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10 Tips to Make It Through Candidacy

The Rev. Dr. Megan Rohrer served as the candidacy director for the Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries and has been ordained for over 12 years.

Some tips and suggestions for people interested in becoming a pastor, seminary students and others who are in the candidacy process.

Tip 1: It is not a job interview: You are there to get permission to be a student. Have an attitude that shows you want to grow and learn.

Tip 2: Act and dress like someone who could be there for someone's last day of life: Being a pastor involves being their for people in difficult times. Show that you are able to be there when someone passes, by dressing accordingly.

Tip 3: Take notes: Show you are interested in learning and that you are invested in the process.

Tip 4: Give examples of diverse church contexts: Show your flexibility and your desire to care for the faith of others. Yes, they may be interested in learning about your faith as well, but as a pastor it will be your job to share the faith of a community, not to just put your own faith on display.

Tip 5: Read the list of pastor's responsibilities: Know the full list of tasks in the job description for pastor's in your denomination. Use the list to demonstrate your desire to be a well rounded pastor.

Tip 6: Demonstrate healthy boundaries: In order to prevent sexual misconduct or other issues, candidacy committees seek want to hear that pastors will make good professional choices. If you don't know much about pastoral boundaries check out this list from ACPE.

Tip 7: Practice your interview: Practice saying your ideas to yourself and to others.

Tip 8: Accountability partner: Find someone who can give you honest feedback and listen to them.

Tip 9: Journal: Write down some of the experiences you have had that shape your faith. Include congregations that inspire you and pastors who inspire you.

Tip 10: Show you are open to feedback and willing to work on it: Take even unjust feedback seriously. This does not mean you should change who you are, but you could say something like: "while that's not how I understand myself, I take your feedback seriously and will work on it." Then you actually have to work on something related to the feedback. This could mean you work on communicating your truth better so the committee can see it next time you meet.

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