Greetings! As I understand it, the ELCA is in full communion with the United Methodist Church. I will soon be moving to the Denver area and am hoping to attend the Iliff School of Theology to pursue a Master of Divinity degree. Iliff is affiliated with the United Methodist Church and I am a Lutheran. Will I be able to apply the M.Div. from Iliff towards being ordained in the ELCA? I hope I'm asking this question correctly. Thank you for you time and for any assistance you can give me in answering this question.
Very Respectfully,

Thank you for your email.  I am not completely certain on this, but I think you are able to attend Iliff and still be okay for ELCA ordination.  I think you may, however, need to supplement that with a year or part of a year at a Seminary.  

The way to find out is through your synodical candidacy process.  Once you settle in Denver and establish your self in a congregation, you begin the application process through your Synod's office.  They will set you up with a Candidacy Committee, schedule and Initial Interview, and begin the whole process.  The Committee or the Synod Office will be the experts on what needs to be done.

I hope this helps.  Blessings on your decision to enter the MDiv program and on your journey in the process!

Martin Eldred


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Martin W. Eldred


I have been a Lutheran Christian for 56 years and a Lutheran pastor for almost 28. I can answer most general questions about Luther, Lutheran History, Lutheran Theology, and a Lutheran approach to Biblical Interpretation. I am ELCA, for those who know what that means, and I tend to be moderate theologically. I hope that I can converse with those that are either more conservative or liberal than I, and especially with those who are really just seeking.


Pastors are "generalists" and generally have a working knowledge on many subjects. We are also used to working with a variety of answers from a variety of people. I teach a great deal, especially in the area of the New Testament. I particularly enjoy the Pauline literature. I have a PhD in New Testament and my dissertation was on II Corinthians.

I have been a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, an international gathering of biblical scholars and teachers, since the late 1980s.

I have written a few book reviews for the journal, "Lutheran Quarterly."

I have a B.A. from Pacific Lutheran University in Religion (Biblical Studies)and a Master of Divinity from Wartburg Theological Seminary. I also have PhD in New Testament.

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