Transition into Ministry Iowa

Plymouth UCC, the Iowa Conference UCC and rural churches in Iowa have joined together in TiM Iowa. Built on Plymouth’s proven TiM program experience with recent seminary graduates, TiM Iowa expands this program by adding support and nurturing for first-call pastors in rural Iowa. In addition to serving your own congregation, this program was formed to further strengthen potentially outstanding pastors by providing tools and experiences that will support and sustain first-call pastors in a solo pastorate in rural, small-town Iowa.

The TiM Iowa program will challenge participants to refine their individual understandings of the pastoral vocation and to develop patterns of reflective practice that will serve them throughout full and productive careers in ministry.

We currently are working with First Congregational United Church of Christ in Sioux City, Iowa.

Key Components of Program

TiM Iowa pastors review and reflect on their activities during a twice-monthly meeting with Plymouth’s Senior Minister, the TiM Program Coordinator, with local support and guidance from the TiM Iowa Mentor.

In addition, TiM Iowa pastors benefit from collaborating with Plymouth’s Associate Ministers, who will be serving 27-month residencies at Plymouth.

Living the Questions: Transition-into-Ministry Pastorates

Faithful ministry requires clearly articulated objectives and deeply integrated practices. It demands that ministers wrestle at a deep level with what, precisely, God is calling them to do and to be in a variety of settings. It requires heartfelt and personal answers to questions such as:

  • When I am leading worship, what exactly is it that I am trying to do and how do I know when I am doing it?
  • How do I discover, refine, trust and test my pastoral instincts and abilities?
  • How do I read and work with the culture of a congregation?
  • What is the relationship between mission and task in ministry?
  • How and when do I experience resistance in ministry and what does it mean?
  • What does it mean to be a center of theological integrity for a congregation?

With TiM Iowa, you won’t address these questions alone. Instead, you will enjoy the support of professionals and cohorts, which will lessen the isolation that can accompany a rural pastorate.

What Plymouth Church and TiM Iowa Offer

Plymouth UCC offers solo pastorates a significant experience in the core activities of ministry. First-call pastors will have distinct opportunities for learning in a collegial environment, including the opportunity to learn from skilled and experienced practitioners. Residents will also work with the Transition-into-Ministry Pastoral Residency Coordinator, who administers the program and coordinates the integration of the Residents into the ministries of Plymouth Church. Additionally Plymouth is a strong and healthy congregation with gifted lay leaders who have vision and passion to call, nurture and support new pastors.


Plymouth Church

Plymouth is a progressive, dynamic congregation of 3,000 people in Des Moines, Iowa, serving a 30-mile radius from its central city location. Plymouth is staffed by five ministers and a professional program staff. Plymouth has a rich heritage of community involvement, a position of being open and affirming, and a long-standing tradition of ecumenical activism.

The Iowa Conference of the UCC

The Iowa Conference is the designated body to support the activities of the UCC congregations in the state of Iowa. The Conference provides leadership, training, personnel support, counseling and many educational opportunities. TiM Iowa pastors will experience both formal and informal support through the Iowa Conference. TiM Iowa pastors will participate in the monthly SAG (Support, Accountability, Growth) group facilitated by the Conference, which brings together pastors in the central Iowa region.

Application materials may be submitted electronically or by U.S. Postal Service.

Application Instructions
Application Questions
Letter of Reference Form

Transition-into-Ministry Iowa
Contact:  Frank Thomas  515.255-3149  Ext. 47


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