Call Process

Frequently Asked Questions about the Call Process

How long will it take to find a pastor?

Every Call Process varies in length. It will normally take between 6 months and 1 year, but some last longer. The length of the process depends on the number of candidates interviewed; the time call committee and candidates have available for conversation, and the needs of the congregation for grieving and preparation for the next pastor.

What will the congregation do during this time of transition regarding pastoral leadership?

In a pastoral vacancy, the Office of Bishop, in consultation with the congregation council, will appoint an Interim Pastor who will, at a minimum, lead worship/preach (or arrange for this leadership) weekly, meet with the Council each month, and provide emergency pastoral care. The responsibilities of the Interim Pastor will vary and may range from a few hours a week to full-time, depending on the availability of the Interim Pastor and the needs of the Congregation. A letter of agreement is signed between the council and the Pastor that explains exactly what the Interim Pastor will be doing during this time. Sample agreements are available from the Bishop’s Office.

What are the sources of names provided by the Office of Bishop to the Call Committee?

The names of the candidates come from a variety of places, including:

  • Pastors from South Carolina Synod asking to be available for conversation with Call Committees and having submitted their Rostered Leader Profile.
  • Pastors from other synods who have asked that their Rostered Leader Profile be shared with congregations in South Carolina. Please note that Candidates from outside South Carolina must be given clearance by their Synodical Bishop to our bishop before they can be considered for an interview.
  • Pastors identified by the Bishop and Bishop’s staff as particularly suited for a congregation.
  • Recent seminary graduates awaiting their first Call.
  • Pastors suggested by members of the Congregation can also be shared with our office to look into as potential candidates.

Will there be Pastors willing to talk with our Call Committee?

The answer is almost always “yes.” In highly specialized situations or in part time ministry opportunities there may be fewer candidates to consider; however, in general, the Holy Spirit is able to bring gifts and needs together. Should we follow compensation guidelines? Yes. While not every congregation is able to reach or exceed the recommended figures, the guidelines serve as benchmarks to guide congregations and candidates in helpful conversation regarding what is fair and adequate. Please keep in mind that as of this printing our Minimum Compensation Guidelines are for First Call and do not take into account years of experience which some Pastors bring. If compensation is far below guidelines, fewer candidates may be able to consider the Call to a particular congregation – a part-time Call should be explored.

Can we invite the candidates to preach in our congregation on a Sunday morning?

No, we do not suggest that candidates be invited to preach in a congregation where they are being considered. If a candidate preaches in a congregation, the entire congregation becomes involved in the overall process and members are put in the position of deciding on that person’s merit on the basis of worship leadership and one sermon alone, which is only one of many elements of pastoral ministry. The effect is to displace the careful, prayerful discernment of the Call Committee. Call committees should travel to the Pastor’s congregation or to a neutral site to hear him or her preach. When a Pastor being considered is not presently serving a site the Synod staff can assist in setting up a supply location for him or her to preach and lead worship where the call committee could go to participate in worship.

Should spouses of call committee members travel and visit with the call committee?

No. It is better for the call committee to travel and interview without spouses since spouses have not been selected to participate in the call process. Committee members need the freedom to interact with complete confidentiality as those chosen to represent the congregation.

Should the congregation expect there to be expenses related to the work of the call committee?

Yes. Mileage reimbursement to committee members AND to any candidates who interview with your committee can be expected. The committee may also have receipts for expenses related to meals or refreshments provided. We recommend that you use the standard IRS mileage rate for reimbursement. Often councils will designate the expenses of the call committee and the process out of any remainder left in your pastoral compensation package.

Should there be alternate members of the Call Committee?

We do not recommend alternate members; however, if alternates are elected or appointed, they should attend all meetings of the call committee and have voice, but should not vote unless a regular member of the committee finds it necessary to relinquish his or her position.

What if we have additional questions?

If at any time during the call process you have questions, concerns, or ideas, please feel free to communicate with the member of the Bishop’s Staff that is coordinating the Call Process with your congregation.

Steps in the Call Process

We believe the call process for any congregation is a “Spirit-led time of renewal.” It is our general custom to set an initial meeting between the Congregational Council and the Bishop or one of the Assistants to the Bishop to review the steps of the Call Process. At that time a copy of the South Carolina Synod Call Process Manual, A Spirit Led Time of Renewal, will be given to your Congregational Council. This Manual should be passed on to the Chair of your Call Committee once he or she is named. (Note: Most of these steps also pertain to calling a lay Rostered leader.)

