Ministerial Search and Transition

ministerial searchCongregations facing a ministerial transition or considering hiring a professional minister should contact their regional CUC staff for resources and advice on how best to proceed. Contact:

Information is also available on the UUA website:

Coming to Canada, eh? (pdf), a guide for American UU ministers considering employment in Canada, will also be useful to congregations considering hiring them.

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, pressured termination, or anything else—the congregation will have a mixture of feelings and reactions. This is true even when the departure is expected and seems uncomplicated. The Canadian Unitarian Council has a variety of support and resources for congregations in transition.

Congregational Development Staff Services

The CUC’s Congregational Development staff can conduct (or designate someone to conduct) an exit interview with the minister and a transition interview with your congregation’s board. They can also facilitate a retreat for your search committee.

The Interim Period

Congregations should not expect to welcome a new settled minister for at least one year, and preferably two, after the former minister’s departure. During that time the congregation is served by an interim minister, and their work together is an important part of making a successful transition. Interim ministers usually arrive a little before the September start of the church year and leave at its end. Congregations are encouraged to consider two years of interim, to do the work of transition and help ensure the success of the next settlement; this usually means that the congregation will work with two different interim ministers.

Congregations Seeking Part-Time Ministry

Congregations seeking a part-time minister (less than three-quarters time) should contact the CUC’s Congregational Development staff.

 Part-Time Ministry Guidelines (pdf)
This guide is intended to help leaders in Canadian Unitarian Universalist congregations planning for part-time ministry. It will be useful both to congregations considering hiring a professional minister for the first time and to those that have experience with part-time ministry.