Report of the Candidacy Committee

The members of the Candidacy Committee are: the Rev. Bassam Abdallah (Hammond, Ind.), the Rev. Gib Botten (Everett, Wash.), the Rev. Mark Chavez, general secretary (Landisville, Pa.), the Rev. Beverly DeBord (St. Louis, Mo.), the Rev. Joyce Dix-Weiers (Elderton, Pa.), the Rev. Brad Everett (Strathmore, Alb.), the Rev. Carol Johnson, (Paducah, Ky.), the Rev. Stephane Kalonji (Rosenberg, Texas), the Rev. Amy Little (Norwalk, Ohio), the Rev. Evan McClanahan (Houston, Texas), the Rev. Jerry Merkouris (Sioux Falls, S.D.), the Rev. Eric Riesen, president of the North American Lutheran Seminary (Ambridge, Pa.), the Rev. Dan Selbo, bishop (San Jose, Calif.), the Rev. Garrett Siemsen (Pittsburgh, Pa.) the Rev. David Wendel, assistant to the bishop for ministry & ecumenism (Jacksonville, Fl.) and the Rev. Tim Loehrke, chair (Warren, Ohio).

Together, we work to support future leaders of the church. In partnership with the bishop, his staff, mission district deans, seminary representatives and internship supervisors, we seek to prayerfully guide qualified candidates as they move through the educational process and discern God’s call to ministry. The committee oversees internship site development and placement. We also review applications to the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) Theological Education Scholarship Fund, giving our recommendations to the NALC executive staff.

The committee meets each year in March, June and October to conduct interview panels for individuals at various stages in the candidacy process. Whether coming to us for an entrance, endorsement or approval decision, or perhaps a developmental interview for additional guidance, the committee seeks to aid the candidate’s discernment process and theological development while at the same time bearing in mind the requirements and expectations of the wider Church. Through the three milestones of the candidacy process, candidates are reviewed to determine their progress using seminary transcripts, candidacy essays, clinical pastoral education (CPE), internship evaluations and individual conversations with members of the committee that are focused on biblical, theological and confessional matters. Personal and pastoral references, as well as full criminal background checks and a psychological evaluation, are required of all NALC ministry candidates.

Since 2019’s convocation, the Candidacy Committee has met three times for interviews: October 2019, March 2020 and July 2020 (shifted from June because of the COVID-19 concern). The outcome of those interviews is as follows:

October 2019
Total # of Interviews Positive Decisions Denials Postponements With Contingencies
Entrance 3 2 1
Endorsement 3 3
Approval 2 1 1
Lay Ministry 1 1
Developmental 2 2


March 2020
Total # of Interviews Positive Decisions Denials Postponements With Contingencies
Entrance 2 1 1
Endorsement 4 3 1
Approval 5 2 3
Lay Ministry 0
Developmental 1 1


July 2020
Total # of Interviews Positive Decisions Denials Postponements With Contingencies
Entrance 6 4 2
Endorsement 0
Approval 3 3
Lay Ministry 0
Developmental 0


The Candidacy Retreat was held in conjunction with the DiscipleLife 2020 conference and NALC Ministerium in Orlando, Fla., in February 2020. Twelve students attended and experienced hearing and meeting Bishop Dan Selbo, the executive staff and other pastors of the NALC. All thought the experience was beneficial. The breakout sessions, plenary sessions and the networking among fellow students and pastors were greatly appreciated.

We continue to give praise to God for His faithfulness in calling men and women to serve in Word and Sacrament ministry, as well as commissioned lay ministry, and pray for those who continue to seek a call.

Respectfully submitted on behalf of the committee,
The Rev. Tim Loehrke




Date published

July 31, 2020