Search and Call: 2011 Survey Results

Search and Call Survey Conclusions

Our sincere thanks to you – our clergy, members in discernment, conference and association staff – for your feedback in 2011 on the Search and Call Process in the United Church of Christ. Parish Life and Leadership (which has since been reconfigured with Local Church Ministries) contracted with Marjorie Royale, Ph.D., of Clay Pots Research, to analyze our data in order to assist us in providing needed changes to the Search and Call Process in order to better meet the needs of the United Church of Christ.  Below you will find a link to Marge Royal’s complete report:

Survey Results – The UCC Search and Call Process

Marge arrived at conclusions and recommended short-term improvements and framed longer-term changes/adaptations in the context of a changing religious landscape. It is good to read the entire reportWhile I encourage you to follow the above link and read the entire report, I want to lift up a few conclusions…

•    The Search and Call Process takes too long and is too complex.
•    The process works least well in church with part-time pastors. These churches are a continuing and growing proportion of all UCC congregations.
•    Different procedures in each conference make cross-conference searches difficult.
•    Conference staff play an important role in the success of the process, yet with decreasing staff, they have less time for staffing this function.
•    Clergy do not believe the Employment Opportunities provides enough information upon which to make a decision about submitting their profile.


•    Continue stream-lining effort and make better use of technology.
•    Eliminate or shorten the six-month waiting period for profile changes.
•    Review both the Ministerial and Local Church Profiles to shorten the forms and remove redundancies.
•    Eliminate the checklists in both profiles.
•    Provide an option for an updated background check, rather than requiring a complete new check after 18 months.
•    Add an item to the Ministerial Profile that briefly describes the pastor’s theology.
•    Develop an online resource that summarizes each conference’s Search and Call procedures. Encourage consistency.
•    Continue to develop and use the “designated pastor” or similar options.
•    Structured questions about church vitality should be added to local church profile.

Again, thank you for your participation in 2011. A new profile system is upcoming in 2014 to address the needs and recommendations of this survey; please contact Malcolm Himschoot with questions.

 “The gifts he 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