Interim Ministry Training

Interim Ministry Training

Bringing health and strength to congregation...


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.

The Academy for Leadership Excellence, partnering with the Intentional Growth Center (IGC) at Lake Junaluska, is offering the Interim Ministry Training to equip 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.

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.


Training Schedule:

Phase I
January 15 at 1pm-January 18 at 12pm, 2014
This session is an intensive orientation to the work of interim ministry.

Phase II

In between the two training sessions, pastors spend time in their home parish applying the learning of Phase I, being mentored by leaders.

Phase III

May 15 at 1pm-May 17 at 12pm, 2014

This gathering equips pastors to integrate the learning of Phase I with the experiences of Phase II.


Both Phase I and III will be held at the Academy offices in Edenton Street UMC, downtown Raleigh.



Tuition and Eligibilty:

Tuition for the session is $900 (half due in 2013, half in 2014) and accommodations are in addition to the program’s tuition. A total of 5.0 CEUs will be available for this training. The Interim Ministry Training is open to Elders, retired Elders, Associate Members and Local Pastors.



An application is linked at the very bottom of this page.  In addition to the application, submit a letter of interest which responds to the following questions:

1. What convinces you now is the time to pursue this calling to be an intentional interim?

2. What is your lead gift in helping a church move well into the future?

3. How would you describe the healing ministry of the church?

4. Where have you experienced the increase of unity in the church as a fruit of your leadership?


The Application deadline has been extended until October 24, 2013.  Please submit your application and questions to the Academy’s office on or before Thursday, October 24, 2013. The Academy's address is 228 West Edenton Street, Raleigh, NC 27603. Emailed applications can be sent to


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: