Settled Minister Search and Discovery Misson

The Settled Minister Search Team (SMST) welcomes and appreciates congregant’s suggestions. Please include your contact information:


The Settled Minister Search Team

– Dan Wheat-Rivers
– Elizabeth MacLeod
– Cornelia Maxted
– Sara Jarvis
– Bob Harootyan
– Stephen Axhelm
– Thea Hagepanos

with Rev. Dr. Kathy Hurt
(July 2023)

The Search Process

The Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) has set out a careful process that both congregations and ministers follow to help ensure successful pairings of ministers and congregations. For congregations, the process can be divided into roughly four steps:

  • Reflecting is the first step, where as a congregation we consider who we are and our vision for the future ministry of the church.
  • Sharing that vision with potential candidates, telling them who we are and the important facts about us that will guide their decision to engage with us.
  • Evaluating potential candidates and selecting three or four ministers we wish to engage with more deeply.
  • Candidating and Call, an in depth process where the search committee meets with and evaluates the candidates and selects one person to present to the congregation. This candidate will spend a full week serving as the minister here, and at the end, if all goes well, the congregation votes to call them as our new settled minister.

Our Search Committee

The congregation has entrusted us to do the important and thoughtful work of selecting a candidate to be our church’s next called Settled Minister. Our task is to find the candidate who best fits UUCWNC, who can best serve the growth of the church.

Our goal as a committee is to be open and transparent with our members about the process as we move forward. While there is a need for us to work confidentially during the interviewing portion of the process, each and every member’s early engagement and input will give us the confidence to make choices that fit with our community’s needs and hopes for the future.

The UUCWNC Board of Trustees and our congregation is committed to supporting our Settled Minister Search Team (SMST) with its diverse life experiences and heart-felt connections to our congregation.

Settled Minister Search Team Timeline

Summer 2023 to Spring 2024

Mid-June to August 1–2 day retreat with programming led by UUA staff or volunteer
August through October Meeting weekly or 2-3 times each month for planning and discussion (8 hours each month), administering the survey and holding cottage meetings/focus groups (15 hours each month)
November: Assessing survey and cottage meeting findings, writing the congregational record:(30 hours)
December: It’s possible to take the whole month off!
January: First three weeks are extremely busy with initial evaluation of applicants: read each ministerial record, review applicants’ websites, decide whom to interview, conduct interviews and reference checks, narrow list of applicants down to 3 pre-candidates (40 hours)
February-March: Three pretty full weekends of your team’s choice in a seven-week period with pre-candidates (interviews, social time, a tour of the church building, and seeing ministers preach in other congregations)
Last week of March: Final discussions and rankings of pre-candidates before offer date: 5 hours
April -May If the team does not find a match by the first offer date, a chance to evaluate new applicants and one pre-candidate happens in April-May (20 hours plus a weekend)
Early April: Planning for candidate week: 10 hours
Late April (or May-June for a second-round match): Candidate week activities do not need to be planned or attended by all search team members, though search team coordination and some presence is expected (15 hours)