The Settlement Handbook

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Our Association's settled ministry search process can seem long and complex. A lot happens between the announcement that a minister is leaving to the beginning of a new ministry; however, year after year we see that good process yields better ministry matches.

We offer our guide to the settled search process in two formats: a document and a companion video series which breaks the search down into phases. Important links/forms for each phase are also included on this page and in the Appendix of the PDF document.

  1. The Settlement Handbook (PDF)
  2. Changes from 2019-2020 to 2020-2021 Settlement Handbook Iterations (PDF)
  3. If Your Settled Search Needs to be Virtual (PDF)
  4. A series of brief, conversational videos about the phases of the search process with Rev. Keith Kron, our Transitions Director:

Important Links

Search Overview

Phase One: Concluding a Ministry Well

Phase Two: Education and Preparation for Search

Phase Three: Building the Structure to Search

Phase Four: Opening Up for the Search

Phase Five: Discernment and Mutual Selection

Phase Six: Finalizing the Offer

Phase Seven: Entering into a New Ministry

If No Match Occurs: The Second Round

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About the Author

Christine Purcell

Christine Purcell serves as the Transitions Program Manager on the Congregational Life field staff team. She works closely with regional staff, congregational boards of trustees, search committees, and transitions coaches to support ministerial search processes. For the last few years, she has...

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