Step 1. A Rostered leader always consults with the Bishop and turns in updated mobility paperwork before engaging in a Call process with another congregation.

Step 2. When a Rostered leader accepts a new Call he or she submits a letter of resignation to the Congregational Council at a called Council Meeting; The Letter of Resignation is copied and distributed to the Bishop’s office and to the Congregation along with a letter of acceptance from Council including any plans being made for a farewell event if those are known.

Step 3. Pastor and Council complete any obligations to one another (parochial records updated and certified to synod; any financial obligations between Rostered leader and congregation).

Step 4. An exit interview for the Rostered Leader led by Congregational Leaders may be helpful.

Step 5. Farewell event and clarification of expectations.

Step 6. The Office of Bishop conducts a Congregational Council visit, including setting a date for the “Congregational Event.”

Step 7. The Congregational Council works with Bishop’s office for selection of Interim Pastor.

Step 8. The Call Committee is established according to constitutional provision 13.05.

Step 9a. The Office of the Bishop provides leadership for a “Spirit-led Time of Renewal Congregational Event.”

Step 9b. The Congregation is asked to set up and participate in “Healthy Congregations” Workshop #1. Workshops # 2 & # 3 are highly recommended as follow up for each congregation in call process. Workshop # 3 is designed to be done a few months after your new pastor is settled into this new call. See the final Appendix page for the Healthy Congregations brochure and information.
Step 10. The Call Committee develops and submits to the Bishop’s office a “Ministry Site Profile” and a compilation of the data collected at the Congregational Event. The Ministry Site Profile (MSP) can be accessed online at click on MSP and follow instructions for completion. If you have questions about the form please feel free to call the Synod Office for assistance.

Step 11. The Office of the Bishop enters into a time of intentional prayer and discernment to find and determine potential candidates to offer your Call Committee for interviews.

Step 12. The Office of the Bishop meets with the Call Committee; Committee may receive names of candidates and begin the interview process.

Step 13. The Call Committee interviews candidates, remains in contact with the Bishop’s Office and ultimately recommends a pastor to the Council; The Council interviews and recommends the Candidate to the Congregation and sets a Congregational meeting date.

Step 14. Congregation votes to extend a call to this pastor, and on a second ballot votes on the compensation package; The Candidate accepts call and notifies congregation and the Office of the Bishop of their start date.

Step 15. The new Pastor is installed by a representative of the Office of Bishop on an agreed upon Sunday.

A Spirit Led Time of Renewal

The South Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Call Process Manual with Appendices. Includes Clergy Compensation Guidelines.

Ethics: A Sensitive Matter

This article deals with the sensitive matter is of pastors being asked for pastoral acts by people who are their former parishioners. With our synod being as geographically compact as it is, we may face this issue more frequently than other parts of the church.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Call Process

Frequently Asked Questions about the Call Process

Sample Interim Contract

A sample contract for an interim pastor in the South Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

Campus Ministry

Campus ministry

The Campus Ministry Team oversees all synod campus ministry programs. The team is responsible for planning activities and allocating dollars to each campus ministry program.

Lutheran Campus Ministry throughout South Carolina is gearing up for fall! Campus pastors are reaching out this summer to students who are or will be attending local colleges and universities in the fall.

If you know of a young adult at one of our SC schools, please send his or her name (along with an address, if possible) to the appropriate campus pastors.

Student Referral Form

Lutheran Campus Ministry Student Referral Form

LCM has staffed ministries at many colleges and universities; partner congregations serve others. If you will share with us the names of your members attending college, we will send the referral to the appropriate pastors. All names will be entered into a South Carolina Synod database for notices and invitations to student gatherings.

If you are a young adult, or if you know of a young adult who is looking for a community of friends and a way to express faith, consider campus ministry. The campus ministries of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) welcome everyone into their loving and accepting communities. Young adults experience unique spiritual, intellectual and emotional challenges. ELCA Campus Ministry seeks to strengthen and support them as they learn and grow.

You can use this referral tool to find a campus ministry near you. If you are looking for a school that is not listed, we will direct your referral to the nearest ELCA Lutheran church.

