Vocations and Leadership

21st Century congregations require missional and visionary leadership at all levels of the church.

Vocations and Leadership encompasses a portfolio of ministries with the common theme of identifying, forming and equipping the church’s professional leaders, lay and clergy.

  • Candidacy for ordained, consecrated and commissioned ministry
  • Mobility for rostered church professionals
  • The Bishop’s Convocation and other leadership development activities
  • Interim Ministry
  • Committee of Deans


The candidacy committee and staff, along with partners across the church, identify, nurture and encourage the next generation of our church’s professional leaders in order to provide theological, missional leaders for 21st Century congregations.

The candidacy process lifts up, prepares, certifies and places public leaders in the ELCA. Public ministries include commissioned Associates in Ministry, consecrated Deaconesses and Diaconal Ministers, and ordained Pastors. The candidacy process is a partnership between the churchwide organization, synods and bishops, seminaries, congregations, and candidates, their families and friends. The process is administred by a Candidacy Committee in each synod.

To consider your vocation, education and calling, or to learn more about the process, contact:  Bill Harp, Coordinator for Vocations and Leadership, at 267.323.3744 or via email or visit the ELCA Candidacy website.


Mobility is part of the call process, the unique and prayerful process by which the synods of the ELCA engage their congregations, church-related organizations and rostered leaders in a time of thoughtful assessment and spiritual discernment of the way God may be calling them toward mutual ministry for the sake of the ELCA’s mission.

Mobility is the process by which rostered leaders are considered for new places and types of service and discern their call to new opportunities. Learn more about the process at the ELCA website, or visit People and Places for information specific to mobility for each of the rosters.

Leadership development

We provide continuing education and professional advancement opportunities for both rostered and lay leaders, including our innovative Faith & Leadership Academy and Diakonia programs to empower missional lay leaders. Recent Bishop’s Convocation speakers have included Phyllis Tickle, Stephen Bouman, Kelly Fryer, David Lose, Nathan Dungan, Leonard Sweet, Jerome Ringo and Mike Foss.


The Rev. Sarah Stobie

Chair, Candidacy Committee

  • Email: sstobie@sepa.org
  • Phone: 610.277.1086

Deacon Allison Wilcox

Director of Candidacy

  • Email:: awilcox@sepa.org

The Rev. Marcia Bell

Director for Mobility

  • Email: marciagbell@comcast.net

Bill Harp

Coordinator for Vocations and Leadership

Bill provides administrative support to SEPA’s Vocations and Leadership initiatives, including Candidacy, Mobility, Interim Ministry, Pulpit Supply and Leadership Development.

  • Phone: 267.323.3744
  • Email: bharp@sepa.org

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