St. Louis seminary offers interim-ministry training

Two intentional interim-ministry training events for pastors are set at Concordia Seminary, St. Louis — a June 27-28 information-sharing “discernment event” and a basic-education course that starts with a Nov. 7-11 “planting phase.”
The optional discernment event is planned to help pastors decide if they want to enter intentional interim ministry, while the basic-education course for pastors involves two sessions of 30-hour classroom work — one before and the other after six months of supervised field work.
In the basic-education course, field work is known as the “cultivating phase,” and the final course session is the “harvesting phase.”
Intentional interim pastors work with “any congregation that wants to make the most of the time between resident pastors,” Rev. Warren Paulson told Reporter
Paulson, a retired pastor and corrections chaplain who developed an intentional interim ministry for the LCMS Michigan District about nine years ago, will be the presenter for the discernment event.
“It’s for the time of vacancy to be a time of taking stock rather than just maintenance,” said Paulson, who added that intentional interim ministry “has worked well” for congregations that have experienced long- or short-term pastorates, conflict, or “unresolved issues that need to be dealt with.”
Paulson said that the basic-education course being offered at the seminary through its continuing-education office satisfies guidelines and standards of the LCMS Council of Presidents for training for and conducting interim ministry.
The 60-hour course is offered through the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP), which Paulson described as “a bridge organization of the LCMS and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, with a council that carries out activities assigned to it by either the Interim Ministry Association (IMA) of the ELCA or the Interim Ministry Conference (IMC) of the LCMS.”
Paulson is a member of the IMC Board of Directors.  Its chairman, Dr. Richard Paul of Orange, Calif., will be a presenter for the basic-education course.
For the noon-to-noon discernment event, participants first meet with their district presidents and arrange for letters of recommendation, which they bring to the event.
Registration cost for the discernment event is $95.  It does not include housing at the seminary or elsewhere, or meals, which may be purchased on campus.
Tuition for the basic-education course runs $695 and does not include housing, meals, books, or required membership in the Synod’s IMC ($50) or the ELCA’s IMA ($40).  Paulson said that some scholarship funds might be available on a limited basis.
To request a registration form for either the discernment event or the basic-education course and to inquire about available lodging or meals, contact the seminary’s continuing-education office at (314) 505-7123 or
For more information about intentional interim ministry, NALIP or course content, contact Paulson at (888) 225-2111 or  For more information about NALIP, click here.

Posted April 28, 2005

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