The Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry Training
I highly recommend the IMN training as opposed to any other Interim courses. These courses are exceptionally well organized and informative. Sara , Episcopal pastor, Ohio
Overview of FTM Training
The Interim Ministry Network’s (IMN) core curriculum is Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry, consisting of two online classes and a small group fieldwork experience. The first step is Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Leader (FTML). The second step, Fundamentals of Transitional Ministry: The Work of the Congregation (FTMC) builds on the information and experiences of FTML. The Step One, FTML, is required to be completed prior to continuing to the Step Two, FTMC traning. The curriculum is designed for experiential learning throughout. Participants read content prior to class so that they are able to use the information to understand specific transition situations as found in sacred stories or in congregational case studies. Connections and conversation are a vital part of the IMN FTM training.
The primary focus of this four day virtual training is on the work of the leader during a time of transition. Prior to arrival at the workshop, participants read three foundational theories of Interim/Transitional Ministry (General System Theory, Bowen Family System Theory and William Bridges’ Theory of Change and Transition). Participants discuss the theories as applied to sacred stories and to congregations in transition. Tools for the Leader are the main focus. Topics covered include appreciative inquiry listening and grief, learning styles, role of the transitional leader and congregational context. Then the Tasks of the Transitional Leader in the Congregation in Transition: join, analyze, connect, focus on responsibility, exit, and evaluate.
Phase 1. FTMC, a six day virtual training, is designed to provide information and experiences that will be helpful to persons who plan to function in a congregational leadership role during a time of transition. Understanding that each congregation is unique and that polity, location, and dynamics of the congregation must be taken into account in every situation, IMN does not prescribe a specific plan for transitional work.
FTMC offers a wide variety of tools for the leader to use in preparing a congregation to respond to these questions: Who are we? Who is our neighbor? What is God calling us to do? Five Focus Points (Heritage, Leadership, Mission, Connection, and Future) indicate areas for attention and help to direct the work of the congregation during transition.
The FTMC curriculum includes the following topics: congregational history, change, leadership development, core values, conflict, spiritual practices, transition teams, conflict, local context, resources, and search process.
Phase 2. Fieldwork gives participants opportunity to use the skills and principles acquired in FTML and FTMC in their own ministry settings. Fieldwork is a distance learning process which uses both email and conference calls. A member of the IMN faculty leads the groups composed of from four to six people through a clearly defined process of project development and reflection. Click here for an introduction and F&Q for Fieldwork.