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ELCA seminaries look to identify, nurture and sustain new leaders 

CHICAGO (Feb. 22, 2018) – In partnership with Presiding Bishop Elizabeth Eaton’s Leadership Initiative, the seven seminaries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) will  launch a combined effort to encourage new candidates for ministry in the ELCA.

The program, “Do you want to change the world?,” is being promoted through a series of videos, the first of which will be released Feb. 22. The video addresses the current leadership shortage of the ELCA and the effort to seek more candidates for ministry.

Decreased seminary enrollment combined with a record number of ELCA rostered ministers who are retiring, has resulted in not enough ministers to fill the open calls or to provide creative leadership in this time of rapid change in our church and in the world. The ELCA seminaries have addressed this need by working independently and in collaboration to increase the number  of candidates. According to the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Strandjord, director of ELCA seminaries, this has resulted in a modest increase in fall starts for Master of Divinity candidates in 2017.

Building on these efforts to invite and encourage future leaders, this program will help seminaries identify new candidates and provide resources that promote the vocation of public ministry, while providing marketing pieces for the good of the whole church.

The program is made possible by a grant from the Richard Hay Barkalow Charitable Seminary Fund of the inFaith Community Foundation.

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