Licensure & Candidacy

Most students complete the requirements for being authorized as a ministry leader in a Christian tradition while in a program of study. 


Leslie Veen
Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs; Seminary Candidacy Coordinator
(510) 559-2737

Rev. Brandon Peck
Administrative Coordinator
(510) 559-2713



About Candidacy

Most Christian traditions and many faith traditions have a process for authorized spiritual leadership.  In the ELCA, this process is  candidacy.


Candidacy Resources

Several resources are available through the ELCA and connected organizations to support potential and current candidates. 


The entrance process is the first formal discernment by a candidacy committee and an applicant of their readiness for candidacy.

Candidate Plan

At the start of a seminary program, the student-candidate develops a plan for conversation with their advisor and candidacy committee. 


Conversations Along the Way

While in program, the student-candidate, advisor, and candidacy committee have conversations along the way to check in.


At endorsement, the candidacy committee supports and affirms a student-candidate’s call and gifts for rostered leadership.

Final Year Plan

A plan is developed for a student-candidate's final year, to complete all candidacy requirements related to approval and assignment.


Faculty Recommendation

The seminary faculty affirm the student-candidate's ministry readiness and recommend them for rostered ministry.


At approval, the candidacy committee discern readiness to serve as a rostered ministry after completion of all requirements.

Preparing for Assignment

Usually while on internship, the student-candidate considers their needs, gifts, and sense of call in preparation for assignment.



Following approval, assignment to regions and synods occurs at churchwide assignment consultations.

 First Call

In the care of the synod to which they are newly assigned, the candidate works with synod staff for placement in a congregation.

Please contact seminary candidacy coordination with any questions about the intersection of your program and licensure process.