Information for Congregations in Call Process

The purpose of the Support to Ministries Committee of the South Dakota Synod is to walk with congregations as they begin, work through, and complete the search for new church leadership.  The committee is represented by each of the seven conferences of the South Dakota Synod, one ordained and one lay representative from each conference.

Download the Call Process Booklet

South Dakota Synod Call Process Manual (pdf)

2022 Compensation Guidelines

2022 Compensation and Guidelines for Lay Leaders
2022 Compensation and Guidelines for Lay Leaders
Version: Final
601.2 KiB
2022 Compensation And Guidelines For Rostered Ministers
2022 Compensation And Guidelines For Rostered Ministers
Version: Final v2
1.1 MiB

Contact Synod Staff

If you have any questions about your congregation’s call process or the above forms, please contact Rev. Renee Splichal Larson, Associate to the Bishop for Candidacy, Congregation, and Rostered Minister Accompaniment at 605-274-4022 or Crystal McCormick, Candidacy and Mobility Office Coordinator at 605-274-4024.

Steps in Seeking a New Rostered Minister

Instructions: Click headings below for more information and resources.

Click here for a list of Call Process Resources.


When a congregation seeks to call a new rostered minister, the council president informs the Synod Office.

Consult your congregation’s constitution and by-laws for your call process guidelines. Updates may be necessary.

Seek prayer and reflection as your congregation goes through the transition of calling a new rostered minister.


The council president contacts the synod office to arrange Pulpit Supply and/or Interim ministry, depending on what is appropriate for your congregation.

Lists of contacts available for interim and pulpit supply.

Consult with Synod staff about the option of a Vice Pastor:

• Vice Pastor Agreement (pdf)


Your congregation will form a Call Committee according to your constitution to work directly with the Synod. Your Call Committee should reflect the demographics of your congregation.

Complete your congregation’s Ministry Site Profile (MSP). This document is the primary tool used to describe your congregation, its mission and ministry needs. This document will introduce your congregation to the candidate. In order to present your congregation in the best light it is important to take plenty of time and prayer as you work on this document. The MSP can be found online at:

A helpful tool for the congregation’s MSP is the Vitality Survey found at:


A ministry site study is scheduled with a member of the Synod Staff and may also include your Conference Dean and/or Conference Lay Person.

At the Ministry Site Study, Synod Staff explains the call process, answers questions, and reviews the MSP with the congregation. For the sake of transparency and keeping people informed, it is important that the whole congregation be invited to attend; leadership, including the Call Committee and Council, should make it a priority to be present.


The Call Committee receives Rostered Minister Profiles (RMPs) from the Synod. These candidate profile(s) are sent from the Synod office to the Call Committee chairperson after the ministry site study has been completed.

Call Committee then receives and reviews RMPs.

After the Call Committee reviews potential candidate(s), the Call Committee chairperson arranges a time for the candidate(s) to be interviewed by the committee. Interviews can take place in-person, via phone, or video call (ex. Skype, Zoom, FaceTime or GoToMeeting).

During the candidate process, it is the duty of the Call Committee chairperson to communicate clearly and promptly with the candidate(s) of the timeline and progress made by the committee.

See additional resources in the call process manual.


With candidate’s approval, the Call Committee recommends candidate to council. The council may choose to move forward or not with a candidate. If church council approves candidate, then church council:

• Chooses to bring candidate back for conversation with council and/or meet and greet with congregation.
• Negotiates compensation, housing, etc. (see synod compensation guidelines)
• Drafts Letter of Call along with the Definition of Compensation, Benefits and Responsibilities.
• Motions for a congregational meeting for a vote to call the candidate.

If church council rejects candidate or candidate removes their name from the process, return to Step 5.


• The Candidate’s profile is presented to the congregation.
• The congregation votes by ballot to call a candidate. Two-thirds majority is required.
• The Call Committee chair informs the candidate of the congregation’s decision.
• If the congregation votes to extend a call, sign the Letter of Call and send the Letter of Call along with the Definition of Compensation, Benefits, and Responsibilities to the synod office for the Bishop’s signature.

If the congregational vote does not meet the two-thirds majority, return to step 5.


• A congregation will typically hear from the called candidate within 30 days of the candidate’s receipt of the Letter of Call. The candidate may request a meeting with the church council for purposes of further information and clarification on the Letter of Call, moving arrangements, and start date.
• If the response is “yes”, then proceed with plans for the candidate’s moving, start date, and installation.
• If the response is “no”, begin again with Step 5.


• The installation is arranged by the council president and new pastor in consultation with the synod office.
• The bishop, associate to the bishop, or conference dean participates in the Service of Installation.
• Welcome your new rostered minister and their family (as applicable).

Congregations in Transition

In Process:  Congregations/Parishes who are forming their call committee and actively working on their Ministry Site Profile.

Aberdeen, Zion (solo)

Garretson, Zion (solo): Wayne Meidinger, Interim – Ministry Site Study scheduled October 10, 2021

Gayville, Gayville/Meckling, Bergen (solo)

Howard, Bethany (solo): Kari Sansgaard, Interim – Ministry Site Study scheduled September 14, 2021

Mission Hill, Vangen & Volin, Faith United (solo): Mary Hendricks Wilkens, SAMMinistry Site Study scheduled September 28, 2021

Mitchell, Trinity (solo)

Sioux Falls, Augustana (part-time): Jon Splichal Larson, Interim

Sioux Falls, Messiah New Hope (solo): Dirk Hagmaier, Interim

Sturgis, Grace (solo) – Ministry Site Study scheduled September 15, 2021

Valley Springs, First/Palisade (part-time): Mark Eliason, Interim

Yankton, Trinity (associate)

Accepting Names:  Congregations/Parishes who have formed a call committee, completed their Ministry Site Profile and Ministry Site Study, and are currently accepting names.

Aberdeen, Bethlehem (associate): Lisa Heffernan, Interim

Bowdle, St. Paul/Hosmer, St. John (Great Plains Parish) (solo): David Peterson, Interim

Bristol, Bergen (part-time)

Bristol, Bethesda & Butler, Butler (part-time)

Buffalo, Grand River (solo): Jean Helmer, SAM

Clear Lake, St. Paul’s (solo)

Colman, Colman (part-time)

Colton, First & St. Jacob’s (solo)

Estelline, Trinity (part-time): Dan & Laura Overbo, Interims

Lake Preston, Lake Whitewood (part-time)

Madison, Trinity (senior): Bob & Suzanne Hansen, Interims

Oldham, Oldham & Ramona, St. John (solo)

Salem, Christ (solo): Dennis Hansen, Interim

Sioux Falls, Peace (deacon)

Sisseton, Grace (solo): Herb Wounded Head, Interim

Toronto, Leganger (part-time): Dan & Laura Overbo, Interims

Vermillion, Dalesburg/Pleasant Valley (solo): Scott Munger, SAM

Interviewing (*= final candidate):  Congregations/Parishes currently interviewing candidates.

An (*) by a congregation indicates that they are down to a final candidate. Please check with the synod office to see if any of these congregations are still accepting names even though they are interviewing.

Clear Lake, St. Paul’s (solo)

*Mitchell, First (senior): Agapito Aviles, Interim – vote scheduled on September 12th

Salem, Christ (solo): Dennis Hansen, Interim

Calls Extended:  Congregations/Parishes who have extended a call.

Trey & Jess Daum First, Brookings (associate/senior)

Arlyn Rusche St. John, Warner (solo)

Heidi Youngquist (First Call/Seminarian) – Bethlehem, Aberdeen (associate)

Jaimie Odde (First Call/Seminarian) Norway, Glenham (solo)

Karie Geyer (First Call/Seminarian) – First, Claire City/Faith, New Effington/Our Savior’s, Veblen (solo)

Installations/Ordinations:  Individuals being ordained and/or installed.

Heidi Youngquist (First Call/Seminarian) – Bethlehem, Aberdeen – September 19, 2021 at 8:30 & 10:00am and September 22, 2021 at 6:00pm

Arlyn Rusche – St. John, Warner – October 3, 2021 at 10:00am

Trey & Jess Daum First, Brookings October 10, 2021


Jaimie Odde (First Call/Seminarian) West Nidaros, Crooks October 8, 2021 at 3:00 p.m.

Call Process Yet To Begin:

Brant, Our Redeemer/Vienna, Bethlehem/Willow Lake, Good Hope, & Grace (Prairie Star Lutheran Parish) (senior): LeRoy Boender, Interim & Colin Beveridge, SAM

Chamberlain, Trinity (solo): Young Chung, Interim

Clark, St. Paul (part-time)

Fairview, Bethany (part-time)

Forestburg, Forestburg (part-time): Agapito Aviles, Interim

Irene, Our Redeemer (part-time)

Madison, Trinity (associate): Bob & Suzanne Hansen, Interims

McLaughlin, Redeemer (part-time): Prairie Rose Seminole, Interim Community Director

Mount Vernon, Salem (solo)

Sioux Falls, Holy Cross (senior): Randy Fett, Intentional Interim

Synod Authorized Ministry (SAM) Sites

Bryant, Our Redeemer/Vienna, Bethlehem/Willow Lake,

Good Hope & Grace (Prairie Star Lutheran Parish) – Colin Beveridge

Buffalo, Grand River (solo) – Jean Helmer

Crocker, Crocker – Marion Grimes

Lake Preston, Lake Preston/North Preston – Brad Sanderson

Mission Hill, Vangen – Deacon Mary Hendricks Wilkens

Rapid City, Woyatan – Jonathan Old Horse

Selby, Bethany – Dale Hamre

Sioux Falls, First Lutheran African Ministry – Abraham Gayetaye

Strandburg, Tabor – Elmer Brinkman

Timber Lake, Prairie Parish – Teri Gayer

Volin, Faith United – Deacon Mary Hendricks Wilkens

Waubay, Our Savior’s – Marion Grimes