Are you called to a ministry vocation?

As Lutheran Christians we believe that all of us are called into Christian vocation and ministry through our baptism. All the baptized are gifted and called to serve in the church and in the world. How we respond and live out that calling is expressed in a great variety of ways. 




The ELCA provides some excellent resources for those exploring their vocation. If you are just beginning to explore and discern, you are invited to visit the ELCA website vocation pages as an excellent place to start. If you have discerned that God seems to be calling you to professional leadership in the church, you may be ready to explore further on the ELCA site.  These resources will introduce you to the two rosters of ministry in the ELCA. Deacons serve as Ministers of Word and Service and Pastors serve as Ministers of Word and Sacrament. 

Candidacy in the ELCA

The Rocky Mountain Synod participates in a Churchwide candidacy process. The three basic steps are Entrance, Endorsement, and Approval. You are asked to begin the process for Entrance 9–12 months prior to the date you hope to begin theological study at an ELCA seminary or other ATS accredited seminary.   Additional information and access to on-line forms is available on the ELCA  website.

Many questions may arise as you begin the process. Varying life situations require counsel and flexibility. Therefore, we are eager to talk with you as you begin this significant journey of discernment and vocational formation. Contact Kristen Lee with questions or request for further conversation.   You may also contact any member of the Candidacy Committee for conversation. Email Kristen for contact information. 
Info Form for Interview with Leslie O"Callaghan



Applicants are encouraged to begin exploring the seven ELCA seminaries as early as possible. The admissions process takes place at the same time as the Entrance process. ELCA students must receive a positive Entrance decision prior to being fully admitted to ELCA seminaries. If you are interested in attending a different ATS accredited seminary, please be in contact with Pastor Leslie O'Callaghan.  Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary is located in Berkeley, California, and is the seminary related to and supported by the Rocky Mountain Synod.

RMS Candidacy Committee

Bishop James Gonia
Diana Biggs
The Rev. Laura Bostrom  (Chair)
The Rev. Joshua Bruns
The Rev. Nicolé Ferry
The Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber
Richard Johnson
Deacon Mary Stoneback (Synod Council)


Allison Little
The Rev. Joel Pancoast
The Rev. Nate Preisinger
Harold Stitt
Deacon Ryan Cronshaw
The Rev. Leslie O'Callaghan (Office of the Bishop Staff)
Deacon Laura Gifford (Region 2 Representative)
Dr. Kirsi Stjerna (PLTS Faculty)
Kristen Lee (Administrator)

RMS Seminary Scholarship Fund

The Rocky Mountain Synod is pleased to provide scholarships of $500 to $2000 to those with financial need who are in Candidacy in the Rocky Mountain Synod. The RMS Seminary Scholarship Fund welcomes contributions from individuals and congregations. Funds are also received from RMS Assembly and Theological Conference offerings, as well as from bequests. Contact the Office of the Bishop to contribute to this fund.