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Ministers/ Teaching Elders

Interim/Transitional Ministry


Resources you will find on this page:

Tips for Preparing a Personal Information Form for an Interim/Transitional Pastor
Tips for Preparing a Ministry Information Form for an Interim/Transitional Pastor
What can a Congregation Expect from an Interim/Transitional Pastor?
Interim Pastor Education Sites and Transitional Ministry

What should you look for in a good Interim/Transitional pastor?

  • Training through the Transitional Ministry Education Consortium (TMEC).
  • Experience as a pastor.
  • For experienced Interim/Transitional pastors, evidence of a good track record with congregations in transition. 
  • Good references from presbytery staff, COM members, and/or elders in churches the Interim/Transitional Pastor has served in the past.
  • Participation in continuing     education that is not directly connected to Interim/Transitional ministry.

Tips for preparing a Personal Information Form for an Interim/Transitional Pastor


Tips for Preparing a Ministry Information Form for an Interim/Transitional Pastor


What can a Congregation Expect from an Interim/Transitional Pastor?

Like all pastors, Interim/Transitional Pastors offer to the congregations they serve:

  • Worship leadership and preaching
  • Pastoral care
  • Work with the session to provide for the life and ministry of the congregation
  • Administrative work including supervision of other staff persons
  • Staff support for programs and committees of the congregation

In addition, an Interim/Transitional Pastor leads a congregation during the transition time after an installed pastor has departed, helping the congregation prepare to welcome the leadership of a new installed pastor. Interim/Transitional Pastors understand the dynamics of a congregation in transition, including feelings of grief, loss, and, sometimes, relief or anger.

Interim/Transitional pastors will help the session provide for continuity of essential programs, and may assist the session in assessing needs for changes in programs and ministries of the congregation.

Some Interim/Transitional pastors have special skills and experience that can help a congregation recover from a time of conflict or after the disclosure of clergy sexual misconduct or other trauma.

Ordinarily, an Interim/Transitional pastor is not eligible to serve as the next installed pastor, or co-pastor, or associate pastor of the congregation (G-2.0504c). The Interim/Transitional pastor may, if the session and the Committee on Ministry approve, work with the session in a mission study or assist the Pastor Nominating Committee in gathering data for the writing of the Ministry Information Form. With those possible exceptions, the Interim/Transitional pastor may not be involved in the work and discernment of the PNC.

A good Interim/Transitional pastor will “hit the ground running," beginning his/her time with the congregation with intensity and energy, and will leave with intentionality, engaging in a “good goodbye” with the congregation and its staff. A good Interim/Transitional pastor is fully present with the congregation from the beginning, and really leaves when she/he leaves.

Interim/Transitional Pastor Education Sites and Transitional Ministry

The Transitional Ministry Education Consortium is the gathering of representatives from Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) related Interim/Transitional education sites and other entities directly concerned with Interim/Transitional Pastor Education. These representatives work collaboratively to coordinate and improve the education of Interim/Transitional pastors.

Various Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) sites related to the Transitional Ministry Education Consortium offer Interim/Transitional ministry education. Each Week 1 and Week 2 event offers the requisite 30 hours of education.

NOTE: Participants may attend Weeks 1 and 2 at different sites, providing 6 months elapse between Weeks 1 and 2. This allows participants to complete the Practicum requirements for week 2. Contact specific sites for additional information and registration.

2016-17 Interim/transitional Ministry Training Dates and Sites

Click here to download a listing of the dates and sites in PDF format. Updated 9/14/2016.

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