Senior Pastor Search Process

Senior Pastor Search Process

The Shallowford congregation prayerfully seeks God’s guidance as we begin the process of searching for our new Head of Staff and Senior Pastor. While there is no set timeline for the process, we have been advised that on average it takes 15-24 months to call our next senior pastor. We are committed to letting God be our leader and guide throughout the transition and search.

We will use our website to post updates but please know the search process is a very confidential one, sometimes we will not be able to share answers with you. We hope you will pray for our Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) and for our congregation throughout this process. We trust in God guiding us to the person who will be a blessing to our congregation in the near future. If you have questions or concerns about the search process, feel free to email the Transition Team.

Three important committees will lead our congregation through this process

Process Phases

Phase 1: Session Creates two Committees to Shepherd the Transition Process

  • Senior Pastor notifies the Presbytery and Session of a new call
  • Presbytery meets with session to explain the pastoral transition process
  • Session elects an Interim Pastor Nominating Committee (IPNC) and Transition Team (TT)
  • Session calls a congregational meeting to dissolve the current pastoral relationship
  • Congregation votes to dissolve the pastoral relationship
  • TT plans a celebration to honor the departing pastor
  • The Personnel Committee of the Session names an Acting Head of Staff to serve while the IPNC searches for the Interim Pastor

Phase 2: Interim Pastor is Called

  • IPNC creates a job description and advertisement for an Interim Pastor
  • IPNC conducts a search for an Interim Pastor with help from the Presbytery
  • IPNC nominates a candidate for Interim Pastor to the Session
  • Session approves the Interim Pastor

Phase 3: Congregation Elects a Pastor Nominating Committee

  • Congregation recommends members to serve on the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC)
  • Shallowford’s Representative Nominating Committee reviews these recommendations to create a slated PNC for a congregational vote
  • Session calls a congregational meeting to elect a PNC
  • Congregation elects a PNC

Phase 4:  PNC Searches for and Selects the Next Senior Pastor

  • Shallowford welcomes the Interim Pastor
  • With the Interim Pastor, the TT conducts listening sessions and polls the congregation for its hopes for the church’s future
  • PNC creates a Ministry Information Form (MIF), a church resume that reflects the culture and direction of the church
  • Presbytery and Session approve the MIF
  • PNC shares the MIF through the national Presbyterian website and other outlets
  • PNC receives Professional Information Forms (pastor resumes) and referrals
  • PNC conducts interviews, church visits, and reference checks
  • Presbytery conducts Suitability of Call interviews with candidates and the PNC
  • PNC selects a final nominee
  • PNC extends a call to the nominee and negotiates the terms of call with the nominee
  • Presbytery approves the call and terms

Phase 5: Congregation Votes On and Welcomes Our New Senior Pastor

  • PNC reports the call to the Session
  • Session calls a congregational meeting to elect the pastor
  • Congregation elects the pastor
  • Terms of Call contract is signed
  • Shallowford celebrates and thanks the Interim Pastor
  • Presbytery of Greater Atlanta receives the Senior Pastor Nominee into the Presbytery
  • Senior pastor is installed in a worship service
  • Shallowford welcomes its new senior pastor!