I know it doesn’t feel like May, but May is coming. What comes for me in May is a long-awaited graduation. I will graduate from seminary on May 20th. I have waited for this day since I started

in 2012, and in fact, some days I have thought it may never happen. It actually looks like it will happen. I thought this would be a good opportunity to tell you a bit about the whole “call” process and my part in it.

I have always felt a call, since as long as I can remember. I married and started a family and my thoughts on ministry seemed to be impossible. Then I learned of the distributive learning program through Luther Seminary. This program allows you to be a part-time student, take many classes online and be on campus in January & June. This program was one that could fit into my family’s life. I applied to Luther Seminary for the MDIV program. Master’s in Divinity – it seems such a silly title, for who in the world can master the art of divinity.

Once accepted, I had to make a call to the Synod office. It is our entrance interview and we must be accepted into the program before attending any schooling at Luther Seminary. This is the start of the candidacy process. I was accepted, and for me I was accepted knowing that due to my family’s situation I would be restricted to this Synod. It indeed makes it harder for me and the Synod, but this was the only way I could go into ministry.

Around mid-point in my seminary education, and after you have completed CPE (Clinical Pastoral Education- for many, as it was for me, it means to serve as a chaplain at a hospital/medical facility) you will need to seek endorsement from the Synod to continue on the journey of candidacy. Specifically, to move on to internship. I was restricted for this portion as well. You, the good people of Good Shepherd, took me in when I was misplaced and without an internship site.

Now, as internship is nearing completion more must happen. I am eligible to graduate (my diploma will not be signed until internship is completed, but I will be able to walk through the ceremony). The graduation is set for May 20th but the wheels were started at the beginning of the year. An approval essay was written and reviewed by both faculty and Synod. I sought faculty approval and was awarded it on March 27th. The next step is to gain the Synod’s approval, this interview will happen in August.

My internship will officially end on Sunday, September 30th. Two years’ have gone by way too quickly! Geesh! We won’t talk about that right now. If approved in August, I will await a call and pray.

I hope that helps to see what the process is. Prayers and good thoughts welcomed along the way.

Thanks for all your kindness!

Vicar Nicole