Continuing Education

In addition to annual learning events, such as Bishop's Theological Conference and Ministeriums, the synod strives to offer continuing education for leaders in all stages of their ministry. We care that you, as a rostered minister, are always learning something new which will strengthen your skills and imagination for serving the church. Being able as we are to draw on the rich, local resources of our metro area, we have made a commitment to providing meaningful learning opportunities at an affordable cost.


First Call Theological Education

First Call Theological Education (FCTE) is mandatory for the first three years of rostered ministry. Our program is focused on the development of peer and mentor relationships, a life of engagement in the synod, and a habit of lifelong learning. Participants, ministry sites and the synod sign a covenant to demonstrate our mutual commitment to your becoming a healthy, sustainable leader in the ELCA. The overview of requirements can be found here.


Business 101

 “They don’t teach you that in seminary, do they?” Business 101 half-day workshops are offered throughout the year to give you access to affordable learning about the nuts-and-bolts of church leadership. From reading budgets, to understanding your congregation’s legal liabilities, to effective staffing, these are designed to help you become fully engaged in managing the life of your congregation well. Business 101 typically runs in the spring and the summer/fall.


Learning Cohorts for Rostered Leaders

A metro area synod means that we have many opportunities to gather, and we do so often. But, however valuable a one-day workshop can be, a life in ministry is also replete with questions and demanded skills that need more time to develop. To this end, we have begun offering Learning Cohorts: sustained small group studies of a critical question or aspect of ministry, designed to teach us and help us live further into our callings. The topics change frequently and we strive to offer opportunities for our leaders to learn with and from one another under the guidance of exceptional facilitators. All of our learning cohorts are subsidized by the synod, a reflection of our commitment to providing ongoing access to the wealth of experience and resources already present in the Twin Cities. 2017 - 2018 Learning Cohorts will be kicking off this autumn. This year, we are offering four learning cohorts. A catalog of the cohorts can be found here (PDF). Registration for these cohorts is open thru Friday, September 25. Registration is available here.


Please note for Leading in the Spirit with Dr. Chris Johnson: The date of the fall retreat has changed. It is now Thursday, October 26. This has been reflected in the catalog linked above.



With questions or comments about any of these learning opportunities (including a suggestion for a topic or facilitator), contact Anna Grunner, Executive Assistant to the Bishop (