Pastoral Search Handbook

When a pastor takes a call to a new church, the former congregation has the opportunity to search for a pastor to fill the vacancy. Since each church has unique needs and since each pastor has special gifts for ministry, it is essential that the church and candidates be involved in a process of prayerful and intentional discernment.

One difficulty with the process is that often, the search team and classis supervisor have not had much, if any, experience in the pastoral search process.

The Pastoral Search Handbook identifies effective ways to search for a pastor and provides a helpful resource for classis supervisors, consistories, and search teams. Organized according to the eight steps identified by the former Alban Institute’s resource, Journey in Search of a Pastor, the Pastoral Search Handbook explains and provides resources for termination, early decisions, direction finding, congregational feedback, the search, decision making, installation, and pastoral start-up.

For additional assistance with a pastoral search, contact Ministry Services at