We are a church that is energized by lively engagement in our faith and life. The mission of campus ministry in the ELCA is to invite people in academic settings to engage more deeply with the teachings of Jesus Christ and the community that bears his name, so that they can discover and fulfill their vocation as disciples. Find out more about Campus Ministry across the ELCA

South Carolina Campus Ministry Committee Chair
Richard Delap
103 Silver Creek Court, Greer, SC 29650

Anderson University
Rev. J. Chris Fischer
Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, 209 Broad Street, Anderson, SC 29621

Charleston Southern University
Pastoral Vacancy at this time

The Citadel
Rev. Eric Wolf
1003 Richland Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Clemson University & Tri-County Tech
Rev. Chris Heavner
Lutheran Campus Ministry – Clemson, 111 Sloan Street, Clemson, SC 29631

College of Charleston & Medical University of Charleston
Pastoral Vacancy at this time

Grand Strand
Rev. Hank Moody
1414 Saint Thomas Circle, Myrtle Beach, SC 29577

Converse College, Wofford College, USC-Upstate
Rev. Mike Shackelford
St. John Lutheran Church, 415 S. Pine Street, Spartanburg, SC 29302

Erskine College & Lander University
Pastoral Vacancy at this time

Francis Marion University
Rev. Jeff Shealy
St. Luke Lutheran Church, 1201 Cherokee Road, Florence, SC 29501

– and –

Cross and Crown Lutheran Church, 3123 W Palmetto Street, Florence, SC 29501

Furman University
Deacon Mandi Whitley
421 N. Main Street, Greenville, SC 29601

Newberry College
Rev. Ernie Worman
2100 College Street, Newberry, SC 29108
@WolvesNministry on Twitter

Presbyterian College
Pastoral Vacancy at this time

University of South Carolina – Aiken
Rev. Adam Carnell
961 Trail Ridge Road, Aiken, SC 29803

University of South Carolina & Columbia Area Schools
Rev. Frank Anderson
Lutheran Campus Ministry, 728 Pickens Street, Columbia, SC 29201

Winthrop University
Rev. Rebecca Lord-Phillips
426 Oakland Avenue, Rock Hill, SC 29730
April Hershey


Candidacy is the Name of a Process.

What is Candidacy? by Pastor Gary Loadholdt and Pastor Ginny Aebischer

The Candidacy process raises up, prepares, certifies and places public leaders in the ELCA. In the ELCA, public ministers include commissioned Associates in Ministry, consecrated Diaconal Ministers and Deaconesses, and ordained Pastors.

This process is a partnership among candidate, congregation, and synod, seminary, candidacy committee and the ELCA Vocation and Education unit. The candidacy committee of your synod acts on behalf of the ELCA in discerning with you the rostered ministry to which you are called: ordained or lay (Associate in Ministry, Deaconess, or Diaconal Ministry).

In the Lutheran tradition, a person’s individual or internal sense of call to ordained, commissioned, or consecrated ministry must be confirmed by the larger community of the church (external call). By the power of the Holy Spirit, the candidacy process invites chosen representatives of the church to determine whether a person’s character, ability, health and wellness, spiritual formation, preparation, and commitment are appropriate for the roster on which that person seeks to serve.

The Candidacy Committee of each synod has the responsibility for approving a candidate for rostered ministry in this church. There are several steps to the approval of a Candidate for Public Ministry and the Committee is tasked to walk with each candidate in the discernment of these steps. The Candidacy Committee is charged to approve, postpone or deny (with explanation of gifts and challenges) Candidates at each step in the process and to give guidance all along the journey.
The candidacy process parallels and works together with the academic process of seminary education. Following approval by the Candidacy Committee, a candidate will go through an assignment process which makes them available to a public call which is finally affirmed when a Christian assembly issues a call to the form of ministry for which the candidate has prepared.

Although all application materials for candidacy (including the entire revised Candidacy Manual) are now available online, your journey begins when you contact your synod office. Talk to Mrs. Jenny Spearen, who is Administrative Assistant to Pastor Ginny Aebischer. She can tell you which forms are necessary and how to complete them. She can also set up an appointment for you to meet with Pastor Aebischer to discuss the details of the candidacy process and your plans, if you so desire. When all your application materials are complete, including the Entrance Information form and Congregation Registration form, the synod candidacy committee will meet with you for an Entrance Interview. A positive entrance decision is required in order for an ELCA seminary to officially accept you for the appropriate theological program.

