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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?

Discerning God’s call

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

We are interested in helping you with this and we invite you to contact us at

Entry into the Pastoral Studies Stream at ALC

We invite all people who are thinking of applying to explore the possibilities and ask questions. Even if you do not exactly fit the criteria below, it is worth inquiring to find out whether you may still be accommodated within the Pastoral Studies Stream.

Initiating your application

If you have decided to apply, please contact the college for consultation and to start the application process, which includes several steps moving towards a pre-admission interview.

Contact for further information. 

Entry requirements

The completion of a secondary schooling certificate to a standard required for admission to tertiary studies in your home state is normally required.

In special cases, ALC considers prior learning and work, and life experience.

While there is no upper age limit, the Director of Formation is required to consult with the LCA College of Bishops when a prospective candidate is over forty years of age. In some such cases a specialised course is developed.

When we receive your application

Once your application has been received and the pre-admission process has been completed ALC will advise you of the outcome.

If your application is successful, you are invited to join the Pastoral Studies Stream which includes periodic reviews. If your application is not successful and you wish to appeal that decision, consult with your bishop in your district of origin (i.e. the bishop who supplied a reference for your application).

Ordination in the LCA

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

Ordination to the pastoral ministry of the LCA is dependent upon the offer of a call to service from 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 Lutheran Church of Australia that men only can be called and ordained as pastors, applicants to the pastoral studies stream need to be male.