Clergy Leadership Transitions

Three Transition Styles

The Episcopal Diocese of Central Pennsylvania has three transition styles.

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"Traditional" Transition

  • Designed for use when replacing a long serving full-time Rector
  • Helps congregation envision new future, vision, and direction
  • Call a trained full time Interim Rector to lead the congregation for 9-18 months
  • Five interim tasks explored and addressed in consultation with vestry and bishop
  • Vestry appoints and empowers a Search Committee
  • Full OTM portfolio prepared by Search Committee and approved by vestry
  • Narrative & Pictorial Portfolio prepared for church website
  • Search committee interviews candidates and recommends one to vestry
  • Vestry calls, with approval of Bishop, who installs the Rector

Bishop Assisted Transition

  • Designed for use when departing Rector or Vicar has been in place less than 8 years or for positions that are less than full-time.
  • Helpful when congregation already has clear vision, mission and direction, and stable budget
  • Call interim for an undesignated, but hopefully shorter time.
  • Full OTM completed by Vestry
  • Bishop presents a candidate or a short list of pre-approved candidates
  • Vestry interviews the candidate(s)
  • Vestry calls Rector or Vicar, the Bishop installs

Priest-in-Charge Process

  • Designed for congregations where an interim period would be detrimental to life of parish
  • Helpful when the congregation needs stability and a rapid transition or a priest with a very specific set of skills/abilities
  • The Bishop sends one candidate to the vestry
  • Vestry interviews and calls the priest in charge.
  • If no call, the Bishop sends another candidate
  • Priest in Charge is Rector in all but tenure
  • Signs a time-designated Letter of Agreement.
  • Just before the start of the final year of the LOA, the vestry may ask the Bishop to grant tenure to the Rector or the final year can allow for priest and congregation each to transition
  • If there is no call, the Priest in Charge serves as interim while searching for another cure and while the vestry/search committee work on selecting another transition style.

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