How Lutheran Pastors end up where they do…
At least once or twice in the last few weeks, I’ve been asked about how one gets a job as a Lutheran Pastor. What happens when you graduate seminary? Do you have to find your own job? Do you get assigned? How do you know where you’ll end up?
Ironically, just last week was the annual ELCA assignment meeting, where representatives from the nine regions of the ELCA got together with information about all of the seminary students preparing for graduation. Over the course of 2-3 days, each individual was discussed and assigned to one of the larger regions, and will, eventually, be assigned to a synod (a smaller geography region).
Fortunately, there are a lot of people who have done a MUCH better job at explaining this process than I could, so I’m simply going to point out these resources as reading for those of you who might be interested in how it all works out.
- Beginning (of the end of) the journey to first call – This three-part blog post describes how the assignment process works from the perspective of a seminarian preparing for graduation and ordination. It describes a lot more about paperwork, but the paperwork is one of the most important parts of it all.
- From the Seminary to the Parish – This gives a bit more detail about the actual assigning to regions from the perspective of someone who attended last year’s assignment meeting, sometimes lovingly referred to as the “Bishop’s Draft.”
- ELCA Regions – This cool little map (I am after all a geographer, and love maps) gives a bit more information about the regions of the ELCA and the synods (sub-regions) that make up each region. It’s a great way to learn a bit more about the ELCA as a whole.