Disciples Interims (Formerly ADIIM)

Our Purpose is to:

  • provide training for interim ministers and share other sources of training,
  • offer ongoing collegial and financial support to interims, and
  • make connections with individuals, congregations, regions, and other parts of the church to help in transitions and create expanding partnerships.


Disciples Interims is a community of active and retired interim ministers, regional staff, and congregational leaders that seeks to offer training, support, and connections for clergy interested in serving as interims.  Building on the work of The Association of Disciples Intentional Interim Ministers (ADIIM), Disciples Interims is forging connections with Disciple Home MissionsThe College of Regional Ministers, and a network of experienced and aspiring interim leaders.

There is a huge need for new Disciple interim ministers. Baby boomer ministers are headed for retirement and there are openings for both interim and settled ministers. Ministers of all ages are now serving as interims.

Disciples Interims recently completed its first online training course with 22 students.  Interim Ministry Basics is training offered by a team of experienced, Disciples ministers at a fraction of the cost of training elsewhere.  Many Regional ministers are helping to pay tuition for ministers in their area.

Here’s what previous students have said when asked, “What were some of the most important things you learned?”

“The importance of finding and keeping a vision alive with a congregation, the importance of healthy commitments, the value of listening and affirming and how this is all vital to keep a congregation motivated and moving forward into an ever-changing future. “ — Tammy Gill

“I learned that interim ministry is more about guided practice than simply ‘marking time’ until a settled pastor is called.” — David Walton

“I think the most important thing I learned is that an interim period can be a time of excitement, enthusiasm, learning, discernment, fellowship, positivity, communion with God and one another, and thus spiritual growth–a blessing for all. The interim minister has the honor of using tools and asking questions to help create an atmosphere where all these wonderful things can happen.” — Terry Chamberlain Diehl


Our next training begins on January 10 and runs for seven weeks. Other training sessions will be offered later in 2022.  Click here to see a course description and application information.  Priority will be given to current interims and to ministers in Regions that are in covenant with Disciples Interims.

You can follow us on Facebook @disciplesinterims

And contact us at – disciplesinterims@gmail.com to join our mailing list for information about training and networking opportunities.

You are invited to explore the unique place of interim ministry in the life of Disciples congregations.  Here are some reflections from those who are serving and have served as interims.  You can find more reflections and ideas on our Facebook page


How does Interim Ministry work together with Search and Call?

By:  Anne Marie Moyars

As an intentional interim minister, your ministerial profile and length of time documents are valid work differently than a minister who is searching for a “settled” position. Read More…

What is Interim Time?

By: Katrina Palan

In a congregation, interim time is the time between settled or installed pastors.  It is the “in between” time. Once a settled pastor has left the congregation, it begins the interim time. This is a time where congregational members feel unsettled, anxious and worried about the future of the church. A trained interim pastor can help minimize this impact, but it is important for the interim pastor to remember that he/she is deliberately putting themselves into an unstable environment from the first day.

A congregation then moves into what Roger Nicholson, in his book “Temporary Shepherds” calls direction finding.  Nicholson says that the purpose of direction finding is to “reduce anxiety and reassure the congregation that all will be well.”  It is in this time of direction finding that congregations need to take an unhurried look at five different tasks. These tasks are: coming to terms with their history, discovering a new identity for their future, looking at current leadership to see if any changes need to be made, rediscovering relationships with the denomination, and committing to new directions in ministry. It is in doing this hard work of looking at self that the congregation sets itself up for a positive and successful new pastor and ministry with him/her.

A trained interim learns the skills to help a congregation navigate their way through this “in between” time. This training looks at systems theory, conflict management, life cycles of congregations, negotiating contracts, looking at power models, and many more skills. Being an interim is not just the next step after retirement for someone looking to supplement their pension, but a called ministry for those looking to help congregations work through their interim times.

Why is Training Needed?

By: Will Jewsbury

When I was considering interim ministry, colleagues suggested that I explore training to become an Intentional Interim.  After more than 35 years of pastoral ministry I felt I had an expansive skill set, but I was intrigued to discover what else might be possible.  I signed up for training with the Interim Ministry Network. In the initial three-day event “The Work of the Leader,” and the subsequent five-day event titled “The Work of the Congregation”, I gathered new tools and resources to use in serving congregations in transition.  And, equally as important, reflected on what it would mean to step into a congregation for just 12 – 18 months rather than multiple years, bringing both my experience and this new information into the process of congregational transition.

Could I have done interim work without training?  Of course!  My experience as a pastor would have been welcomed in any number of congregations.  Would I have been as effective without training?  I don’t think so!  I had served two ministries of fifteen years each before “retiring” from settled ministry.  My mindset was for the long haul.  The training I sought out helped me to look at processes that might help a congregation claim their past and view their future in new ways.  I discovered how to focus on what was needed.

Disciple Interims will be offering training for prospective interims beginning in 2021.  While not as wide-ranging as IMN or other such programs, it will be a good introduction to the work of interim ministry and will also be both cost-effective and easily accessed.  In addition to the learning that will take place, we will continue building a network of pastors committed to the health of congregations across the Disciples.

Join us!

What Is An Interim Time In A Congregation?

By: Terry Foland

Congregations have times after a pastor has left, for whatever reason, before they have been able to engage a new minister for a new call agreement. In the church today we call this an interim time. Interim by dictionary definition means “temporary” or “provisional”. It may also mean “the intervening time”. When the Interim Ministry Network was early in its founding we often used the phrase “The In Between Time”.

The word intentional was then added to the term to give us the phrase, “Intentional Interim Minister” to describe the pastor/minister who serves in a congregation in the period between the “no longer and the not yet.” One minister is gone and the next one is not yet called. Intentional is used to define that the interim minister is intentionally not a candidate for the long term or installed pastor. Through experience we have learned that once an interim minister decides he/she wants to stay in a church for the long term, they are no longer able to be help the congregation confront and address the issues necessary prior to calling the next pastor. They will not want to offend any of the people who are responsible for securing the next pastor. When a congregation decides it wants to “keep” the interim, they have cut off the possibility of working on what may strengthen the congregation and the field of candidates to consider for their next chapter of ministry and mission.

Intentional also means the Interim Minister makes clear to the governing body of the congregation they are there to help bridge the time between called pastors only. An intentional interim minister does the usual duties of a minister {leading worship, administration, pastoral care, etc.} but their main goal is to help prepare the congregation to be as strong as possible when they do move to calling the next minister.

So, an interim ministry time is a very important time in the life of a congregation. Resolve issues, determine a vision for the next chapter of its life and get its house in order for working together with a new minister/pastor for a new future.

Why Change?

By: Phil Miller

Two modern fables help readers deal with change. First, Who Moved My Cheese, by Spencer Johnson; and second, Our Iceberg is Melting, by John Kotter and Holger Rathgeber. Both books have been used widely in the business world to help leaders, managers, and supervisors understand the inevitability of change and the necessity of adapting and planning.

Disciples Interims recognize the inevitability of change—in the culture, in our communities, in our denomination, and in a congregation. Change goes on not only during the interim between settled pastorates, but during those pastorates as well.

The transition between settled pastorates, however, is an opportunity to wake up to changes that have gone unnoticed for a while, as well as to envision and prepare for the changes to which God is calling us.

Training for transitional ministry sharpens the ability to discern ongoing and anticipated changes. Also, it provides the beginning of a toolkit especially suited for dealing with change in the church.

Our Facebook page will keep you apprised of opportunities and resources as they unfold.

You can explore additional training and networking opportunities with:

Interim Ministry Network www.imnedu.org

The Center For Congregational Health www.healthychurch.org