Ministerial Search Update: Timeline & FAQ

Search Timeline

Congregational Survey, Summer  2020

Cottage Meetings/Interviews, Fall  2020

Compilation of Congregational Record, Sep-Nov 2020

Congregational Record Made Visible to Applicants, Nov-Dec 2020

Initial List of Applicants Received (Confidential), Jan 2021

Precandidate Selection and Visits (Confidential), Jan-Feb 2021

Announcement of Candidate, Apr 2021

Candidating Week, Apr-May 2021

Congregation Votes to Call Minister, May-June 2021

Arrival of Minister, Aug 2021


We are aware that our search will be directly impacted by COVID-19.  We will adapt to ensure that the process is followed with best practices for everyone’s safety.xx



Why does the search process take so long?

The search process takes so long because the entire congregation has a part in selecting the next minister. The process to get the entire congregation ready takes thought, time, and care–more so than if a CEO decides to hire someone. Imagine how much longer finding a professor would take at a university if every student had a say and got to vote. It takes intentionality to help a community move toward a 90% majority vote to call a minister whom the congregation hopes will stay for a number of years. The search process requires the congregation to engage in the emotional process of change and to move toward a new future together.

Why can’t we just get another minister now?

You actually can get a contract minister, though often the pool of potential ministers is smaller and the ministries are shorter in duration. Ministers seem to prefer a congregation that has done interim ministry and are less likely to look at contract ministry positions.

What’s the average tenure of a minister?

Across denominations, seven years is the average length of ministry most often cited. ministers should not commit to a settled ministry unless they are prepared to stay for at least four years.


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In faith, Billie Abbitt, Nicole Ball, Mary Clough, Cathy Edwards (Chair), Will Kropp, Pam Leland, and Laura Maguire