an applicant may begin seminary studies for a period of six months before an Entrance decision is granted.)
- Be familiar with Vision and Expectations for Pastors and for Deacons. All candidates for ministry are expected to live in accord with its standards of conduct as a candidate and as a rostered minister in the ELCA.
- For more information about the specifics of the Virginia Synod process for Entrance, click here.
- A candidate is Endorsed by the Candidacy Committee for one of two rosters:
- Ministry of Word and Sacrament (Pastor)
- Ministry of Word and Service (Deacon)
- PRIOR to Endorsement, a candidate must complete:
- Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) [usually coordinated through your seminary]
- A seminary course in Lutheran Confessions
- A candidate must be Endorsed in order to proceed to Internship
- The Candidacy Committee discerns the candidate’s gifts and readiness to serve and lead in this church
- PRIOR to Approval, a candidate must complete:
- A formal internship (generally coordinated through your seminary)
- An Approval Essay
- Once Approved, the candidate is ready for the formal ELCA Assignment Process
Virginia Synod Candidacy Committee Members
The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick
Accompanying people as they ponder and discern what God is calling us to do now with our lives is the work of the Candidacy Committee. As the Christian Church participates in God’s mission in the world, there is a renewed awareness that God is making all things new. As both the Church and its contexts for ministry change, so do the leadership needs of the Church.
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. Through congregational involvement, mentoring, working with a Candidacy Committee, and engaging in theological education, a person arrives at a sense of the kind of leader God is calling them to be.
- The Rev. Kelly Bayer Derrick Assistant to the Bishop
- Deacon Lisa Geiger Candidacy Process Administrator
- The Rev. Derek Boggs Chaplain, Salem Evangelical Lutheran Church, Mt. Sidney
- Dr. Ned Wisnefske Committee Chair, Professor, Religion/Philosophy, Roanoke College
- Deborah Redmond Lay Member
- The Rev. Shelby DePriest Faith Lutheran Church, Fort Valley
- The Rev. Anne Jones Martin Christ Lutheran Church, Fredericksburg
- The Rev. Dr. Phyllis Milton Gloria Dei Lutheran Church, Hampton
- Dr. Oris Griffin Lay Member Muhlenberg Lutheran Church, Harrisonburg
- The Rev. Alex Zuber On Leave From Call, Charlottesville
- The Rev. Sonya Williams-Giersch St. John’s Lutheran Church, Winchester
- Carl Williams Lay Member Ascension Lutheran Church, Danville
- Robert Quandahl Lay Member St Paul’s Lutheran Church, Hampton
- Jim Ingraham Lay Member Christ Lutheran Church, Richmond
- The Rev. Dr. Mary Sue Dreier Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
- The Rev. Dr. Ruth Hamilton Region 9 Candidacy and Leadership Manager
Anyone discerning a call to rostered ministry is encouraged to attend the Vocations Conference in August of each year – the sooner in your discernment, the better equipped you will be to prayerfully consider how God is calling you to use your faith gifts through your vocational call.
The Virginia Synod Vocations Conference allows persons who are wondering what professional ministry in the church is like to spend time with those who have experience within the church. It allows time for reflection, conversations, and questions concerning one’s call and gifts for ministry through ample opportunities for fellowship and free time. It provides a retreat setting for helping individuals discern their gifts for ministry.
Save the date for Vocations Conference 2020: Friday-Saturday, August 21-22, 2020
Intro to Candidacy Materials:
- Summary of Candidacy
- Process Checklist
- Wholeness Wheel
- Financial Information Form
- ELCA Candidacy Forms & Information
- Called to Lead (Discernment Guide)
- Reading List
- Vision & Expectations for Ministers of Word and Sacrament
- Vision & Expectations for Ministers of Word and Service
For information on submitting Candidacy Forms, please contact Deacon Lisa Geiger: email@example.com