The Art of Transitional Ministry

August 11–16, 2024AdultContinuing Education
Sponsored by Montreat Conference Center, in cooperation with the Transitional Ministry Education Consortium.
Registration for this event is now closed. This is required because of advance reading and papers which must be prepared before your attendance at the event. If you feel you can accomplish the work before the event, please send an email to tracyb@montreat.org to ask for an exception.

Leading a congregation and faith community through transition is challenging and rewarding. It is recognized both in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and in other denominations as a specialized ministry. It takes knowledge, skill, resilience, and spiritual strength to navigate the waters of transition in a way that allows a congregation and its leaders to be open to possibilities, go deeper, and thrive. Curious about what it takes to be a transitional pastor? Energy, the ability to understand you are not the quick fix, or healer or change agent that will come in and in two years turn a church around and are willing to let the spirit lead using intelligence love and imagination.

The Art of Transitional Ministry offers education in the skills and understanding necessary for leading a congregation and faith community in transition. Week One is designed for persons curious about reflecting on practice, those already engaged in transitional / interim ministry, those who are considering serving in transitional settings, and members of Presbytery staffs, Committees on Ministry, and comparable representatives from denominations beyond the PC(USA). Week Two is designed to help you process your experiences of serving in transitional settings by working together in small groups. It will help you look at your own leadership style and skills.

Spouse track is designed for spouses of either week to learn about transitional ministry and how it differs from a called position.

Basic Transitional Ministry Education consists of 60 contact hours plus a practicum. The contact hours are divided equally between two residency weeks: Week I (30 hours) and Week II (30 hours), separated by a practicum that combines reflection on, and experience in, some aspects of interim/transitional ministry.

Looking to register for the virtual Art of Transitional Ministry seminar? Visit the page here.


Week One*

Introduction to Transitional Ministry

*Offered in person at Montreat and online during the program

Week 1 is for pastors or congregational leaders serving or considering serving congregations in the midst of transitions in leadership, culture, context, and ministry. You will be introduced to best practices in transitional ministry:

  • Entering the congregation and community
  • Getting to know the church and community.
  • Identifying the congregation’s strength and growing edges
  • Assuming responsibility for assisting the congregation in moving toward a vibrant future
  • Leaving the congregation in a healthy and appropriate way

Note: if you have a spouse, consider inviting them to join you for this week and to participate in the spouse track. Click on the “spouse track” tab for more information.

We know that a number of participants attend this event as part of the discernment process to help know if God is calling them to this ministry. We also know that a number of participants attend this program because it’s just good continuing education, and you learn a lot of things that will help you wherever your ministry takes you.

Week Two

The Practice of Transitional Ministry

Note: Week Two will only be offered to on-site participants

Week 2 is tailored for those wanting to learn more and focus on improving their own leadership skills, especially in the context of transition.

For pastors and leaders serving in congregations and faith communities in the midst of transitions in leadership, culture, context, and ministry. Participants will use their current ministry context to reflect on the leader’s role and tasks in times of transition. Attending this week will provide an opportunity for going deeper into the work introduced in week I and beginning to understand our role as leaders in contexts of change and transition. Registration is limited and there are several homework assignments to prepare for Week II, so early registration is advised.

REQUIRED:Completion of Week 1, ordinarily between six months and six years prior (or by prior approval of the faculty team leader) and the completion of assignments provided upon registration.


Spouse Track

Note:  The Spouse Track will only be offered to on-site participants

This course is designed for individuals whose spouse may be considering or engaged in transitional ministry. Spouses learn in a retreat-like atmosphere with opportunities to understand the basics of transitional ministry while also providing ample free time to hike, read, and relax. Led by Annette DeBeer.

A special note from Annette DeBeer, leader of the 2022 and 2023 spouse track at Montreat:

Friend, if your Spouse is considering entering into Transitional Ministry/ is already in a Congregation going through Transitions, this message is for YOU! 

