An interim minister is necessary when a sitting pastor must leave his or her congregation before a permanent replacement can or should be appointed. This can happen for a variety of reasons, including an unexpected health crisis or early retirement by the current pastor. Whenever a pastor’s departure is marked by grief, conflict, or a loss of direction, a qualified interim pastor can help the church move forward, to resolve outstanding issues, to reestablish its identity and to align itself for future ministry.

The Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialists Association (TIIMSA) provides United Methodist clergy with specialized training to help congregations navigate this liminal time. Clergy who successfully complete TIIMSA’s 92-hour training seminar and field-training may apply for recognition as a Transitional Intentional Interim Ministry Specialist (TIIMS). Those approved may be rostered as available to fill this important role in the life of a local congregation.

When bishops and district superintendents need to appoint an interim pastor, TIIMSA can recommend trained and certified interims who are qualified to serve in this capacity. TIIMSA’s roster is a valuable resource for appointive cabinets as they consider who might best serve in these sensitive situations.

Information about training and certification is available at

To contact TIIMSA, send an email to