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Art of Transitional Ministry – Education Week 1

November 15, 2021 @ 1:00 pm - November 19, 2021 @ 11:15 am

DATES:  November 15 – 19, 2021

LOCATION:  Paisley Hall on the Richmond campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary

LED BY:  Rev. Hart Edmonds, Rev. Laura Sherwood, Dr. Ken McFayden, and Dr. Christine Luckritz Marquis

Full leader bios can be viewed on the registration site, under the Speakers tab.

DESCRIPTION:  For pastors and church leaders interested in interim ministry and/or congregations in transition. The intense 30-hour course provides the basics for understanding interim ministry and transitional ministry.

As we emerge sometimes confidently, often uncertainly, from the past year of multiple pandemics and protests against systemic injustices, we may be finding ministry far more complicated than we thought it would be. In response to the Spirit’s urging, we may have abandoned some things, adapted others, and created new things in the church’s life. All of this has been ongoing without a lot of time to reflect on where God may be leading us and our varied communities of faith in the coming months and years. Clearly, this is a time of massive disruption and transition in how we practice faith and leadership. If you are feeling a need to reflect on the shape of your own ministry and call in this liminal or wilderness time, you are invited to experience the Week 1 Interim/Transitional Ministry Course.

This week is intended both for those considering a call to Interim/Transitional Ministry, but also for all leaders who serve congregations in transition. And that means all of us. This continuing education event is for pastors and church leaders interested in interim ministry and/or congregations in transition, and will provide the basics for understanding interim ministry and transitional ministry.

In this course, we will try on varied lenses to see what God is doing in the world, in our churches, and in our lives. This may involve recognizing some “blind spots” in the church’s ministry as well, but always in the confidence that Christ will open our eyes to hope and new possibilities. (Luke 24:31) This is also a time to step back and experience “leadership as a communal practice,” building on the capacity of a team, community, or organization to imagine and enact the future even in these uncertain times.


Interim Ministry Education will begin Monday afternoon, after lunch on Monday, November 15 and conclude before lunch on Friday, November 19. Some evening sessions will be included as well. The schedule overview is included on the registration site, under the Agenda tab.


Due to protocols in place for Covid-19, limited housing on campus is available on a first-come, first-serve basis.  Participants can select housing, for an additional cost, when during registration. Single and double occupancy rooms will be available, with each room having a private bath.

Hotel recommendations can be supplied as well.


$445 per person, if register by October 4, 2021.

$470 per person, beginning October 5, 2021

Lunch on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday is included in the costs. Additional costs include required reading, listed on the registration site, under the tab, Required Reading. Housing and travel costs not included.

CEUs:  3.0

For more information about Transitional Ministry in the Presbyterian Church (USA), click here.


Required Reading/Preparation:

  • Interim Ministry in Action, by Norman B. Bendroth, explores the “Why, What, and How” of transitional ministry. Bendroth’s book is valuable for equipping called, settled, and transitional pastors in this time of massive disruption. Yes, all ministry is transitional ministry.
  • How To Lead When You Don’t Know Where You’re Going, by Susan Beaumont, with the subtitle “Leading in a Liminal Season.” Beaumont describes liminality as a quality of ambiguity and disorientation that occurs in transitory situations and spaces, when a person or group of people is betwixt and between something that has ended and a new situation has not yet begun.
  • Life Together in Christ, by Ruth Haley Barton, explores the “Emmaus Road Story” in Luke 24:13-35 as a crucial narrative for this season of trauma and change. She asks, “What keeps us from recognizing or seeing the presence of Christ at work in the world and in the lives of people sometimes ignored or forgotten or dismissed?”  We all have blind spots that prevent us from seeing the presence of Christ in our lives and world. The promise is that our eyes can be opened to recognize what Christ is up to.
  • Dr. Brenda Salter McNeil’s plenary address recorded from the McClure Lecture/World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Seminary on October 14, 2020. McNeil’s address may be accessed at pts.edu/WMI-conference. Her book, Roadmap to Reconciliation 2.0, with the subtitle “Moving Communities Into Unity, Wholeness and Justice,” is recommended but not required.


Online registration is open. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER. On the header bar, interested participants can view the Summary, Speakers, Agenda, and Required Reading tabs. To begin registration, select New Registration.


Note: Class size will be limited. Once capacity is reached, a waiting list will be started.


November 15, 2021 @ 1:00 pm
November 19, 2021 @ 11:15 am
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Union Presbyterian Seminary: Paisley Hall
1204 Palmyra Ave
Richmond, VA 23227 United States
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