With anything that is going to affect the future of your life it is important to take a moment of thought. With any search it is important to know what you are looking for and to have a plan on finding it. So for our convenience someone has come up with a few guidelines and thoughts to help us find our next minister.

Four Elements Of A Ministerial Search

  1. Reflection on who you are as a congregation, and what your visions are for the future ministry of the church
  2. Sharing who you are or “marketing” your church to potential candidates
  3. Evaluating potential candidates
  4. Candidating a final candidate and voting whether to call them to serve as your new Settled Minister

The Search Team

  • Members of the Congregation
  • Board of Trustees
  • Search Committee
  • Potential Ministerial Candidates
  • UUA Transitions Office and Congregational Life Staff

Tasks Of The Board

  • Ensure a Search Committee is Created
  • Establish a Budget for the Search
  • Determine a Compensation Range
  • Create a Negotiating Team

Tasks Of The Search Committee

  • Organize for the Search
  • Survey and Focus Groups
  • Prepare Congregational Record
  • Prepare Congregational Packet/Website
  • Receive Ministerial Records of Interested Candidates
  • Review Packets/Websites of Interested Candidates
  • Conduct Initial Interviews
  • Invite 3-4 Applicants to be Pre-Candidates
  • Arrange Pre-Candidating weekends, including “neutral pulpits”
  • Select a Final Candidate
  • Make an Offer
  • Present Candidate/Candidating Week

Tasks Of Church Members

  • Participate in Process to Elect Search Committee
  • Complete Surveys, Attend Focus Groups
  • Stay Informed
  • Attend Special Forums, e.g. “Beyond Categorical Thinking” Workshop
  • Support Your Search Committee
  • Attend Events of Candidating Week
  • Attend Congregational Meeting at End of Candidating Week
  • Vote on Selected Candidate

What Makes A Good Search Committee Member?

  • Team player committed to consensus
  • Has time to be involved and willing to give up other church commitments
  • Overall perspective and commitment to the congregation
  • Sees the “Big Picture”
  • Commitment to UU pluralism
  • Has history of UU involvement
  • Has confidence of the congregation
  • Can respect and maintain confidentiality
…And Not So Good
  • Rigid requirements related to identity of minister
  • Argumentative
  • Sees self as representative or voice for one group or faction of church
  • Rigid, authoritarian ideas; lack of respect for differences
  • Unable to follow through on tasks
  • Gadflies; disliked by many church members

Confidentiality (For Search Committee)

  • Not the same as secrecy
  • Some work of Search Committee needs to remain confidential
  • Information about Search Committee’s progress and process can be shared
  • Congregational Packet can be shared


2019 Spring Nominate+Elect Search Committee

2019 Late Spring Search Committee Retreat

2019 Summer/Fall Information Gathering

2019 November End Congregational Record submitted to UUA Transitions Office

2020 January Search Committee receives names of interested ministers, and exchange “packets”

2020 February/March Search Committee conducts pre-candidate interviews

2020 April Search Committee decides chosen Candidate + extends offer

2020 April/May Candidating Week and Vote to call minister as Settled Minister

2020 August New Minister arrives and begins ministry with UUCLB