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Evangelical Lutheran Women

302 - 393 Portage Avenue,
Winnipeg, Manitoba. R3B 3H6

Executive Director: Ruth Vince [e-mail]
Phone: (204) 984-9160.
Fax: (204) 984-9162.
Publication: Esprit [e-mail]
Website: www.elw.ca





Home » Womens Desk » With Many Voices » The Call Process Send to a friend     print

The Call Process

Date of ordination:

  • 43% of the respondents were ordained up to and including 1990 and 57% after 1990

Waiting time for call:

  • On average women waited 6.3 months for a call after being approved for ordination. The range was 0-96 months. The 96-month wait was by choice. The average was calculated without considering the 96-month wait.
  • 22% of those answering this question waited a year or more for a call (15/67).

Difficulties getting ordained:

  • Nearly 30% of those answering this question reported they had experienced difficulties getting ordained, e.g. call process unclear, delays, call for woman limited, gender bias, special circumstances.
  • Many comments indicated that they had no problems.

Situations limiting call options:

  • 73% of the respondents reported having some restrictions for a call with an average of 2 restrictions.
  • The most frequently reported restrictions were spouse's occupational opportunities, type of position, and congregational size or type.

Support from synod during call:

  • Of the nine synod supports evaluated, counsel in consideration of a move*, information about vacancies in the synod, consultation about where name was presented*, and progress of call were rated as high or somewhat high by at least 40% of the respondents. (*Both of these supports were reported by almost equal percentages (over 40%) of women as being high and low.)
  • The synod supports that were rated low or somewhat low by at least 40% of the respondents included: counsel in consideration of a move, mobility counseling, information on vacancies in other synods, guidance for interviews, preparation of congregations to appoint women, consultation about where name presented, and information about congregations under consideration and other.

Suggested other synod supports:

  • In an open-ended question, 75% of respondents suggested other desired synod supports.
  • The suggested other synod supports were coded and fell into these categories: involvement and inclusion in the process, clear expectations, more affirmation of ability, consideration of non-Lutheran options, specific actions by bishop, no more needed.
  • For the first listed suggestion, the majority (44%) listed some kind of action by the bishop.

Openness of congregations to calling female candidates:

  • Most respondents (63%) felt that congregations were very open or somewhat open to calling female candidates.
  • Only 4% of the respondents reported they felt congregations were very resistant.
  • The comments reflected a wide range of perceived views within the congregations.

Sensitivity of call committees to considerations of calling a woman:

  • In interviews for call, 48% of respondents perceived that committees were appropriately sensitive, 16% somewhat sensitive, 21% neither sensitive nor insensitive, 11% somewhat insensitive and 4% inappropriately sensitive or very insensitive to the considerations of calling a woman pastor.

Stressors and Supports during Call Process

Stressors :

  • An average of 2.3 stressors were noted during the call process, range of 0-6.
  • 13% reported experiencing no stressors, 19% one, 30% two, 11% three, 15% four, 10% five and 3% six stressors.
  • The most frequently reported stressors based on percentage were move stressors (36%), financial (personal, family) issues (34%), financial (congregation) issues (24%), and pastoral identity (23%).
  • The least frequently mentioned stressors were impatience to begin call (9%) and relationships with other clergy (9%).


  • The average number of supports was 4.5 out of a possible 16 listed.
  • No respondent reported she had no support.
  • Over 55% of the sample mentioned friends, husband/partner, and prayer as their main support.
  • Over a third of the respondents mentioned family other than husband/partner, children, pastor or other clergy.
  • The lowest percentages were obtained for CTEL relator (5%) and study group (5%).
  • In the other category bishop was mentioned by 7 of the 81 respondents. In addition, synod staff, internship supervisor, feminist network, Ecumenical Women Theologian's group were also noted as sources of support.

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