Search and Call

Search and Call

The process by which authorized ministers and congregations come together for shared ministry in the name of Jesus Christ and on behalf of the United Church of Christ is entitled "Search and Call." Search and Call takes considerable time and thoughtfulness, with prayerful attention to both logistical detail and the movement of God's Spirit. It is expected that authorized ministers and local congregations work closely with Conferences and Associations while engaged in Search and Call.

Churches in Transition. Resources for congregations searching for new leadership include A Pilgrimage through Transitions and New Beginnings, the Local Church Profile (available in PDF, in Word and from your Conference or Association staff), and a video overview of the new Ministerial Profile for local church Search Committees. Congregations and their Search Committees are encouraged to use the Discernment Travelogue to develop a variety of practices for listening to God’s direction; the Travelogue is also available in SpanishLocal churches may list ministry opportunities – including staff, volunteer, and pastoral positions – online at UCC Ministry Opportunities by working with their conferences.


Ministerial Profile. Authorized ministers engaged in search & call have new tools for networking and visibility at their disposal through the new Ministerial Profiles Portal, including a Snapshot tool to highlight one's gifts and availability and an updated Profile format. Ministers from other denominations who wish to seek a call within the United Church of Christ should first be in conversation with their local Associations and Conferences. UCC Ministry Opportunities are linked in the section menu on this page; the listing is intended for the use of ordained and commissioned ministers of the United Church of Christ, as well as those who have been granted Privilege of Call.


Specialized Ministers. Specialized ministers are encouraged to prepare and maintain a ministerial profile, and are required to do so if their ministries include ecclesiastical endorsementProfessional and government organizations seeking specialized ministerial leadership within their agencies are commended to review the United Church of Christ's process of authorization and endorsement.


Search and Call Staff. Conference and Association persons who staff the search & call process can utilize the new Ministerial Profiles Portal to review and validate drafted profiles, to explore the Snapshot pool of authorized ministers, and to retrieve UCC Ministerial Profiles for circulation. For work with congregations, an updated sample call agreement is available; while the call agreement by its nature should be prayerfully shaped according to each context of call, the sample agreement models terms of covenant, provides improved language on insurance and termination, addresses intellectual property, and outlines salary & benefits for full-time, part-time and interim pastors alike. Additional news for Association and Conference Ministers is posted online, including AM21 news and resources for judicatory ministry.


In 2011, then-Parish Life & Leadership conducted a survey of the Search and Call process. The conclusions and recommendations of the survey have factored significantly into the development of a new ministerial profile system, upcoming in 2014.


 "The gifts Christ gave were that some would be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ." - Ephesians 4:11-12

Contact Info

Malcolm Himschoot
Minister for Ministerial Transition
700 Prospect Ave.
Cleveland, OH 44115