Photo by Emily Ann Garcia
Photo by Emily Ann Garcia

The Candidacy Accompaniment Program of Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) walks with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other gender and sexual minority (LGBTQIA+) students as they respond to their call to ministry by seeking rostered status in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) or another Lutheran denomination.

“Walking with” can include providing support and encouragement, identifying helpful resources, and offering advocacy when requested and appropriate for LGBTQIA+ students throughout their seminary education, the candidacy process, and assignment process.

Seminary Advocates are essential to the work of Candidacy Accompaniment. Seminary Advocates are staff or faculty persons at each of the ELCA Seminaries and other graduate schools that serve LGBTQIA+ students who:

  • are interested and committed to welcoming LGBTQIA+ students as they begin their theological educational program and assisting them in making the transition to seminary life.
  • make themselves available to LGBTQIA+ students in order to assist them in addressing questions that arise in their academic program.
  • work to become familiar with the expectations that ELCA Synodical Candidacy Committees have of students in the Candidacy process and any specific expectations applicable to particular students.
  • serve as a liaison between Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries (ELM) and LGBTQIA+ students by sharing information about activities and events of interest and value to LGBTQIA+ students.
  • are alert to situations in which advocacy on behalf of LGBTQIA+ students might be appropriate, helpful, and needed.
  • share with ELM any suggestions through which ELM might better serve LGBTQIA+ students in their seminary education or approval process.

In addition to Seminary Advocates who are faculty and staff members (see below), we also have Proclaim Seminarian Reps at each ELCA school and for students at non-ELCA schools.  Feel free to reach out to them for the student perspective. 

Current ELM Seminary Advocates

Luther Seminary – Rev. Dr. Karoline Lewis

Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago – Rev. Matthew James

Lutheran Theological Southern Seminary – Rev. Dr. Gary Dreier

Pacific Lutheran Theological Seminary – Rev. Dr. Shauna Hannan

Trinity Lutheran Seminary – Rev. Dr. Cheryl Peterson

United Lutheran Seminary (Gettysburg) – Rev. Dr. Rick Carlson

United Lutheran Seminary (Philadelphia) – Rev. Dr. Karyn Wiseman

Wartburg Theological Seminary – Rev. Amy Current

Photo by Emily Ann Garcia
Photo by Emily Ann Garcia

If your school is not listed or you have a connection at another school, please contact ELM at