The Center’s goal for Interim Ministry training is to prepare leaders to help congregations make the most of the time between the departure of one pastor and the calling of another. The experience of hundreds of congregations and their leaders confirms that what is done in this transitional interlude greatly influences the formation of a solid ministry team with the new minister and congregation.
The philosophy that undergirds this training is that through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and by prayerfully asking the most basic questions of “who are we,” “who is God calling us to be,” and “what type of pastor do we need,” faith communities can construct realistic congregational and pastoral profiles.
For those individuals who believe God is calling them to serve faith communities in the time between pastors, we offer an extensive training program that includes both classroom learning (either virtual or in-person) and fieldwork experience.
Intentional Interim Ministry: a five-day course, plus approximately six months of fieldwork following the classroom work that allows participants to practice and hone newly acquired skills. This training equips experienced ministers to lead a congregation through a systematic assessment of its pastoral needs and congregational goals by looking closely at five areas of a healthy congregation, referred to as Focus Points:
- Heritage: reviewing how the congregation has been shaped and formed.
- Mission: defining and redefining sense of purpose and direction.
- Leadership: reviewing the congregation’s ways of organizing and developing an effective clergy and lay leadership structure.
- Connections: discovering all the relationships and networks a faith community builds beyond itself.
- Future: synthesizing the interim work, activating and training the pastoral search/call committee, and coaching the committee (as requested) to accomplish its work.
Those who meet the course requirements receive a certificate of completion as an Intentional Interim Minister.
Transitional Consulting provides an alternative for congregations seeking to clarify their identity and discern God’s call through a more abbreviated process. Transition Consultants are not interim pastors. Transition Consultants are experienced clergy who complete specialized classroom and fieldwork training (virtual or in-person) that uniquely equips them to help congregations in pastoral transitions in the 21st century. Rather than serving weekly in an (interim) pastoral role, Transition Consultants, instead, works with a lay-led Transition Team to assess the situation and recommend how the engagement can be done. They also work with the TT to design and implement a process with desired outcomes.
For those who feel called to this work, transitional consulting provides a way for experienced ministers continue to serve the Church, while gaining substantial extra income assisting congregations in transition. The time demands are typically one weekend per month along with additional virtual meetings with the Transition Team or other lay leaders as needed throughout the twelve-month period.
Transition Consultant Training
A four-day course that utilizes the core concepts of the Intentional Interim program to lead the congregation through five areas of a healthy congregation as described above. The Transition Consultant helps the congregation establish a Transition Team, trains the team, and then assists the team in leading the congregation through the five areas of a healthy congregation, as described above. Those who meet the course requirements receive a certificate of completion as a Transition Facilitator.
Since 1992, the Center for Congregational Health has trained over 2,600 interim pastors who are serving congregations across the United States and in four foreign countries. If you believe God is calling you to join this group of trained interims, click on the appropriate course title for dates and registration information.