Ministerial Search and Transitions

MinistersCongregations who are considering ministry or who are facing a ministerial transition should contact their regional staff. They will listen and help you understand how best to proceed.

Congregations considering ministry or in ministerial transition may also want to visit these pages of the UUA website for more information:

Coming to Canada, Eh? (pdf) A Guide for Unitarian Universalist Ministers Considering Settlement in Canada

When a Minister Leaves: Congregations in Transition

Adapted from “A Guide for District Executives, Ministerial Settlement Representatives, District Compensation Consultants, Interim Ministers, and the Transitions Office” by Rev. John H. Weston, Transitions Director, UUA

Whenever a minister announces a departure — whether by retirement, voluntary resignation for the sake of a better position, pressured termination, or anything in between — there is a mixture of feelings and reactions in the congregation. Even in cases where the departure seems straightforward or uncomplicated, the congregation can still anticipate a range of reactions. It is particularly useful at this time to have information about the supports and processes for congregations in transition.

Congregational Development Staff Services
The Canadian Unitarian Council’s Congregational Development Staff can be a resource to you during the transition. They (or their designee) will conduct an exit interview with the minister and a transition interview with the Board. They are able to facilitate a retreat for your search committee and will be able to advise and provide facilitation and training for congregational development.

The Interim Period
The Interim period and the congregation’s work with an Interim Minister are important to the successful transition. Usually Interim Ministers arrive somewhat in advance of the September start of the church year and usually leave at the end of the church year. Congregations are encouraged to consider two years of interim, to do the work of transition and thus help ensure the success of the next settlement. Usually the congregation will work with two separate Interims. As a result, congregations should not anticipate a settlement for at least one to two years after a minister announces their departure.

Congregations Seeking Part-Time Ministry

Congregations seeking a part-time minister (less than three-quarters time) should contact the CUC’s Congregational Development Staff for support throughout the process.

Guide to Part Time Ministry (pdf)

This guide is intended to help leaders in Canadian Unitarian Universalist congregations planning for part-time ministry. It will be of use to congregations which are, for the first time, considering ministry, but which do not have the membership or the funds that would sustain full-time ministry. It will also be of use to congregations that have previously worked in shared ministry with a part-time minister.