Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Congregation

The Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry, June 12–16 at the DuBose Conference Center, Monteagle, Tennessee

June 12–16, 2017

The Beecken Center is partnering with the Interim Ministry Network (IMN) to bring this continuation of the Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry training to the DuBose Conference Center in Monteagle, Tennessee, June 12–16, 2017. Participants will continue their work and build on their own experience as they develop expertise in the specialized ministry of the transitional pastor.

Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Congregation (FTMC) is step two of the Interim Ministry Network’s Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry training. FTMC builds on the work begun in the first class (step one), Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Leader (FTML). Though it is not necessary to have taken The Work of the Leader to register for The Work of the Congregation, some additional reading will be required before the course commences.

This training is divided into two parts.

Part One: The Workshop

The Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry

The five-day residential workshop emphasizes the work of the congregation during clergy transitions. The fundamental tasks of the congregation in navigating the transition period are framed as Focus Points:

  • HERITAGE: Reviewing how the congregation has been shaped and formed;
  • LEADERSHIP: Reviewing the member needs and its ways of organizing and developing new and effective leadership;
  • MISSION: Defining and redefining sense of purpose and direction;
  • CONNECTIONS: Discovering all the relationships a faith community builds outside of itself;
  • FUTURE: Developing congregational and pastoral profiles.
The Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry

The workshop is designed to provide information and experiences that will be helpful to persons who plan to function in a congregational leadership role during a time of clerical transition. IMN training offers a wide variety of tools for this work. Using adult-learning principles, participants will be prepared to make choices about when, where, and how to use these tools.

Part Two: Fieldwork

The final requirement for completion of the intentional interim training is the successful execution of a fieldwork project. Students who have completed the FTML and FTMC courses are divided into teams of six with a faculty coordinator. Over the course of about six months, each student proposes a demonstration project on an interim subject. He or she is guided through the conception, research, execution and publication of a project that illustrates an ability to apply the theoretical knowledge gained in the other two courses. The course is taught by e-mail and monthly teleconferences between the participants. More information can be found on the fieldwork portion of the course here.

Location: The DuBose Conference Center, Monteagle, Tennessee

Tuition: $1390 (includes fieldwork phase)
Tuition for Interim Ministry Network members: $1190 (information on IMN membership may be found here)

Meals & lodging are not included with tuition. To pay for meals and reserve a room at the DuBose Conference Center, use this form.

Register for the workshop here >

The workshop will begin at 8:45 a.m. CST on Monday, June 12 and will conclude on Friday, June 16 at 12:00 p.m.


If attendees have not already completed the Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Leader course within the previous year, additional readings will be required, and fieldwork may not be begun until completion of The Work of the Leader. The academic portion of the work is scheduled for five full days, generally Monday through Friday. Due to the amount of content in the course, evening sessions may be necessary. Completion of The Work of the Congregation will provide 72 total CE contact hours: 37 hours for the class work and 35 hours for the fieldwork. Graduates must complete 95 contact hours to successfully complete the program (the prerequisite course is also 23 contact hours). 

Who Should Attend?

  • Experienced pastors who feel a call to the profession of intentional interim ministry;
  • Senior administrators needing advanced change and conflict management skills;
  • Consultants to congregations facing long term adjustments to new circumstances;
  • Settled or called ministers with congregations undergoing major transition pressure;
  • Seminary faculty interested in continuing education curriculum;
  • Seminarians interested in developing consultant skills;
  • Church school administrators looking to strengthen congregational/ denominational ties.

What to Expect

Participants will be provided with readings in advance of their attendance at the program (view pre-work requirements here). They are expected to attend and actively participate in all workshop sessions. Additionally, there will be short “homework” reading assignments each evening. The IMN faculty are thoroughly trained and experienced practitioners of intentional interim ministry.


Click here to view or print FTM: The Work of the Congregation pre-work instructions.


The Rev. Dr. Molly Dale Smith

The Rev. Dr. Molly Dale Smith is an Episcopal priest, writer, and consultant to both congregations and clergy. She serves as priest associate at St. David’s Church in Nashville, Tennessee. Transitional ministry has been a major focus of her ministry since 1998. She has served churches in the Dioceses of West Missouri, Newark, New Jersey, Florida, New York, and Tennessee. Editor of Transitional Ministry: Time of  Opportunity (Church Publishing Inc., 2009), Dr. Smith has taught online courses, led workshops, and written articles about transitional ministry. As an IMN faculty member since 2003, she teaches clergy from a variety of religious traditions. Believing that change brings challenge and opportunity, Dr. Smith enjoys helping both individuals and congregations discover new and viable approaches to transition.


"This fieldwork project has expanded my toolkit in work with a congregation on celebrating their heritage as they close. A second congregation in the pastoral charge is moving toward closure in 18 months, so I will soon be walking a similar journey with another congregation. The testing of my skills and abilities, and the affirmations I have received, all confirm that I am capable of doing transitional ministry." — Lorna King, December 5, 2016

"We all come at this work with various gifts that the Holy Spirit used to accomplish God's work. There isn't just one way to approach any situation and being able to process a scenario with trusted colleagues allows me to explore approaches other than just my defaults and gives me better choices." — Shelley Willem, December 18, 2016


Trouble with this form? Register here.

Fill out my online form.