First Call Leader Summits
Since the beginning of the ELCA’s implementation of First Call Theological Education (1997), the churchwide coordinator of this program, Dr. Connie Leean Seraphine, has asked synods and regional FCTE programs to submit progress reports. From these updates, a series of FCTE Summits were organized with the planners of the synodical and regional programs, held nearly every two years. The progress reports, which included questions about challenges and emerging issues, helped to frame the topics covered in these gatherings. Three more recent examples of the reports:
Vital to the planning of the FCTE Summits over the years has been to invite various stakeholders, including seminary personnel, rostered leaders in their first call, Synod bishops and staff, FCTE planners in synods and regions and churchwide staff. Another important element was to build in agenda time for participants to hear each others’ stories, program plans and challenges, and emerging ideas, thus creating a cross-fertilization dynamic. A summary of the 2008 gathering describes such a dynamic. Summary and Reflections of 2008 FCTE Summit.
With the retirement of Dr. Seraphine in 2010 and a growing interest in finding new ways to gather and network, these FCTE Summits planned by churchwide staff will no longer continue.