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The 2023 Nominating Committee presents the candidates named below for positions to be elected at the August Mission Convocation, taking place August 9-11. We believe that all the individuals named are qualified and would do well in their service if elected. Responses to the questions posed to candidates for bishop have been limited to 150 words.

Please note: The 45-day deadline has now passed. Additional candidates may not be submitted.


This year, the Convocation elects one ordained minister who is a member of the North American Lutheran Church (NALC) to serve as bishop of the NALC. The bishop shall serve as the chief pastor and chief evangelist of the NALC, responsible for ensuring the priority of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:16–20) in the life of the church.

The 2023 candidates are as follows (name, congregational membership and nominating congregation):

  • The Rev. Dr. Daniel Selbo, St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church — San Jose, California; first nomination by Immanuel Lutheran Church, Whitewood, South Dakota
  • The Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church — Jacksonville, Florida; first nomination by Shepherd of the Woods Lutheran Church, Jacksonville, Florida

Executive Council

During the interim between convocations, the Executive Council shall implement the work and policies of the NALC and shall act for the NALC, subject in all matters to review of its actions by subsequent convocations. This year the Convocation elects one pastor and one layperson to the Executive Council for four-year terms.

The 2023 clergy candidates are as follows (name, congregational membership and nominating congregation):

  • The Rev. John Conrad, First Evangelical Lutheran Church — Floresville, Texas; nominated by St. Paul Lutheran Church, Rosenberg, Texas
  • The Rev. Dr. Scott Ness, Prince of Peace Lutheran Church — Senoia, Georgia; nominated by Joy Mission Church, Lexington, South Carolina
  • The Rev. Dieter W. Punt, Holy Trinity Lutheran Church — Troutman, North Carolina; nominated by Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Troutman, North Carolina
  • The Rev. Dr. Douglas Schoelles, St. John’s Lutheran Church — Ft. Wayne, Indiana; nominated by Old East Paint Creek Lutheran Church, Waterville, Iowa
  • The Rev. Pamela Thorson, Grace Lutheran Church — Erskine, Minnesota; nominated by Grace Lutheran Church, Erskine, MinnesotaThe lay candidate is as follows (name, congregational membership and nominating congregation/nominating delegates):
  • Mrs. Julia Hartfelder, Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church —Westerville, Ohio; nominated bythe Rev. Melinda H. Jones, Advent Lutheran Church, North Charleston, South Carolina; The Rev. William E. Maki, Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church, Saint Marys, Ohio; The Rev. Matthew Cox, Grace Lutheran Evangelical Lutheran Church, Westerville, Ohio
  •  Mr. Scott Kramer, St. John Lutheran Church — Boerne, Texas; nominated by St. John Lutheran Church, Boerne, Texas

Court of Adjudication

The Court of Adjudication has jurisdiction to decide appeals from disciplinary decisions, questions regarding interpretation of the NALC’s governing documents, and claims that any person, body or entity has violated the governing documents of the NALC.

This year two individuals, clergy or lay, will be elected to a four-year term on the Court of Adjudication. The 2023 candidates are as follows (name, congregational membership and nominating congregation):

  • The Rev. Thomas M. Brodbeck, Grace Lutheran Church — Springfield, Ohio; nominated by Grace Lutheran Church, Springfield, Ohio
  • The Rev. Leslie Haines STS, St. John’s Lutheran Church — Fort Wayne, Indiana; nominated by St. John’s Lutheran Church, Fort Wayne, Indiana
  • The Rev. Ryan Henkel, Emmons Lutheran Church — Emmons, Minnesota; nominated by Immanuel Lutheran Church, Fresno, California