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Pastor Search Process @ Central

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Update: January 2024 (Step 6)


The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is currently evaluating and interviewing candidates.  


In September, the PNC met with the Session in order for the Session to approve the Ministry Discernment Profile (MDP) that the Pastor Nominating Committee had completed. The Ministry Discernment Profile is one of the key documents that is used to advertise with potential candidates about the opportunity to become the Pastor at Central. This document has been approved by the Presbytery of Northeast New Jersey’s Committee on Ministry and forwarded to the Presbyterian Church (USA) where it is formally posted to indicate that we are actively searching for a pastor. 

Mission Study: Available HERE

Pastor Nominating Committee:

(L-R) - Rolda Mitchell, Kim O'Hare, Frederick Moulongo, Liz Burkland, Brian Cattell - Chairperson, Erin Carlisle Norton, and Susan Worth


Contact Committee:


Process of Calling a Pastor

At the Annual Meeting on January 29, 2023 Rev. Pete shared the steps involved in calling a pastor at a Presbyterian Church. Here is the process:


STEP 1 - Central Presbyterian Church undertakes Mission Study Process Team will lead and ultimately create a Mission Study Document.

  • A Mission Study is a process that a congregation goes through to seek discernment about how God would have that church to be and to act in the future.


STEP 2 - Central Presbyterian Church forms Mission Study Team

  • Members: Peter Dancy, Neal Day, Lisa George, Erin Carlisle Norton, and Scott Osborne

  • Team will lead and ultimately create a Mission Study Document.


The Mission Study Team then gathers information in the following areas: Changes in Community and the world, Spiritual health, Membership and Church Growth, Finances & Stewardship, Mission and Social Justice, Its role and relationship to the community where it is located o Its relationship to Presbytery, Direction of the Church moving forward, Role of pastor and desired gifts of pastor


STEP 3 - Mission Study Completed

  • The Mission Study ultimately is a document that is shared with the congregation. It is approved by the Session. It is then submitted to the Presbytery of Northeast New Jersey for their approval. It is the goal of Central’s Mission Study Team to complete the process in four months.


STEP 4 - Central granted permission to form Pastor Nominating Committee

  • A Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is formed. The task of the PNC is to identify a candidate to bring to the congregation to elect to serve as the next Pastor of Central Presbyterian Church.

  • The Pastor Nominating Committee will be a committee of the Congregation. There will be a

    meeting of the congregation to elect members to the Pastor Nominating Committee.

STEP 5 - Pastor Nominating Committee and Session Prepare for Search
  • A review of Pastor’s Position Description and terms of call takes place.

  • Mission Information Form is completed.

  • Session approves a budget for the PNC to conduct Search

  • Mission Information Form is approved by Session and submitted to the Presbytery for their approval.


STEP 6 - Search is Conducted

  • PNC in consultation with the Presbytery create plan to identify pastor

    • How to advertise opening

    • How to evaluate candidates

    • How to interview candidates

    • How to complete the steps in the process


STEP 7 - Candidate is Identified

  • PNC shares information with Presbytery (Pastors become “members” of the Presbytery NOT the local church).

  • PNC asks the Session to call for Congregational Meeting to act upon a recommendation from the PNC to call a candidate to become the next pastor.


STEP 8 - Candidate is presented to Central and Congregation Votes

  • The Candidate will lead worship and following worship service, there is a meeting of the Congregation to call the Candidate to be the next called pastor of Central and approve the terms of Call.


STEP 9 - Necessary Actions following Congregational Action

  • The action of the meeting is reported to the Presbytery. The Presbytery begins to take appropriate actions to receive the Candidate into Membership.

  • The Candidate informs current employer of Central’s action and leaving.

  • The Candidate’s Presbytery releases candidate from call.

  • Presbytery of Northeast New Jersey affirms congregation action and votes to have candidate

    become of member of this Presbytery.

  • Any needed updates/repairs to manse undertaken and completed.

  • Candidate moves into manse.

  • Ministry Begins!

STEP 10 - Ministry with next Pastor begins!!!!!!


How long will these next steps take?

  • The Mission Study, approximately 4 - 6 months

  • Approval by Presbytery, 1 Month

  • Search Process, 12 - 18 months

  • Final Steps, 3 - 6 months


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