In early 2020 the conference of bishops undertook a redesign for the process of transitioning candidates for ministry from their approval into first call. This redesign had become necessary due to the changes in theological education, the candidacy process, and the various ways in which our candidates are currently being formed for ministry in the church. A standardized, two assignment processes per year, was failing to take the needs both of candidates and congregations into account. This process is a first attempt to create a more flexible and accountable process for all involved. In particular it puts the emphasis on the synod of candidacy to be engaged and intentional about walking with candidates before approval in helping them understand what options might be available for them. While certainly this process is not perfect, it is a step in adaptation and responsiveness to the needs of today. I am grateful for the team of bishops who took part in this work.
To better understand this process, the following video has been produced by ELCA staff:
Additional resources are available here: https://elca.org/Resources/Candidacy#FirstCall
As always the NT-NL Candidacy committee and my associate, the Rev. Kris Totzke, are available to answer your questions and help guide our candidates in this process of mutual discernment.