The journey toward commissioning, consecration, or ordination for ministry provides ongoing opportunities for discernment, growth, and development of your identity as a rostered leader of the ELCA. Your participation in the candidacy process is a significant part of preparation and formation. The people who serve on candidacy committees are deeply dedicated to serving as partners with you in this important journey of your life.

Steps in the Candidacy Process

The Candidacy process begins long before someone goes to seminary for their graduate work in theological education.

So, the South Carolina Synod Candidacy Entrance Decisions are usually made in the spring of each year before a Candidate enters seminary in the fall (or before summer Greek).

February 15 is the deadline for the synod office to receive the Candidate application AND the congregational registration form.

The forms are online at, but Inquirers should also contact the synod office for more information. Please note: February 15 is the deadline, but starting earlier than this is very helpful, because….

From the time the application is received, many things need to happen:

  • The Inquirer will need to write and submit an autobiographical essay.
  • The Inquirer will need to submit the Entrance Information Form.
  • The congregation will need to decide on financial support for the candidate if entranced.
  • An appointment for an Initial Interview will be scheduled, completed and written up for the committee.
  • A background check will need to be completed by the synod.
  • Psychological testing will be scheduled, tests taken, and then results interpreted    to the Inquirer and written up for the committee.

The Candidacy Committee will need to have all paperwork read before the Inquirer comes to that spring meeting of the committee for an interview and an entrance decision. The Candidacy Committee always seeks to make its decisions at each step in this Candidacy process with great care and prayerful discernment on behalf of every inquirer.

The Candidacy Committee meets with candidates for official decisions at Entrance before someone enters seminary, at Endorsement usually in the midst of a Candidate’s Middler year and finally at Approval in the senior year. The committee follows each candidate to help guide their entire process and in addition to annual Candidacy Gathering Day the Committee will often ask individual candidates to join them for follow up meetings during the year. Each committee member also serves as a contact person for several candidates.

If you’re thinking about becoming a rostered leader, or if you are guiding someone who is thinking about it, the time to start is NOW!  Contact the South Carolina Synod Office for more information. (803)765-0590.

About the Call

A “Call” creates a holy relationship of respect, trust, and love between a rostered leader and a group of people who are united in a specific context.

About the Candidacy Committee

The candidacy committee of each synod has the responsibility for approving a candidate for rostered ministry in this church.

A list of resources you may download or purchase is available through the Churchwide expression’s website at

Congregational Treasurers and Bookkeepers

Resources For Treasurers

Synod office contacts for you:
Raymond L. Hendrix, Jr., Treasurer
Charlene Fink, Administrative Assistant to the Treasurer
South Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Address: 1003 Richland St., Columbia, SC 29201-2407
Telephone:   (803) 765-0590     Fax:   (803) 252-5558

Endowment Fund application: The South Carolina Synod Mission Endowment Fund, established at the 2003 Synod Assembly, is intended to grow through investments and additional gifts. Grant applications will be accepted between July 1 and August 1 of each calendar year. The Grant Committee will review these applications and make their recommendations by October 1. These recommendations will be reported to the Synod Council for their approval. Applications may be submitted by South Carolina Synod (ELCA) institutions, congregations, ministry teams, committees, and organizations. Download the Mission Endowment application form.

A word about the Remittance Advisory Form: Treasurers use the Remittance Advisory Form (the “green form”) when they send congregational checks to the Synod Office. This form gives the synod treasurer specific information as to where the dollars should go, such as Mission Support, SC Synod Support, ELCA Disaster Relief, ELCA World Hunger, missionaries, helping agencies, synodical institutions, etc. The treasurer’s office receives these gifts, prepares receipts, and copies the information for your records. When you send in your next gift, you keep the white receipt and return the green remittance form to the Synod Office. NOTE: If you have lost your green remittance form, please contact Linda Albert and she will email you the latest revision of this form. Her contact information is at the top of this page.

Please make all checks payable to “South Carolina Synod” and use the memo line for the purpose of the check. Thank you.

Congregational Treasurers’ and Bookkeepers’ Financial and Accounting Guide
Endowment Fund Application

The South Carolina Synod established a Synod Mission Endowment Fund at the 2003 Synod Assembly. Initial funding for the fund came from the estate of The Rev. and Mrs. John H. Koch. This fund is intended to fund mission development within the South Carolina Synod and for special expressions of God’s love in the world.


