One of the most dramatic transitions in the life of newly called leaders in the transition from seminary or non-rostered status to the first call to public ministry. For that reason, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) has developed First Call Theological Education (FCTE), a three-year structured program of personal leadership development. FCTE is for all rostered leaders: pastors, Associates in Ministry, and Diaconal Ministers in the first three years of their first call, and is designed and coordinated within each synod of the ELCA. FCTE involves theological reflection, experiential learning, colleague support, and builds upon foundations provided by a seminary, a college, or other educational program.

The three primary content areas of the FCTE program are:

  • Ministerial Identity – assuming a religious leadership role
  • Ministry Skills – learning how to provide leadership for the variety of functions in the life of the congregation
  • Context of Ministry – discovering the history, values, and commitments of the specific setting of ministry

If you have questions about FCTE please contact the Synod Center for Ministry at [email protected] or call 319-338-1273.