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Recertification: Inactive for Five or More Years, but Teaching Outside WELS

Re-Entry Process for WELS Teachers Who Have Been Inactive

 for More Than Five Years but have been teaching outside WELS


Teachers in this category are no longer certified and must follow the steps below in order to become recertified and re-enter active ministry.


Step 1

The applicant contacts the president of the district in which he/she last served to inform the president of the teacher's desire to re-enter WELS ministry. The applicant must provide a letter of reference from his or her current pastor.


Step 2

The district president or his designated representative interviews the returning teacher. The interview covers the following areas:  1) church membership status, 2) reasons for leaving the ministry, 3) reasons for desiring to return to the teaching ministry, 4) concerns the teacher may have about returning to a WELS classroom, 5) matters of doctrine and practice.


Step 3

A resume of the applicant’s educational experiences outside WELS and a transcript of post-graduation credits or other continuing education activities are sent to the Director of Synod Certification at Martin Luther College.  A cover letter should be included with the documentation. Upon verification of appropriate course work and successful teaching, the Director of Synod Certification informs the appropriate district president that the applicant has fulfilled the requirements for recertification.


Step 4

When steps 1-3 are satisfactorily completed, the district president declares the teacher recertified and forwards the appropriate documentation to the Commission on Lutheran Schools. Note: The teacher who has not fulfilled all of the recertification conditions above but is in the process of doing so may be approved for use on call lists at the discretion of the district president, but will not be declared recertified until all the requirements have been met.


Step 5

The applicant contacts the office of the Commission on Lutheran Schools to inform them of his or her desire to re-enter WELS ministry and to update his or her Inactive Teacher Inventory Form. The applicant also submits to the CLS a resume of his or her educational experiences outside of WELS.


Step 6

The teacher’s name is used by the Commission on Lutheran Schools and the district president on Divine Call lists where appropriate.


Teachers who have not been recertified are only eligible for a provisional Divine Call which must be reissued annually. A teacher holding a provisional call commits him/herself to completing the recertification requirements as soon as possible, but in three years or less. The calling body and the school principal monitor the teacher’s progress toward meeting the requirements and keep the district president informed of that progress.