Rostered Leaders Convocation

2017 SC Synod Rostered Leaders Convocation – Discipleship at the Cross Section of Faith and Life

This year’s event will take place October 23-25 (Monday, 2 pm through Wednesday, late morning) at Lutheridge, Arden NC

What if the Spirit were to create faith in us so deep…
it actually moved us to change our lives?
What would happen if our discipleship was so inspired…
it actually moved us to transformation?

Preston Shipp and Jacqueline Bussie will lead us in reflection, conversation, and Bible study to strengthen us in our calling as rostered leaders to help disciples of Jesus navigate the intersection of their faith and life.

Rostered Leaders:

Convocation is a vital opportunity for rostered leaders to come together for worship, study, mutual upbuilding, and fellowship. We gather together at Lutheridge, in Arden NC. Your presence at convocation is a blessing to others as together we are renewed in spirit for the ministries to which we are called.

Congregation Leaders:

Please encourage your rostered leaders to attend Convocation. This time of reflection, renewal, and collegiality is important to the spiritual health of your leaders and to the mission of Christ which we do together! Please request that your congregation leaders provide financial support for all of your rostered leaders to attend – pastors, associates in ministry, diaconal ministers, and deaconesses.


2018 South Carolina Synod Rostered Leaders Convocation Paper Registration

2018 South Carolina Synod Rostered Leaders Convocation Paper Registration

On-Site Registration $200 (thru 9/22*) and $230 (after 9/22) Lodging/meals/program included.
Commuter Registration is $135 (thru 9/22*) $165 (after 9/22) Meals/program included.
* Mailed registration forms must be postmarked by September 22.

Rostered Leaders Convocation 2017 – Schedule.
Schedule and/or locations subject to change

Monday, October 23, 2017

12:30 PM Registration Starts – Faith Center
2:00 PM Opening Worship – Faith Center
2:30 PM Welcome – Faith Center
2:45 PM Keynote 1: Preston Shipp – Faith Center
4:00 PM Break
4:15 PM Bible Study 1: Jacqueline Bussie – Faith Center
6:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Time with Bishop’s Staff – Faith Center
8:15 PM Worship: Evening Prayer – Faith Center
8:45 PM Fellowship – Dining Hall

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

8:00 AM Morning Watch – Dining Hall porch
8:30 AM Breakfast
9:15 AM Keynote 2: Preston Shipp – Faith Center
10:30 AM Break
10:45 AM Bible Study 2: Jacqueline Bussie – Faith Center
12:15 PM Lunch


6:00 PM Dinner
7:00 PM Service of Holy Communion – Faith Center
8:15 PM Fellowship – Dining Hall

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

8:00 AM Morning Watch – Dining Hall porch
8:30 AM Breakfast
9:15 AM Panel Discussion: Preston Shipp & Jacqueline Bussie – Faith Center
10:30 AM Time with Bishop’s Staff – Faith Center
11:15 AM Sending Worship – Faith Center

Details subject to change – final schedule will be handed out at registration.

South Carolina Synod rostered leaders, don’t miss Convocation: Discipleship at the Cross Section of Faith and Life. This year we have two special guests.

Keynote Speaker:
Preston Shipp
Criminal Justice Reform Advocate
Former prosecutor and State of Tennessee Assistant Attorney General Preston Shipp shares the powerful story of how being a disciple of Jesus transformed his life and led him to leave his chosen career.

Bible Study Leader:
Dr. Jacqueline Bussie
Professor of Religion and Director of the Forum on Faith and Life, Concordia College, Moorhead MN
Author of Outlaw Christian (Harper Collins, 2016)
Author of The Laughter of the Oppressed (Bloomsbury/T&T Clark, 2007)

Paper registration to be posted soon.

Everyday Evangelism

Everyday Evangelism is an experience of fun, conversational Bible study and practical application in a safe and prayerful place for teams of 2 or 3 members from different South Carolina congregations. Based on the work of South Carolina lay persons and pastors, and on noted Christian author Jim Henderson’s book, Evangelism Without Additives, Everyday Evangelism promises an exciting way for you to become what God calls you to be—a bringer of the Good News—just by being yourself.

Everyday Evangelism Brochure

Everyday Evangelism is an experience of fun, conversational Bible study and practical application in a safe and prayerful place for teams of 2 or 3 members from different South Carolina congregations. Based on the work of South Carolina lay persons and pastors, and on noted Christian author Jim Henderson’s book, Evangelism Without Additives, Everyday Evangelism promises an exciting way for you to become what God calls you to be—a bringer of the Good News—just by being yourself.

