Interim Ministry Training

Interim Ministry Training

Bringing health and strength to congregation…

The Academy offered this training in 2014 and will do so again every few years, or as needed.

The Academy for Leadership Excellence, partnered with the Intentional Growth Center (IGC) at Lake Junaluska, to offer the Interim Ministry Training, equipping pastors for serving in this unique capacity and calling. The IGC is the pioneer in this topic, recognized by the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. In the past ten years, IGC has conducted numerous training seminars, preparing nearly 500 United Methodist Pastors for this ministry. Lead trainers are Kenneth Lambert and Jan Nicholson.

Interim Ministry is helpful in moving churches through a time of significant transition or challenge. The interim minister is trained to build strong bridges from the past to the future, working within congregations who embrace the idea of an intentional time of assessment, healing and/or visioning.

These specially-trained pastors might be engaged in the following situations for one to two years:
  • After the retirement of a long-term pastor
  • Following an instance of pastoral misconduct
  • Where conflict is dividing a congregation
  • Following the death of a pastor
  • Where churches/communities are experiencing radically changing demographics
  • As a sabbatical pastor during the temporary absence of a pastor
    Any unanticipated mid-year opening Instructors equip the Interim Ministers to respond to congregational challenges with sensitivity. Training centers around celebrating the rich leadership of the previous pastor, grief ministry, rebuilding trust, addressing conflict and using systems theory in assessing the church context, all to help the church identify and work through the issues and circumstances that led to an unexpected change.
About our Instructors:

Dr. Kenneth Lambert has been the Lead Trainer for Interim Ministry Training Seminars for the IGC since 2001, leading more than 50 such seminars. A graduate of Perkins School of Theology at SMU (MTh and DMin), Kenneth is a member of the Texas Annual Conference, retired, having served as a pastor, campus minister, District Superintendent, Director of Communication for the GBPHB, and three times as Interim Pastor of churches in Illinois, Missouri, and North Carolina.

Dr. Jan Nicholson earned her MDiv from Duke Seminary and her DMin from Wesley Theological in Washington DC. Jan is an ordained elder in the North Carolina Conference. She is ecclesiastically approved through GBHEM as a Transition Interim Ministry Specialist; has served three interim appointments; is a trained leadership coach with Passion in Partnership; and currently serves in extension ministry as a mental health crisis counselor.

The Reverend David Hollowell (leading a systemic conflict session) is the Conference Director of Conflict Transformation, trained in mediation, and has served churches in the NCC.

Questions? Call the Academy office 919.208.2169 or email: