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
Call Process Resources
Ministry Site Profile Login
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.
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: www.elca.org/call-processhttps://www.elca.org/call-process.
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
We are thankful that even in this time of transition, each of these congregations continues to be served with the ministry of Word and Sacrament.
In Process: Congregations/Parishes who are forming their call committee and actively working on their Ministry Site Profile.
Beresford, Roseni/Akron, Union Creek (solo) – Ministry Site Study scheduled 2/15/2023
Bridgewater, Zion/Canova, Immanuel (solo) – Ministry Site Study scheduled 3/01/2023
Bryant, Our Redeemer/Willow Lake, Good Hope (Prairie Star Lutheran Parish) (solo) – Ministry Site Study scheduled 3/12/2023
De Smet, American (solo): David Peterson, Interim – Ministry Site Study scheduled 3/26/2023
Sioux Falls, St. John’s (solo): Lon Kvanli, Interim – Ministry Site Study scheduled 3/05/2023
Sioux Falls, WestSide (solo) – Ministry Site Study scheduled 2/05/2023
Alcester, Nathanael (part-time)
Hudson, Hudson (part-time)
Humboldt, St. Paul (part-time)
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, Zion (solo): Jim Holthus, Interim
Artesian, First/Carthage, Trinity/Iroquois, Immanuel (Prairie Lutheran Parish) (solo)
Bison, American/Indian Creek/Rosebud (Prairie Fellowship Parish) (solo)
Bowdle, St. Paul/Hosmer, St. John (Great Plains Parish) (solo): David Peterson, Interim
Buffalo, Grand River (solo)
Corsica, Our Savior/Stickney, St. Paul (solo)
Howard, Bethany (solo): David Jennys, Interim
Pierre, Resurrection (solo)
Redfield, Our Savior’s (solo)
Revillo, Trinity & Zoar (solo): Hans Sacrison, Pulpit Supply
Sioux Falls, Our Savior’s (associate)
Bristol, Bergen (part-time): Nicole Phillips, SAM
Bristol, Bethesda & Butler, Butler (part-time): Kristi Anderson, SAM
Colman, Colman (part-time): Dell Sanderson, Interim
Estelline, Trinity (part-time): Dan & Laura Overbo, Interims
Lake Preston, Lake Whitewood (part-time): Steve Loan, SAM
Oldham, Oldham & Ramona, St. John (solo): Wanda Biel, SAM
Sioux Falls, Springdale (part-time)
Strandburg, Tabor (part-time)
Webster, American (solo): Nicole Phillips, 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.
*Custer, Custer Lutheran Fellowship (solo): Jeremy Duprey, Vice Pastor – vote scheduled 2/05/2023
Calls Extended: Congregations/Parishes who have extended a call.
Dirk Hagmaier – Christ, Hartford (solo)
Kevin Jensen – Grace, Sturgis (senior)
Carla Nelson – Grace, Sturgis (associate)
Jason Burggraff – First, Sioux Falls (senior)
Kris Wollman – First, Mitchell (deacon)
Erik Thone – Messiah New Hope, Sioux Falls (solo)
Shari Schwedhelm – Our Savior, Highmore (solo)
Heidi Binstock – Gloria Dei, Sioux Falls (executive pastor)
Eric Ohrtman – Spirit of Joy, Sioux Falls (senior)
Dan Overbo – Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Watertown (senior)
Laura Overbo – Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Watertown (associate)
Koren Lindley – Trinity, Madison (deacon)
Installations: Individuals being ordained and/or installed.
Corey Scott (First Call/Seminarian) – Zion, Garretson (solo) – January 8, 2022
Amanda Randall (First Call/Seminarian) – Peace, Sioux Falls (deacon) – January 29-30 & February 2, 2022
Michael Jordan (First Call/Seminarian) – Trinity, Yankton (associate) – February 12-13, 2022
Don Reiffenberger – Christ, Salem (solo) – February 27, 2022
Lisa Heffernan – Luther Center at USD, Vermillion (Campus Pastor) – March 6, 2022
Josh Knudsen – Grace, Sisseton (solo) – March 13, 2022
Herb Wounded Head – First & St. Jacob’s, Colton (solo) – April 3, 2022
Alex Smith – Peace, Sioux Falls (associate) – April 30 & May 1, 2022
Mary Sacco – Emmanuel, Beresford (solo) – May 22, 2022
Alan Blankenfeld – South Dakota Synod (Rural Ministry Liaison) – June 3, 2022 (Synod Assembly)
Drew Riter (First Call/Seminarian) – Gayville, Gayville/Bergen, Meckling (solo) – July 9, 2022
Randy Youngquist-Thurow – Lutherans Outdoors in SD (Deacon/Associate Director) – July 17, 2022 (NeSoDak)
Jeff Backer – St. Dysmas, Sioux Falls (solo) – July 21, 2022
Dayna Weltzin (First Call/Seminarian) – St. Paul’s, Clear Lake (solo) – July 23, 2022
John Paulson – Augustana Lutheran, Sioux Falls (part-time) – July 24, 2022
