Care of Information on Persons Who are Candidates for the Rosters of the ELCA
© You may copy this document for synodical use, providing copyright is acknowledged. From the Candidacy Manual
prepared by the Congregational and Synodical Missions unit of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. (Updated February 2013)
It is essential for the synod to maintain complete and accurate records on every candidate for rostered ministry.
The Congregational and Synodical Missions unit is to be notified of every Entrance, Endorsement, and Approval Decision whether the decision is to affirm, deny, or postpone.
Files on applicants/candidates are the property of the Candidacy Committee and should be maintained in a secure location and manner.
The Candidacy Committee in its discretion, may allow an applicant/candidate access to the committee’s records concerning that applicant/candidate. The committee, in its discretion, may choose not to allow access to confidential communications, letters, or other information. The applicant/candidate may read the contents of the file at a location and under a procedure determined by the Candidacy Committee. When a candidate reviews the file, someone from synod staff or the committee should be present. Copies should be made only as authorized by the committee.
Committees should use care when duplicating file material in preparation for meetings. Duplicated file material should be sent as CONFIDENTIAL mail, and then such duplicates should be destroyed at the conclusion of the meeting. Special care must be used in any electronic distribution.
A candidacy file shall be maintained at the appropriate administrative office of the candidate’s seminary in a secure location, available to the faculty advisor and synod Candidacy Committee members, as appropriate.
A candidacy file transferred from another synod requires a new congregation registration. Transfer of candidacy is made only when there is agreement by the bishops and Candidacy Committees of both synods.
In the case of a candidate whose endorsement or approval is denied or postponed with no further action or a candidate who withdraws from the Candidacy Process, the file is to be retained by the synod for ten years and then may be destroyed.
In the case of a candidate who is approved, the synod file is retained for 50 years and then destroyed.
All relevant information on a candidate is shared with the synod of assignment. The original contents of the candidacy file remain with the Candidacy Committee and are not forwarded to the synod of assignment; the candidacy file is not intended for use as part of the call process.
When a candidacy process is for any reason transferred to another synod, all materials in the candidacy file will be copied and sent to the new synod of candidacy. The originating synod also retains these records.
- Seminaries are to maintain a separate and private candidacy file for use until a candidate is assigned to a synod.
- The seminaries may have separate policies for the retention of their candidacy files.
Congregational and Synodical Missions Deployed Staff Records
Deployed staff of the Congregational and Synodical Missions unit should retain files on active candidates in a secure manner. The file may include all of the information in the Candidacy Committee file. When the file is no longer active, it should be destroyed.
Churchwide Office Records
- The Congregational and Synodical Missions unit tracks the candidacy of every candidate.
- Essential dates and decisions are entered into and become part of the ELCA constituent Information System (ECIS) database
- The candidate's application and associated documents are maintained for reference and distribution purposes in a database.
- When a candidate's file is no longer active, paper copy of candidate's file is sent to the Records Center for 50 years and then destroyed.
- In addition, essential dates and decisions are entered into and become part of the ELCA Rostered Leaders database.