There are a variety of vocational choices in the ELCA. We have pastors, but we also have chaplains, youth workers, musicians, evangelists, nurses, and more. We are a church that believes God is calling us into the world — together. The ELCA has many needs to fill as we carry out our mission to share God’s boundless love with the world.

Ministry of Word and Sacrament

Ordained ministers, called by the Church of Word and Sacrament, serve with hearts filled with love and courage, to offer the hope of the sacraments and to lead the proclamation of the Gospel.

Pastors of the ELCA carry out their ministry as they proclaim the Gospel. They are called to a ministry of servanthood and bring the witness of faith to the lives of God’s people. Providing care and nurture of others and reaching out to a hurting world are essential expressions of this form of ministry. Pastors assist the Church in transforming congregations as vibrant communities that reach out to serve the world and share the good news of Jesus Christ.

Ordained ministers normally serve in congregations, sometimes in a team ministry with other ordained or lay rostered leaders. Some pastors, after an initial congregational call of three years, will serve as chaplains, faculty at colleges and seminaries, leaders in social service agencies, or in staff positions at synod or churchwide offices.

Ministers of Word and Service

Ministers of Word and Service. Deacons serve in congregations and other ministries of the ELCA, including family ministries, youth, administration, volunteer ministry, social services, music or parish nursing. Deacons connect the church with the needs of the world and work to equip others to lead a living, active and caring Christian life.

More information on discerning your vocation