Pastors involved in the practice of intentional interim ministry benefit from some basic education for this ministry. There are several organizations offering educational opportunities. While there are similarities in the theoretical underpinnings of these programs there are greater differences in the process, costs, and locations.
The IMA-ELCA is a founding member of the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors (NALIP). IMA plays a significant role in the governing and oversight of NALIP. Most of the trainers for NALIP come from the IMA. While focused on ministry in Lutheran congregations, the classes occasionally include pastors from other denominations.
Information on upcoming training opportunities is posted on the NALIP website at www.nalip.net. As noted on the site, a few scholarships are available each year from the Lampe Scholarship Fund.
NALIP offers a 60 contact hour Basic Education for Intentional Interim Ministry. The course takes place over a six-month period and consists of three consecutive phases. Briefly, Phase 1 is a week focusing on
the theory, theology, leadership skills and congregational systems related to intentional interim ministry. Phase II is a six month period in which the class member puts into practice the theory learned in Phase 1. This is done in the pastor’s place of ministry. Throughout this period the pastor consults with another class member and one of the trainers. Phase III is another residential week during which each member of the class shares the experience of combining the theory of Phase I with the local practice of ministry from Phase II. This is also a key time for discussing the biblical and theological connections in ministry as specifically related to the Lutheran church.
Each year NALIP offers one class at Luther Seminary in St. Paul, MN and another at Concordia Seminary in St. Louis, MO. Additional classes are scheduled in selected locations and noted on the website. In recent years NALIP has enabled Synods and Districts to offer the training closer to their locations. So far classes have been hosted in Livermore, CA, Denver, CO, Stow, Ohio. This August there will be a class in Orlando, FL area as well.
Some classes currently on the schedule are:
Concordia Seminary, St. Louis, MO
Phase III— November 13-17, 2017
Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN
Phase I — October 16-20, 2017
Phase III — April 16-20, 2018
Florida-Georgia District (LCMS)- Orlando, FL
Phase 1 — August 14-18, 2017 — Canterbury Retreat Center Oviedo, FL
Phase III — February 5-9, 2018 — Florida-Georgia District Offices, Orlando, FL
Northeast Ohio Synod (ELCA)
Phase III — November 6-10, 2017
This past June 1 NALIP partnered with the Pacifica Synod (ELCA) and the Pacific-Southwest District (LCMS) to conduct a one-day Advanced Training in Transitions Workshop. Following evaluation of this program NALIP plans to offer similar programs to other synods and districts in an effort to provide educational experiences for those involved in interim ministry.