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Ministers/ Teaching Elders

Interim Pastors


Resources you will find on this page:

Tips for Preparing a Personal Information Form for an Interim Pastor
Tips for Preparing a Ministry Information Form for an Interim Pastor
A Study of Effectiveness of Interim Pastors
What can a Congregation Expect from an Interim Pastor?
Interim Pastor Education Sites and Transitional Ministry

What should you look for in a good interim pastor?

  • Training through the Interim Ministry Consortium or the Interim Ministry Network (IMN).
  • Participation in the Association of Presbyterian Interim Ministry pecialists (APIMS) and/or IMN.
  • Experience as a pastor.
  • For experienced interim 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 Pastor has served in the past.
  • Participation in continuing     education that is not directly connected to interim ministry.

Tips for preparing a Personal Information Form for an Interim Pastor


Tips for Preparing a Ministry Information Form for an Interim Pastor


A Study of Effectiveness of Interim Pastors

The Association of Presbyterian Interim Ministry Specialists (APIMS) asked the PC(USA) Office of Research Services to conduct a study on the effectiveness of interim pastors in helping congregations. The study surveyed executive presbyters, COM chairs, clerks of sessions, and pastors who followed an interim. The study was completed in the fall of 2007 and the results are posted here.


What can a Congregation Expect from an Interim Pastor?

Like all pastors, Interim 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 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 Pastors understand the dynamics of a congregation in transition, including feelings of grief, loss, and, sometimes, relief or anger.

Interim 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 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 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 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 Church Information Form. With those possible exceptions, the interim pastor may not be involved in the work and discernment of the PNC.

A good interim 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 pastor is fully present with the congregation from the beginning, and really leaves when she/he leaves.

Interim Pastor Education Sites and Transitional Ministry

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

Various Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) sites related to the Interim Ministry Consortium offer interim 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.

Updated December 13, 2014

2015 Interim Ministry Training Dates and Sites

Date: April 20 – 24, 2015 – Malt Transitional Education at Highlands Presbyterian Camp, Island Park, CO
Date: October 30 – November 2, 2015 – Malt Executive Education at Mercy Center St. Louis, MO
Date: November 2 – 6, 2015 – Malt Transitional Training at Mercy Center St. Louis, MO
Contact: Kristi Miller – 800-566-5996

Course: Weeks 1 and 2
Date: October 5 – 9, 2015 – Transitional Training at Princeton Seminary Princeton, NJ
Contact: Mary Beth – 609-688-1933

Course: Week 1
Date: October 5 – 9, 2015 – Interim / Transitional Training for Ministers
Course: Week 2
Date: March 9 – 13, 2015 – Transitional Training at Synod of Trinity / Pittsburgh Seminary Pittsburgh,  PA
Contact: Lori Arnold 412-362-5610 ext. 1345

Synod of Trinity/Pittsburgh Seminary, Pittsburgh, PA 
Course: Week 1
Date:  October 6-10, 2014
Course: Week 2
Date:  March 31-April 4, 2014
Contact:  Lori Arnold  (412) 362-5610 ext. 1345

Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA
Course: Week 1
Date:  Nov. 16 – 20, 2015
Contact:  Marilyn Johns 804-278-4383 Email:

Transitional Ministry Workshop - NW
Menucha Retreat & Conference - near Portland, OR
Date:  February 23-26, 2015 Week 1
Date:  November 16-19, 2015 Weeks 1 and 2

Synod of Pacific, Southern California & Hawaii
Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, Corbett, OR
Course: Week 1
Date: February 23-27, 2015
Contact: Scott Crane, Program Director, 503-695-2243.

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