First Call Theological Education

First Call Theological Education

Kris Litman-Koon, Good Shepherd Lutheran, Columbia, Chair of the SC Synod FCTE Committee

FCTE is a ministry of the ELCA which provides a mentoring process and a support system for all rostered leaders – Word & Service and Word & Sacrament — during their first three years under call. FCTE is designed to provide sustaining support which will help these servants of the church experience long and fruitful careers.

In the South Carolina Synod, FCTE has four major expectations: participation in a professionally-led colleague cohort, attending committee-led training in practical ministry elements, openness to a partnership program, and attending a retreat.

Rostered leaders in FCTE join a cohort that is led by Mark Tidsworth of Pinnacle Leadership Associates. This Cohort will meet approximately six times during each year, and the goals are to equip the rostered leaders with tools to successfully navigate and lead a congregation, to provide a space to process ministry challenges, and to develop the career-long expectation that the best ministry always seeks collaboration with other professional ministers.

Training in practical ministry elements is organized by the committee. Examples of these elements include navigating the congregation’s budget and healthy conversation skill between parties of conflicting viewpoints. The committee that oversees the FCTE program is quite unique. In general, the committee members are those people who most recently completed the FCTE program. This allows for a freshness in ideas on the committee and it allows the committee to evaluate its work via recent memory as participants.

The partnership program connects individual members of the committee with individual FCTE participants. This partnership seeks to build trust, to offer mutual prayer, and to share each other’s wisdom. Once someone has been assigned to the SC Synod for call, it is the committee’s goal to begin this partnership immediately, even if time passes before a call is extended to the individual.

Every three years, Region 9 of the ELCA has a Stewardship Retreat for FCTE participants. This takes place at a wonderful setting in Georgia, and it is an opportunity to meet fellow rostered leaders from multiple synods. The theme throughout the retreat is both personal and congregational stewardship.

In addition to the above four areas of expectation, the FCTE Committee also sees itself as the “welcome wagon” for the synod. Twice each year, at the Synod Assembly and at the Synod Fall Convocation, the committee hosts a luncheon for the committee members and FCTE participants. However, we also invite to these luncheons those rostered leaders who have transferred to this synod during the previous year. The reasons for this are to welcome these leaders, to guide them through what they can expect at assembly and convocation, and to help them establish in South Carolina their own collaborative relationships of professional ministers, which we believe are necessary for a successful career in ministry.

Rostered Leader Support

What is the Rostered Leaders Support Committee?

This committee is under the umbrella of responsibility of the Ministry Team of Rostered Leaders, and it works to provide support of rostered leaders in the SC Synod of the ELCA in several ways. A number of the members of the Ministry Team of Rostered Leaders work on the various projects of this subcommittee.

A major responsibility is the annual preparation of compensation guidelines which are approved at Synod Assembly and offered to help and guide congregations in determining salary and benefits for leaders. AIM Lexanne Graves, Assistant to the Bishop Ginny Aebischer, and Rev. Jason Antley have worked to fine tune this document. As a part of our support for rostered leaders, we have held compensation workshops in the Midlands and Upstate to help familiarize people with the new Compensation Excel Spreadsheet found online. We also continued to look at some specific areas that could improve the Compensation Guidelines, with the help of many lay and rostered leaders who brought us feedback and suggestions.

The committee has also worked to encourage rostered leaders to be more active in developing healthy lifestyles. Through the efforts of many to contact rostered leaders both by email and telephone, the SC Synod was again successful in meeting the goal of having 65% of eligible persons taking a Mayo Clinic online health survey, which allowed all rostered leaders on ELCA healthcare to receive a 2% deduction on premium costs.

This subcommittee also administers funds for providing counseling services to rostered leaders and their families when necessary (many have access to these services through their ELCA health plans).

Sexual Misconduct Policy
Sexual Misconduct Policy

Statement of policy regarding sexual misconduct by members of the clergy and rostered laypersons. This is an excerpt from the Policies and Procedures Manual of the South Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America.

Supply List
Supply List

South Carolina Synod, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America Pulpit Supply List

Mission Support

Frequently Asked Questions about Mission Support

What is Mission Support?

