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Pastoral studies

Thinking of studying to be a pastor?

  • Do you feel a sense of call to prepare for service as a pastor?
  • Have others recognised gifts, abilities or maturity in you that make you suitable for pastoral ministry?
  • Perhaps you have just begun to wonder about this and need to explore it further?

May God’s wise Spirit guide you and help you discern his call and purpose for your life.


ALC’s Discover program has been developed to assist you with discerning God’s call, combining academic study, practical ministry and personal reflection in your congregational setting.

Completing Discover is the first step for all who are thinking of serving as pastors in the Lutheran Church of Australia and New Zealand (LCANZ).

Students can complete Discover from anywhere. All associated classes are live-streamed.

Contact the college for consultation and to start the application process: email or send an enquiry

Entry into the Pastoral Studies Stream at ALC

Once you have completed Discover, you’ll be able to start the application process for the Pastoral Studies Stream, which includes consultation with your District Bishop. ALC will guide you through the steps.

If your application is successful, you are invited to join the Pastoral Studies Stream. If your initial application is not successful, contact your District Bishop if you wish to appeal that decision.

About the Pastoral Studies Stream

The pathway to ordained ministry includes formal academic study, field work completed in a local context, periodic formational reviews, reflection and community worship. It also generally includes a full-time vicarage placement.

Ordination in the LCANZ

ALC is entrusted with the task of preparing candidates for the pastoral ministry, however it is the LCANZ who is responsible for, and oversees, candidates’ readiness for ministry and the ordination process.

Ordination to the pastoral ministry of the LCANZ is dependent upon the offer of a public call to serve as pastor being issued by the church.

The church cannot guarantee that all students completing the vocational program for pastoral ministry will automatically receive a call to service and be ordained for ministry, although every effort is made to open up opportunities for service for all pastoral ministry graduates.

In accord with the teaching and policy of the LCANZ that men only can be called and ordained as pastors, applicants to the pastoral studies stream need to be male.