Intentional Interim Ministry is a recognized specialized ministry in the United Church of Christ. Like other specialties, it has its own set of skills and talents that are in addition to or different from those of settled Ministry. Times of transition may be times of grief and healing or anxiety. They are usually times of reassessment and leadership development, all to be addressed in a relatively compact time frame. Interims must learn to quickly enter into congregation, analyze its needs and strengths and help guide the people through the appropriate transition processes. Those skills are best gained through training by experienced interims and a rigorous education program.
AUCCIIM has a long and close relationship with the Interim Ministry Networkand considers its education programs to be the standard for a professional Interim Minister. The Foundations program has three parts, two classroom segments taught by experienced interims covering the work of the minister and the work of the congregation and a fieldwork segment that applies the learning in a real congregational setting. Those with continuing education and experience can earn the title Professional Transition Specialist.
Interim training is offered by the Clergy Leadership Institute, with a special focus on Appreciative Inquiry. They also offer web-classes and other programs to add greater depth to this skill no matter what other training has been taken. The Center for Congregational Health also offers training and coaching and has considerable experience in the field. Training based on these foundations is offered by some denominations and there are a few regional programs that are entering the field to meet the need for a less expensive and more local opportunity. One isInterim Ministry Training Institute located in Wisconsin. A one day per month program with readings and assignments offered October through May. Wherever one is trained, continuing education through attendance at the IMN Annual Meeting, local skills workshops if offered, or reading books and blogs by experienced and trained interims is crucial to adapting one's knowledge in an ever changing field.