The Art of Transitional Ministry
October 24 – 28, 2016
Princeton Theological Seminary
Leading a congregation through transition is challenging and rewarding. Whether it is a change in leadership or a changing neighborhood, it takes knowledge, skill, and spiritual strength to navigate the waters of transition in a way that allows a congregation and its leaders to thrive. The Art of Transitional Ministry offers training in the skills and understanding necessary for leading a congregation in transition. There are two week-long courses of study. Both weeks are being offered concurrently.
Week One is the basic education course for pastors and congregational leaders who are serving or are considering serving in congregations that are in the midst of transition. This intensive 30-hour course provides basic understandings for consciously leading congregations through changes in context, identity, and leadership. The week one training is appropriate for any temporary transitional ministry leaders, including interim and designated pastors, as well as installed pastors serving congregations in the midst of change.
Week Two is for pastors and leaders serving in congregations in the midst of transitions in leadership, culture, context, and ministry. Participants will use their current ministry situations to reflect on the leader’s role and tasks in times of transition. Completion of Week One and current service in a transitional or interim ministry position is required for participation in this course.
Stu Ritter (Rev. Walter Stuart Ritter) is a second career pastor who has practiced transitional ministry since his ordination in 1999. A graduate of Cornell University (BA), UNC Chapel Hill (MA) and San Francisco Theological Seminary (MDiv), Stu has also studied law and worked as a city planner, nonprofit administrator and consultant in fundraising and organizational development. In his “spare time,” he has taught social research methodology and leadership development at the University of New Hampshire, the University of Judaism (Los Angeles), and his alma mater (Cornell), in addition to leading interdisciplinary seminars in the Department of Government at Dartmouth. Stu has provided transitional leadership for congregations of 275 to 1500 members in eight presbyteries, discovering a unique set of challenges and opportunities in each setting. His “interims” have ranged from 11 to 28 months, and as of 2015 every subsequent installed pastor remains in place.
Information about additional leaders is forthcoming.