Indiana-Kentucky Synod Candidacy Process

The Indiana-Kentucky Synod’s Candidacy Process follows the guidelines and procedures of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. In the ELCA, Candidacy is a journey of discernment and formation that moves in two directions: the candidate discerns his or her call to rostered ministry, and at the same time the community of the Church discerns it’s relationship with and endorsement of the candidate.

Candidates for Rostered Ministry journey through a process of Entrance, Endorsement, and Approval, which takes place in conjunction with academic coursework, internship, and other requirements.

“So I’m interested in becoming a Candidate for Rostered Leadership in the ELCA….’

Consider attending the Region 6 Discernment Retreat


“What do I do first?”

A Letter of Welcome

Listen, God is calling! Through the Word inviting…

I assume you have clicked your way to the candidacy page of the Indiana-Kentucky Synod’s web site because you have sensed the Spirit of God stirring in you, perhaps calling you to another form of ministry.

If that is not the case, perhaps stumbling onto this page is part of the mysterious work of the Spirit for you or someone you know! At any rate, here are a few things you need to know about the candidacy process in the ELCA as it is lived in the Indiana-Kentucky Synod:

If you are wondering about whether God is calling you to public ministry in the ELCA, one of the first stops probably ought to be your pastor’s office. Your home congregation’s pastor is and will continue to be an important companion on the journey of discernment. One resource that your pastor may be able to provide to you is a book, “What Shall I Say?: Discerning God’s Call to Ministry”  This book is published by the ELCA and talks about the different types of rostered leaders in the ELCA. It also provides helpful information about discerning a call to ministry.

The second stop is my email box or phone line. As Director of Candidacy for the I-K Synod, I am able to help you move deeply and prayerfully into discernment while also filling you in on all the nitty-gritty details of entering the candidacy process. Some of those details include the following:

To request an application for candidacy send me a letter or email at the address below. This will initiate a series of events and processes essential to your candidacy. While the application forms are available on-line, there is a good bit of information you need to receive from me before filling them out.

A positive entrance decision from the synod’s candidacy committee is required before beginning seminary or other coursework for candidacy. The entrance process takes about six months, so it is crucial to start the application process as early as possible.

The entrance process involves a series of interviews and assessments, culminating in a decision by the I-K Synod Candidacy Committee at one of its three meetings each year (usually April, August, and November).

To consider candidacy for public ministry in the ELCA is to move deeply into the spiritual process of discernment and formation. The I-K Synod Candidacy Committee and I can be pastoral companions with you along the way, so please do not hesitate to call.

May God’s peace keep and guide you.

Rev. Heather Apel
Director of Candidacy
Indiana-Kentucky Synod, ELCA
911 E. 86th St., Suite 200
Indianapolis, IN 46240

Questions? Contact: Rev. Heather Apel
[email protected]

Where every member is a missionary, every pastor is a mission director, and every congregation is a mission center.