The Disability Program of the ELCA is introducing a new program, which may benefit some rostered leaders and candidates for ministry in the ELCA. We are seeking out both potential mentors and mentees for this program. We in the disability ministries program of the ELCA are aware of the unique challenges that face individuals who live with a disability as they serve in the public ministry of this church. We are particularly invested in those who are beginning their discernment of call and preparing for full-time rostered ministry. We also hope that this program will be available to individuals who are currently serving in rostered ministry as well. To this end, we are starting a new initiative to help support candidates for ministry as they navigate candidacy, seminary, the call process, and life in ministry.
The initiative will support candidates or rostered leaders living with a disability by providing a structured mentorship program. It is our hope that mentors will be rostered in the ELCA and engaged in public service and leadership in our church, who are also living with a disability.
This program will be completely voluntary. It is important to stress that this program will have no connection to the candidacy or call process in the ELCA. While we hope that participants will be open about their disability with the candidacy committees, seminaries, and congregations, all information known about the participants or their disability will be considered privileged.
You can help us make this a success in the following three ways:
- encourage pastors and rostered lay leaders who have a disability to be a mentor,
- share this information with specific individuals who you feel might be interested or benefit from this program, and
- since not all disabilities are visible, make this information known to all of your candidates.
If you or someone you know could benefit from this program or could serve as a mentor, or if you have any questions this new program, please contact the Rev. Jensen Seyenkulo at 800-638-3522 ext. 2108
Disability Mentor Network
Are you living with a disability and wondering about God’s call to professional church leadership as a pastor or associate in ministry? The ELCA Disability Mentor Network is a free, voluntary, and confidential service provided for women and men with disabilities who are candidates or serving as rostered leaders in the ELCA. The Disability Mentor Network can help as you discern your vocation, navigate the candidacy process, and enter your first call. Mentors are ELCA rostered leaders living with physical and cognitive disabilities. They have firsthand experience of the unique challenges and rewards that face individuals who live with a disability as they serve in the public ministry of this church. Using a mentor does not change the candidacy process, nor does it offer any shortcuts. Rather, the Disability Mentor Network will provide you with a person who understands, to support and guide you on your journey. Would you like to learn more? Go to our website at: www.elcacoach.org .
If you have any questions about the Disability Mentor Network or the Disabilities Ministry of the ELCA, please contact the Rev.D. Jensen Seyenkulo, 800-638-3522 ext. 2108 or email@example.com.