Hannah Fleming (First Call/Seminarian) – Spirit of Joy, Sioux Falls (deacon) – August 21, 2022
Steven Lindley – Trinity, Madison (solo) – August 28, 2022
Brian Wasmoen – Trinity, Mitchell (solo) – September 4, 2022
Henrique Fleming – Grace, Parker (solo) – September 11, 2022
Lando Anderson – Holy Cross, Sioux Falls (senior) – September 18, 2022
Katie Pauly (First Call/Seminarian) – Leganger, Toronto (solo) – September 18, 2022
Becky Senner – Spirit of Hope, Scotland (solo) – October 2, 2022
Young Chung – Trinity, Chamberlain (solo) – October 9, 2022
Mark Eliason – First/Palisade, Valley Springs (part-time) – October 9, 2022
Matt Spoden – Bethlehem, Aberdeen (associate) – November 12-13, 2022
Martha Atkins – Community Faith, Edgemont (solo) – November 13, 2022
Laura Beall (First Call/Seminarian) – St. John’s, Hot Springs (solo) – November 20, 2022
Ramona Hayes – Our Savior’s, Flandreau (solo) – November 20, 2022
Elias Johnson-Youngquist (First Call/Seminarian) – Zion, Hartford (solo) – November 20, 2022
Kevin Jensen – Grace, Sturgis (senior) – December 4, 2022
Carla Nelson – Grace, Sturgis (associate) – December 4, 2022
Nancy Rieke (First Call/Seminarian) – Our Savior’s, Wessington Springs (solo) – December 4, 2022
Dirk Hagmaier – Christ, Hartford (solo) – December 7 & 11, 2022
Shari Schwedhelm – Our Savior, Highmore (solo) – January 8, 2023
Jason Burggraff – First, Sioux Falls (senior) – January 21-22, 2023
Erik Thone – Messiah New Hope, Sioux Falls (solo) – January 22, 2023
Jonathan Nerdig (First Call/Seminarian) – Ascension, Brookings (associate) – January 29, 2023
Kris Wollman – First, Mitchell (deacon) – February 5, 2023
Dan Overbo – Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Watertown (senior) – February 11-12, 2023
Laura Overbo – Lutheran Church of Our Redeemer, Watertown (associate) – February 11-12, 2023
Eric Ohrtman – Spirit of Joy, Sioux Falls (senior) – February 12, 2023
Heidi Binstock – Gloria Dei, Sioux Falls (executive pastor) – February 18-19, 2023
Koren Lindley – Trinity, Madison (deacon) – April 23, 2023
Corey Scott – Zion, Garretson – January 8, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
Michael Jordan – Roseville Lutheran, Roseville, MN – February 5, 2022 at 2:00 p.m.
Drew Riter – Gayville Lutheran, Gayville – July 9, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
Dayna Weltzin – St. Paul’s, Clear Lake – July 23, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.
Hannah Fleming – Calvary, Rapid City – July 30, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. MT
Katie Pauly – Zion, Hartford – September 17, 2022 at 10:00 a.m.
Nancy Rieke – Messiah, Flandreau – October 15, 2022 at 11:00 a.m.
Elias Johnson-Youngquist – First, Sioux Falls – October 15, 2022 at 3:00 p.m.
Laura Beall – Trinity, Yankton – November 4, 2022 at 4:00 p.m.
Jonathan Nerdig – St. Paul-Reformation Lutheran Church (100 Oxford St N, St. Paul, MN 55104) – December 3, 2022 at 1:00 p.m.
Call Process Yet To Begin:
Mission Hill, Vangen/Volin, Faith United (solo)
Mount Vernon, Salem (solo)
Pierre, Lutheran Memorial (associate)
Rapid City, South Canyon (associate)
Sioux Falls, First (associate)
Volga, First (senior/associate)
Clark, St. Paul (part-time)
Fairview, Bethany (part-time)
Forestburg, Forestburg (part-time): Agapito Aviles, Interim
Irene, Our Redeemer (part-time)
McLaughlin, Redeemer (part-time)
Synod Authorized Ministry (SAM) Sites
Alcester, Nathanael – Mary Hendricks Wilkens
Bowdle, St. Paul/Hosmer, St. John (Great Plains Parish) – Janet Sandmeier
Bristol, Bergen & Webster, American – Nicole Phillips
Bristol, Bethesda & Butler – Kristi Anderson
Bryant, Our Redeemer/Willow Lake, Good Hope (Prairie Star Lutheran Parish) – Pam Seefeldt
Crocker, Crocker – Marion Grimes
Dell Rapids, Lutheran Church of Dell Rapids – Pat Eidsness
Elk Point, Brule Creek – Rhonda Hansen
Forestburg, Forestburg – Dianna Senska
Howard, Bethany – David Jennys
Java, St. Paul – Mary Gruebele
Lake Preston, Lake Preston/North Preston – Brad Sanderson
Lake Preston, Lake Whitewood – Steve Loan
Langford Lutheran Parish – Diane Hoines
Oldham, Oldham/Ramona, St. John – Wanda Biel
Rapid City, Lord of Life – Amber Wichmann
Selby, Bethany – Dale Hamre
Sioux Falls, First Lutheran African Ministry – Abraham Gayetaye
Strandburg, Tabor – Elmer Brinkman
Timber Lake, Prairie Parish – Teri Gayer
Waubay, Our Savior’s – Marion Grimes