Mission Support is the portion of your congregation’s regular financial offering that is shared with your synod and the churchwide organization. It is an undesignated gift to ELCA ministries that goes beyond your congregation. These gifts are used where the need is the greatest, and they also make it possible for the ELCA’s 65 synods and the churchwide organization to maintain ongoing commitments to ministry partners.

What guides the churchwide organization in its decisions regarding Mission Support?

Voting members from across the ELCA meet as a churchwide assembly every three years to guide and direct the work of the churchwide organization. The ELCA Church Council functions as the interim legislative authority between assemblies. The churchwide organization’s two strategic priorities are to accompany the nearly 10,000 ELCA congregations as growing centers for evangelical mission and to build the capacity of this church for evangelical witness and service in the world to alleviate poverty and to work for justice and peace.

How does my congregation benefit from Mission Support?

Every congregation benefits as an active partner in our church’s mission to share God’s love with the world. “Stories of Faith in Action” is filled with examples of how lives have been changed because of the generosity of ELCA members and congregations through Mission Support. This money funds the work of the synods, and some of the portion of Mission Support that is shared with the churchwide organization goes to your congregation and synod in the form of services, programs, resources or grants. Typically more than 90 percent of a congregation’s offering remains in the congregation to help pay for ministries, outreach, salaries, utilities and the building—ensuring your congregation’s vital presence in your community.

What is the distinction between Mission Support and Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA?

Mission Support is one way we act as a church together; we count on one another for the mutual work that Mission Support makes possible. However, many ELCA members and congregations are called to give in other ways as well, and this is what Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA offers. The Campaign for the ELCA is a way for us to do more, together, through designated gifts to the ministry priorities we are most passionate about, above and beyond regular offerings through our congregation. Campaign gifts are tracked and spent separately from the Mission Support budget. The Campaign for the ELCA is an investment in the future of the ELCA and an extension of our mission and ministry together.


Stories of Faith in Action features images and stories of people whose lives have been touched by ministries of the ELCA. This resource shows how your regular congregational offering, shared with your synod and the churchwide organization, is changing lives.

Synod Gift and Bequest Policy

The South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America welcomes and encourages donations, bequests, and charitable gifts. The purpose of this policy is to provide a consistent process for managing the acceptance of such gifts. With this policy Synod Council will attempt to conform to the Association of Lutheran Executives Development (ALDE) Bill of Rights.

A Stewardship in the Digital Age Bibliography

A Stewardship in the Digital Age Bibliography by Adam Copeland

We are woven together, members and congregations of the ELCA. Our many stories are part of a larger story. It is a story of generosity and faith. Small towns, large suburbs, congregations young and old coming together, God’s work. Our hands.

How do we respond, as stewards of all that God has given us, to his generosity? Please use this page as a sort of online bulletin board of ideas and resources that might help. Please check back from time to time to see what’s been added! To get you started, click the blue links below.

Here is a wealth of Stewardship resources from Luther Seminary.

Read Ron Walrath’s “Top Ten Reasons Why I Tithe.”

Take a look at the Stewardship of Life Website.

Top Ten Reasons Why I Tithe

– by Ron Walrath, Executive Director of Development
Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary
Columbia, South Carolina

10. It feels good to tithe. Seriously, I get to give until it feels good instead of until it hurts.

9. No one forces me to tithe.

8. Tithing teaches me the difference between my needs and my wants. Most of the wants have evaporated!

7. Tithing makes me feel as if I am being faithful in the small things. Remember the parable of the talents?

6. I enjoy seeing the fruits of my tithe in the work of the church.

5. Tithing helps me talk about stewardship with confidence and conviction. I can talk about what it has done in my own life and not make anything up.

4. Because I want to respond to God’s gift of grace.

3. Through tithing, God changes my heart.

2. Tithing helps me live out my baptismal promises as a disciple of Jesus Christ.

1. Everything that has been entrusted to my care belongs to God.

Where Do Our Offerings Go?
Where is God Doing Something New in the South Carolina Synod?
Where is the Spirit Leading?
Stories of Reconciling and Renewing Relationships in Christ
Growing in God's Mission


The South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is pleased to announce the request for 2017 fall applications for GROWING IN GOD’S MISSION COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT GRANT. Because of the generous gifts from congregations in the South Carolina Synod, ELCA to the Growing in God’s Mission appeal, funds are available to SC Synod congregations to initiate new, meaningful connections and relationships with their community.

