(Virtual) The Art of Transitional Ministry

August 27–September 1, 2023AdultContinuing EducationVirtual
Sponsored by Montreat Conference Center, in cooperation with the Transitional Ministry Consortium.

If traveling to Montreat is not the best fit for you right now, you can still experience the Art of Transitional Ministry, Week One or Week Two, from the comfort of your own home (or office). Participants will follow a slightly modified schedule from the participants who are in residence and will be required to do more advance preparation for the event. One or more faculty members from the team will be online with the participants to help field questions and support the conversations (or break-out rooms). We ask that you to consider this option if you have not been fully vaccinated, or if there are other reasons that travel and housing/meals with those outside of your immediate family are of concern.

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 aspect of interim/transitional ministry.

Looking to register for the in-person Art of Transitional Ministry seminar? Visit the page here.


Week One

Intro 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

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

*Offered in person at Montreat and online during the program.

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.


Registration Procedure

Registrations for Week One must be made by July 30 in order to be accepted. Registrations for Week Two must be made on or before July 15 in order to be accepted. These dates are required because of advance reading and other work which must be completed 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
On or Before July 15 After July 15
Online Participation $450 $475
Clergy couples desiring to participate must register individually.
Refund Policy

Registrations cancellations must be received by July 15 in order to receive a refund. The $100 deposit is non-refundable. All requests must be in writing and received via email, fax or US mail. Cancellations received by July 15 will receive a refund of all funds paid, minus the $100 deposit. Cancellations received between July 15 and August 12 will receive a 50% refund of conference fees. No refunds will be issued after August 12.

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.


When will the event be held?

August 27 - September 1.  Plan to bring your lunch and eat with the group during the lunch break/social time.

In what time zone will the meeting be?

The webinar times will be noted in Eastern Time.

What is the cost for Virtual Participation?

The Virtual conference will cost $450 on or before July 15 and $475 after July 15.

After I register, how will I access the platform?

As we get closer to the start of the event, an email will be sent to all virtual participants. Included in that email will be instructions to join the Zoom Webinar on the days of the event. We will also send two reminder emails prior to the webinar. Those emails will include the Zoom log-in credentials as well.

What online meeting platform is being used for the webinar?

All sessions will be held online via Zoom Webinar.

What am I committing to? 

The Transitional Ministry Basic Education program is designed to the meet the guidelines of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This program includes weekly contact hours via Zoom and weekly preparation time.  We expect participants to:

  • attend all scheduled sessions,
  • complete the assigned work in preparation for the class, and
  • finish work assigned during the program.

Attendance for all contact hours is necessary to receive a certificate of completion.

We recommend you give yourself personal gathering time prior to class and time for reflection after class. Multiple hours on Zoom often makes us tired, and we want you to make space for reflective self-care.

Technical Concerns

You can read about Zoom, its requirements, and how to download it prior to the webinar on the Zoom webpage. Once downloaded, you are able to test the Zoom application to ensure that it works properly on your device. The recommended browser for Zoom is Google Chrome or Firefox. If you are already a Zoom user, as a best practice, visit Zoom and click the download button prior to the webinar to update to the most current version of Zoom.

I am having technical issues with Zoom and I cannot join the webinar – what do I do?

If you experience any technical issues prior to or during the webinar, please email tracyb@montreat.org.

Can I connect from a mobile device?

The platform is accessible on a mobile device and formatted to that experience. The experience on a mobile device will look slightly different than the experience on a computer.

My video streaming is slow and I'm experiencing a bad connection - what can I do?

In general, if you’re connecting over wireless Internet and experiencing a poor video connection, constant rebuffering, or other issues during video playback, try the following:

  • Disconnect from any networks and close out of all other applications on your computer.
  • Move your wireless router to a more central location of your home or to an elevated surface or move your computer closer to the router.
  • Use a hardline Internet connection if available.

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