Ministerial Search Committee Job Description

Search Committee members are responsible for conducting a search and recommending to the congregation a candidate for settled ministry. This involves a commitment of approximately four hundred hours including overnight travel.

The Ministerial Search Committee is expected to be active for a year, from June 2015 until June 2016. It will have an initial two or three day retreat not far from Bloomington, facilitated by the UUA Transitions Office. Subsequently, there will be weekly meetings at a set time and place. There will be spikes of time when members develop the information packet to send to prospective candidates. This involves compiling information about the congregation and producing an attractive document. On their own time members will review the on-line candidate packets to become familiar with the applicants. Committee members will then interview a number of candidates by phone. During the pre-candidating period members will make at least three trips to “neutral pulpits” and will then meet with the selected candidates for an extended weekend. Finally, during the ‘candidating week’ committee members will be engaged intensively each day as their top candidate meets with the congregation and staff.

Keith Kron, UUA Director of Transitions and UUCB’s Ministerial Settlement Representative, will facilitate the initial retreat and will be our UUA contact throughout the process. The Ministerial Search Committee will have the resources and guidance of the UUA Transitions Office.

This is an extraordinary opportunity to help craft our future path, truly service as a spiritual practice.

Essential Qualities

Every committee member must be:
  • A member of the UUCB congregation 
  • Known, trusted and respected by others in the congregation 
  • More strongly committed to the congregation as a whole than to any subgroup 
  • Willing to conduct a search that is fair and nondiscriminatory with respect to race, color, disability, gender, sexual orientation, age, and national origin 
  • Committed to maintain confidentiality and to seek consensus 
  • Capable of both self-assertion and compromise 
The Ministerial Search Committee should be balanced by gender, age, interests, and tenure of membership to reflect the diversity of the congregation. Major areas of church life such as religious education, social action, property management, finance, and music should be represented by participants. The committee should also be balanced in terms of attributes such as organizational ability, broad theological awareness and computer skills.

The time and focus involved in the search process cannot be overestimated. All Ministerial Search Committee members should forgo all other church committees and leadership responsibilities during the search.

Financial expenses related to committee activities will be reimbursed (e.g., telephone, mileage to pre-candidating sites, meals and lodging where required).

Adapted from the Settlement Handbook for Ministers and Congregations, Transitions Office, UUA
Von Welch,
Nov 15, 2014, 7:56 AM