Applications for the GROWING IN GOD’S MISSION COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT GRANT should be completed in full for request to be considered. Completed applications are due October 3, 2017. Applications are available online at www. Locate the cover letter and application by going to “Deepening Discipleship,” scroll down to “Growing In God’s Mission”, access the 2017 Growing in God’s Mission Cover Letter and the 2017 Growing in God’s Mission Grant Application. Congregations will be notified of their award status by November 1, 2017. Submit completed applications to:

South Carolina Synod
Growing In God’s Mission Community Engagement Grant
1003 Richland St.
Columbia, SC 29201

Please contact Melanie Wessinger, Growing in God’s Mission Grant Committee Chair, with questions regarding the grant application process. Melanie may be reached by email or 864-616-1725.

Concerned your congregation won’t be ready to submit an application by October? No problem! There will be another request for proposals in the March, 2018.

Growing in God’s Mission Community Engagement Grant Cover Letter – Fall 2017

Growing in God’s Mission Community Engagement Grant Cover Letter – Fall 2017

Growing in God’s Mission Community Engagement Grant Application – Fall 2017

Growing in God’s Mission Community Engagement Grant Application – Fall 2017

Our Real Stories

Growing in God’s Mission


The South Carolina Synod’s “Growing in God’s Mission” campaign was launched to fund important ways to strengthen ministry within and beyond the synod. Through generosity and imagination the appeal reach and exceeded its financial goal of $1,750,000!

As of February 1, 2015, pledges, gifts received and “pledges/gifts receivable” totaled $1,799,556. Plus through the campaign, donors have contributed and additional $102,138 for “Safe Water Tanzania,” an addition to the five original goals of the appeal.

The South Carolina Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America is pleased to announce this request for applications for GROWING IN GOD’S MISSION COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT GRANT. Because of the generous gifts from congregations in the South Carolina Synod, ELCA to the Growing in God’s Mission appeal, funds are available to South Carolina Synod congregations to initiate new, meaningful connections and relationships with their community.

The Growing In God’s Mission Community Engagement Grant committee awarded grants to the following congregations during the 2017 Spring Grant cycle:

  • Crossroads Lutheran Church-Summer Ministry program
  • Multiple Midland Congregations-Faith Formation experiences for people with disabilities
  • Orangeburg Lutheran-Community Garden
  • Shepherd of the Sea Lutheran-Community Soup Kitchen
  • St. Andrews Lutheran-Homeless Family Ministry
Always Being Made New
Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA

Always Being Made New: The Campaign for the ELCA is our opportunity to invest in the future of this church, deepen relationships and expand ministries that serve our neighbors and communities in the United States and around the world.

Teaching Resources
Baptism Series Part 1

Baptism Series Part 1

Baptism Series Part 2

Baptism Series Part 2

Baptism Series Part 3

Baptism Series Part 3

Baptism Series Part 4

Baptism Series Part 4

Holy Communion Series Part 1

Holy Communion Series Part 1

Holy Communion Series Part 2

Holy Communion Series Part 2

Holy Communion Series Part 3

Holy Communion Series Part 3

Holy Communion Series Part 4

Holy Communion Series Part 4

Holy Communion Series Essay Questions

Holy Communion Series Essay Questions

Apostles' Creed Curriculum for Youth and Adults

Apostles' Creed Curriculum for Youth and Adults

Lord teach us to pray - The Lord's Prayer

Lord teach us to pray - The Lord's Prayer

Lifelong Faith Formation Network Resources

Lifelong Faith Formation Network Resources

What Luther wanted and why it was hard for him and us to achieve it.

Dr. Scott H. Hendrix
Author, Martin Luther Visionary Reformer
Luther Presentation at LTSS on 11 November 2016
“What Luther wanted and why it was hard for him and us to achieve it.”

The Reformation of Luther and the Woodcut

M. Patrick Graham, Ph.D.
Margaret A. Pitts Professor of Theological Bibliography and Director, Pitts Theology Library
Luther and the Arts Presentation at LTSS on 11 November 2016
“The Reformation of Luther and the Woodcut”

Suggestions for Congregations to Utilize the Arts in Worship

The Rev. Dr. Clay Schmit
Luther and the Arts Presentation at LTSS on 11 November 2016
“Suggestions for Congregations to Utilize the Arts in Worship”