I'm happy to let you know that I've put another major step behind me in this journey to first call. My husband and I flew out to Denver for our approval interviews this past weekend. If you recall, approval is the final step of the candidacy process which began way back before we entered seminary. Last summer, after we had finished internship, we wrote our approval essay. Then in the fall, we had interviews with the faculty, who made a recommendation that we should be approved for ordination. Finally, we met with the candidacy committee for the approval interview. At the end of all that, the committee made a final decision to approve us for ordination!
Now we really move from the candidacy process into the assignment process. We join the group of seminarians who are approved for ordination and are now awaiting assignment and first call. In essence, we are the pool of candidates from which the bishops will draw for their first call pastors. As I've described in my earlier posts about the assignment process, we have submitted our paperwork, including our preferences, but we don't yet have any information about where we will be going.
We find out our regional assignment (remember this map?) on February 22. Sometime after that, we will be assigned to a synod within that region. Then we can start working with the bishop of that synod and her or his staff to look at congregational profiles. Interviews with congregations should follow, and after a congregation extends a letter of call, the ordination can be scheduled. How long that process will take depends on a lot of factors, including the availability of first calls and the pace at which the congregation chooses to move.
As always, stay tuned for further updates about the first call process!