I attended the Spouse Track in 2014, before my husband entered into Transitional Ministry, and I will be forever grateful that I did. Transitional Ministry is specialized and intentional, it is not to keep a seat warm! And for this reason, it is important to know how and where you as Spouse can help/ support your Pastor Spouse in the Congregation. The Spouse Track covers a broad spectrum of topics. And there are also opportunities to attend sessions with your Spouse, especially topics that are not covered/partly covered in the Spouse Track.  It is wonderful to meet in a beautiful setting to learn, share, and enjoy fellowship. You will, of course, have free time too! You are not alone - this is your chance to be part of a great Ministry.

Registration and Accommodations

Registration Procedure

Each seminar has limited enrollment. Please register early. Registrations for Week 1 must be made by July 10 in order to be accepted. Registrations for Week 2 must be made on or before July 1 in order to be accepted. These dates are required because of advance reading and papers which must be prepared before your attendance at the event. If you feel you can accomplish the work after the dates listed and before the event, please call for an exception at 828.419.9810.

Seminar Fee

Rates below include conference fee as well as a $5 community services fee per person for public services provided by the Town and the fire district. Housing & meals are not included in this rate. ($100 of this fee is a non-refundable deposit.)

On or Before July 10 After July 10
In Person Seminar $435
(clergy only)
(clergy and non-clergy spouse)
(clergy only)
(clergy and non-clergy spouse)
Online Participation $455
(clergy only)
(clergy only)
Clergy couples desiring to participate must register individually.

Rates for Assembly Inn include all charges for room and meals for the entire conference (Sunday supper-Friday lunch. NO WEDNESDAY SUPPER). Additional charges will apply for any extended stay.

Check in After 3:00 pm, 8/11
Check out Before 11:00 am, 8/16
Single Occupancy
(Private Bath)
Double Occupancy*
(Private Bath)
$893.00 total
* Please Note: If you reserve a room at the double occupancy rate and do not specify the name of your spouse/roommate, or if your spouse/roommate is a no-show, you will be charged according to the single occupancy rate for the room you reserved.

Limited scholarships are available for this conference.

Refund Policy

Registration and housing cancellations for the Assembly Inn must be received by July 10 in order to receive a refund. A $100 deposit is non-refundable. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax or US mail. Cancellations received by July 10 will receive a refund of all funds paid, minus the $100 deposit. Cancellations received between July 10 and August 1 will receive a 50% refund of conference fees, plus all payments made toward room and meals. No refunds will be issued after August 1 (for program, housing or meals).

Check-in/Check-out for Housing
Check in After 3:00 pm, 8/11
Check out Before 11:00 am, 8/16
Contact Us

Questions about the seminar?
Email Tracy Taylor Bailey at tracyb@montreat.org or call 828.419.9810.

Questions about housing?
Email Susan Akduman at susana@montreat.org or call 828.419.9829.

Our dates don’t work for youSee other opportunities here: 


3:30-5:30 pm - Registration
5:30-6:30 pm - Supper
6:45-8:30 pm - Plenary and Worship

7:30-8:30 am - Breakfast
8:30 am-12:00 noon - Plenary
12:00-1:00 pm - Lunch
1:30-5:00 pm - Plenary
5:30-6:30 pm - Supper
7:00-8:30 pm - Plenary

7:30-8:30 am - Breakfast
8:30 am-12:00 noon - Plenary
12:00-1:00 pm - Lunch
1:15-5:00 pm - Plenary
5:30-6:30 pm - Supper
7:00 pm - PCUSA Board of Pensions presentation

7:30-8:30 am - Breakfast
8:30 am-12:00 noon - Plenary
12:00-1:00 pm - Lunch
Free afternoon and evening (no dinner served)

7:30-8:30 am - Breakfast
8:30 am-12:00 noon - Plenary
12:00-1:00 pm - Lunch
1:30-5:00 pm -Plenary
5:30-6:30 pm - Supper
7:00-9:00 pm - Plenary

7:30-8:30 am - Breakfast
9:00-11:00 am - Plenary and Closing Worship

11:30 am - Lunch & Goodbyes

Child care is not provided during this seminar

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