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The Art of Transitional Ministry

October 14-18, 2019


Leading a congregation and faith community through transition is both challenging and rewarding. Whether it is a change in leadership or a changing neighborhood, it takes knowledge, skill, resilience and spiritual strength to navigate the waters of transition in a way that allows a congregation and its leaders to be open to possibilities, dig deeper and thrive. The Art of Transitional Ministry retreat offers education in the skills and understanding necessary for leading a congregation and faith community in transition. Leaders and participants come from several mainline traditions, which creates rich opportunities for additional learning.


The Art of Transitional Ministry Program is broken down into two week-long courses of study.

We are offering both Week 1 and Week 2 this fall.


Week 1: Introduction to Transitional Ministry
This course is for individuals who are considering ministry in temporary settings (as an interim, transitional or designated pastor) or are experiencing ministry in these transitional times. Materials presented will include the basics of transitional ministry and will be of value to all congregational pastors regardless of ministry setting. This intensive 30-hour course provides basic understandings for consciously leading congregations through changes in context, identity and leadership. Week 1 is appropriate for any short-term transitional ministry leader, including interim and designated pastors, as well as installed/appointed pastors serving congregations in the midst of change. It is also appropriate for clergy and laity serving in denominational bodies that need to understand congregations in transition. Additionally, church personnel and Presbyterian Church (USA) Committee on Ministry members are especially urged to take this opportunity to become familiar with the concerns of pastors serving in temporary roles (interim, designated and traditional ministries).

Week 2: The Practice of Transitional Ministry
This course is the second part of the transitional ministry education sequence and is tailored for those who want to go deeper, and who may already be serving in a temporary position. Prerequisites: Completion of Week 1, ordinarily between six months and six years prior (or by prior approval of the faculty team leader) and the completion of assignments provided upon registration.

This education is offered by the Transitional Ministry Education Consortium, a 20-year old group dedicated to offering up-to-date educational ministry for the PCUSA and other mainline denominations.

 Questions? We’re happy to help! Contact us at 1.800.460.4401 ext. 246 or

Rev. Renée Rico is both excited and challenged by the opportunities of ministry in these times in the church. She received her undergraduate degree in mathematical economics from Pomona College and had a first career as an analyst and manager working for the Environmental Protection Agency in Washington D.C. Upon graduation from San Francisco Theological Seminary with a master of divinity degree, Renée began her “accidental intentional interim” ministry career straight out of seminary, serving in churches across the West in interim solo, head of staff and associate pastor positions in both the Presbyterian Church and the United Methodist Church. She is currently finishing up a transitional pastor position at San Jose First United Methodist Church. 

Outside of church, Renée has many interests, including a love of Mexican food, knitting (she teaches and designs her own line of patterns) and fiber spinning. She is also a certified aquatics fitness instructor. Her two cats, Izzie and Brandy, are her companions at home.


Jeff Kunkel is an ordained United Methodist pastor, now semi-retired, who has served multicultural congregations in California for 40 years. He has previously served as an interim pastor in both the United Methodist and PC(USA) congregations and has also served as Western Jurisdiction Interim Ministry coordinator for six years. Jeff was also a previous faculty member of the Art of Transitional Ministry at Zephyr Point, Nev. Jeff is married to Mary Elyn Bahlert, who also serves as a United Methodist pastor. Jeff continues to teach writing at the American Baptist Seminary of the West and is a widely-published writer, practicing artist and enthusiastic gardener. 




Rev. Beth Wagner has often said that she was born to do transitional ministry, and yet she fell into this line of work by accident {or maybe by God’s divine hand}. Beth finds the journey of transitional work fascinating, and it is the work she senses that which God has called her. She started her seventh transitional/interim position in 2017, and she has previously served churches in four Presbyteries throughout Illinois and Indiana. 

She has gone from a tethered position, with her husband Jim, holding down the homefront and her coming home a couple of days a week to an untethered position with her husband, and she navigates things like manses and living without a “base”. According to Beth, it makes her life interesting!

In her spare time, Beth, Jim and their cats—Sir Dusty and Honey Bear—spending time hanging out with their extending family, including their adorable grandson and their precious granddaughter. Beth also enjoys craft activities like sewing, knitting or other creative outlets, plus she enjoys cooking and reading. 



Cost and Housing

Single occupancy room: $1260

Double occupancy room: $1010

Spouse rate: $155

Commuter rate: $715 (does not include lodging; includes conference tuition plus lunches & dinners)


A $75.00 deposit must accompany registration. The balance of all fees will be due 45 days prior to the start of the event, or upon registration if within 45 days full payment is required at the time of registration.

Full refund minus $75.00 administrative fee per person will be made if cancellation is received more than 30 days prior to the conference. There are generally no refunds for cancellations received on or after 30 days prior to the start of the event nor any applying of the deposit toward other charges or future deposits.


There are no current scholarships available for this conference. You are encouraged to seek financial assistance from your governing body/council.


What to Bring

Bring a Bible, notebook, flashlight, hair dryer, rain gear. Linens are provided. Bring shoes suitable for Mo-Ranch’s rocky, uneven terrain.


Mo-Ranch is 90 miles one-way, or a 2-hour drive from the nearest airport (SAT), allow 3 hours travel/check-in time for departures. We recommend generally scheduling arriving flights before 3 p.m. and departing flights after 3 p.m. to be sure you do not miss any of your event.

If you are in need of shuttle service to Mo-Ranch, call Kars for Hire in Kerrville at (830) 890-8200 at least 15 days in advance to arrange transportation from San Antonio International Airport.

Click here for directions to Mo.

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