This morning I sat down with Glenndy Ose, Bishop's Associate in the ELCA Minneapolis Synod, to chat about my decision to pursue seminary. They call this a "candidacy conversation", and, as promised when I made the appointment, it truly was casual. I felt no pressure to answer "correctly", just got to be myself, talk about my path to ministry, what I'd like to do after seminary. Afterward Glenndy gave me a road-map of my journey from now until I officially get ordained in the church.
And as I learned, this road has a lot of paperwork. I left the synod office with a folder full of papers to read and a few checklists of papers to turn in. Unfortunately because of the timing for the required psych evaluation, my ducks won't all be in a row until well after the April interview date, so I won't do my panel interview until June 7. Presumably. That's assuming everything goes smoothly between now and then, and that I'm not out of town that week. Otherwise we're looking at August. The panel interview consists of 4-5 folks from the ELCA (though most likely not Glenndy; she said she's usually only on panels for the more "dicey" candidates... so I know if I see her on my panel I'm in trouble :)
As I was leaving, Glenndy commented that I was "fascinating". I replied, "I think that's a good thing?", and she reassured me, "Yes it is. Because if I'd said 'interesting' that'd be more questionable". I think that means I "passed", not that this morning was an exam, moreso in the sense that at least one person in the synod so far thinks I could be a good fit, and I find that affirming.
My next steps: complete a bunch of paperwork for the ELCA, complete a psych eval, and then... um, that's all I've got right now. I'm sure one of these papers says what comes after that, but let's just focus on one step at a time.