The numbers of ELCA
candidates for ordained and lay rostered leadership have been on the
upswing over the past five years, said Mark N. Wilhelm, associate
executive director for educational partnerships and institutions with ELCA Vocation and Education.
In 2001, 2,243 people were in the candidacy process to become ordained ministers, diaconal ministers, deaconesses and associates in ministry. That number rose to 2,540 in March 2006, an increase of 13 percent.
As of September 2006, 97 of the candidates were in Theological Education for Emerging Ministries, an alternate route to ordination for those wishing to serve in a specific context. The program takes into account leadership gifts, ministry skills, experience and more, but it doesn’t involve a master of divinity degree.
Of the 2,540 candidates, 1,284 were enrolled in ELCA seminaries in March 2006, the last date for which numbers were available.
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