Is God calling you? Candidacy might be your answer!

Perhaps you feel that God can use your gifts in a way that is more fulfilling to you and at the same time serves God more effectively. It is exciting and frightening. The Eastern North Dakota Synod would like to help you figure out what God is up to in your life. "Candidacy" is the process of preparation and formation leading to the ordained Ministry of Word and Sacrament or the commissioned Ministry of Word and Service. 

To help you understand the process we invite you set up a meeting with Shar Gumke, Assistant to the Bishop or Alia Bartell, Synod Ministry Coordinator

More information about candidacy can also be found here

Learn more about Eastern North Dakota Synod here!

TEEM candidates

TEEM - What is it? 

Theological   Education for Emerging Ministries

  • TEEM is a process of formation and preparation for ordained ministry in the ELCA which allows a candidate to remain in his/her current ministry context throughout the preparation & formation process.  
  • TEEM provides a ministry leader for a parish while that leader is completing their seminary education.  However, once the leader has completed his/her studies and is ordained, the parish has the option to extend a call to them as pastor.  The process allows a parish to flourish under a different model for ministry.
  • The agreement to enter into TEEM ministry is endorsed by the bishop who recommends the candidate to the seminary who, in-turn, enrolls the candidate as a TEEM candidate.
  • TEEM education is designed for three years of study as opposed to the traditional four-year tract.  However, it may be adapted to longer periods as the circumstances dictate.

For more information on the TEEM program, please contact Alia in the synod office

SaM program

SaM - What is it?

Synodically Authorized Minister

The institution of the Synodically Authorized Minister, SaM, addresses the issue of providing Word and Sacrament ministry where it is not possible to provide appropriate ordained pastoral leadership. Those who are authorized for such ministry within a synod are not rostered by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (unless already serving on a roster of this church) but are authorized to provide a specific ministry within a particular setting for a designated period of time.

The synod identifies a congregation or other ministry where ordained pastoral leadership is not available for an extended period of time and where a synodically authorized minister may be appropriate.

SaM Qualifications: A person invited to serve in synodically authorized ministry should have:

1. Been an active member of an ELCA congregation for at least one year.

2. Been recommended by the individual’s pastor and/or congregation council;

3. Consulted with synod staff and/or candidacy committee; and

4. Demonstrated the ability and willingness to participate in a program of preparation leading to possible service as a synodically authorized minister or a willingness to provide evidence of prior preparation that has achieved the goals and standards of the program of preparation outlined in these guidelines, as well as a willingness to participate in an ongoing plan for continuing theological and pastoral education while serving as a synodically authorized minister.

In making its determination concerning an individual’s eligibility to serve as a synodically authorized minister, the synod will:

  • interview the applicant and obtain written responses to the questions on the Candidacy Entrance Form (see the link under “Forms for Applicants and Candidates” at
  • conduct a background check, as outlined in the “Candidacy Manual”. The cost for the background check is to be paid for by the congregation or parish requesting authorization

Full SaM Policy

For more information on the SaM program or to apply, please contact Alia in the synod office