Basic Education

Basic Education

Intentional Interim Ministry is a focused approach for guiding congregations through transitions. The loss of a long-term pastor, misconduct, death of a leader, conflict, the need to clarify mission in changing circumstances ... these and other challenges may confront congregations in the time between regularly-called pastors. Dealing with such unfinished business during the interim time helps prepare a congregation for a successful ministry with its next called pastor.

Intentional Interim Ministry is not simply maintenance ministry while the Call Process unfolds. It is ministry with specific "intentions" to be accomplished - goals identified by a synod/district process, by an intervention team, or by the congregation's own leaders. Over the past three decades, an Interim Process has been developed and shaped for bridging, in a highly productive way, the time between called pastors.

In 2018 the National Association of Lutheran Interim Pastors celebrated its 25th anniversary of its founding by a small group of visionary interim pastors. An important component of their dream was to produce an interim training curriculum that would include a specifically Lutheran focus and a connection to our national Lutheran church structures and policies. That vision has borne fruit. In 2019 the NALIP organization began transitioning to LuTMA (Lutheran Transitional Ministry Association). LuTMA is pleased to announce upcoming educational opportunities for Lutheran Intentional Interim Ministry.


This is a six-month program divided into three sequential phases.

The LuTMA Basic Education curriculum is designed to introduce clergy and lay professionals to the practice of intentional interim ministry. Although focusing on Lutheran theology and polity, the event is open to all lay leaders and clergy desiring and/or called to this special ministry in congregations during a pastoral transition.

This course is designed in three phases (Planting, Cultivating, and Harvesting) covering a period of about six months. The first and third phases are in-residence, beginning at 1:00 p.m. on Monday and concluding at noon on Friday with a total of at least 60 contact hours.

Phase I is a residential week focusing on the theory, theology, leadership skills and congregational systems related to intentional interim ministry. We examine the interim journey through scenarios (propositional learning) including the dynamics of pre-entry, entry, stages and tasks of the congregation, emotional systems, conflict, grief, power structures, and leadership skills necessary to lead the congregation, and exiting/closure issues.

Phase II is a six month experience in a parish or institutional setting, ideally in a leadership transition, in which the participant in this program "puts into practice" the material learned in Phase I. During this time, you will learn contracting (covenanting), work on personal learning goals, and write three critical incident reports, all under the supervision of your trainer and in consultation with another member of your class.

Phase III is the second residential week in which through a group process you will share one of your critical incident reports, review material learned in Phase I, and learn more about the dynamics of congregations in pastoral transition, and your leadership skills and needs. You will also discuss the biblical and theological connections in this special ministry as specifically related to the Lutheran church.

Note: Participants are responsible for having a situation in which to complete Phase II requirements. While most participants in the program will have a ministry site, some may not. LuTMA program faculty will help you define options available for your Phase II work.

All participants who satisfactorily complete the assigned work in this educational opportunity will receive a "Certificate of Completion." Participants are cautioned that completion of the program is not to be construed as "certification" or "accreditation" as an intentional interim pastor. You are advised to speak with your district president or synod bishop about placement and further recognition.

Persons interested in enrolling in a LuTMA sponsored Basic Education Events are advised to visit the website of the respective institutions at which these events are scheduled to learn more about the facility. There are slight differences in course presentations and costs. Housing costs vary with each venue. Some training teams require additional preparatory work for which there is a fee. Additional costs are noted with the individual registration forms. Some classes register directly with the venue. Others register through LuTMA. The links below will take you to the correct form to use or direct you to the venue to register.

Additional Information
Individual and judicatory inquiries are welcome.

Contact via email at


Event subject to cancellation if enrollment fails to meet necessary minimum number of registrations thirty days before scheduled start date.

We are sorry that various classes have been rescheduled to honor the various quarantine measures put into effect by state governments and the local venues. We pray that the rescheduled dates will be far enough into the future, beyond this pandemic, allowing us to gather once again in groups for learning, worship and fellowship.

California-Nevada-Hawaii District – Livermore, CA
Registration is closed since Phase 1 has been completed.

  • Phase I — Feb. 3-7, 2020
  • Phase III — Aug. 17-21, 2020

Open Enrollment – Minnesota
Registration is closed since Phase 1 has been completed.

  • Phase III — Aug. 31 – Sept. 4, 2020 (Mt. Olivet Retreat Center, Farmington, MN) - RESCHEDULED

Northeast Ohio Synod - Stow, OH
Registration is open.
Contact The Rev. Karl Biermann, Assistant to the Bishop of the Northeast Ohio Synod
(330) 929-9022, ext 31

  • Phase I — November 9-13, 2020 - RESCHEDULED
  • Phase III — Rescheduled date to be announced

Open Enrollment - Minnesota
Registration is open.

  • Phase I — October 12-16, 2020 (Luther Seminary, St. Paul, MN)
  • Phase III — April 26-30, 2021 (Mt. Olivet Retreat Center, Farmington, MN)

Concordia Seminary - St. Louis, MO
Registration is open.

  • Phase I — October 19-23, 2020 - RESCHEDULED
  • Phase III — April 12-16, 2021 - RESCHEDULED

PSD/Pacifica Synod - Irvine / Santa Ana, CA
Registration is open.
Register Online

  • Phase I — September 21-25, 2020
  • Phase III — April 19-23, 2021


  • Basic Education Events (includes all three phases) are $1250. Fees need to be paid in full prior to Phase I because of contractual agreements with the trainers.
  • On-site lodging and meals are additional and depends on the costs charged by the specific venues. These costs change annually. The Seminaries prefer to charge each student while the retreat centers normally will have a group contact with LuTMA. Options will be noted on the event registration forms.

A limited number of scholarships are available for Basic Education Events.
Please click here for more information.


Deposit and Registration: Fifty percent of the tuition (and room/board) is required with your registration at least 30 days prior to an event. Full payment is due three weeks prior to the first day of the event. Tuition cannot be refunded after the beginning of an event.

Cancellations: A full refund will be granted if LuTMA or a co-sponsoring institution is notified of a cancellation more than three weeks before the opening date of the LuTMA event. Cancellations less than three weeks prior to an event will result in a cancellation fee equal to 25% of the event tuition. Registrations are limited and accepted on a first-pay basis. If LuTMA cancels an event, full payment will be refunded. All fees, terms and conditions are subject to change without notice.

Transfers: If a registrant determines that it is necessary to change class dates or venues and wishes to participate in training at a different time and/or venue, there will be a $50 fee for the change. Registrants are encouraged to complete Phase II work with their Phase I faculty prior to transferring for the final phase. If transfer is due to the cancellation of a class by LuTMA the transfer fee will be waived.

Attendance: Participants are expected to attend all sessions of an event from the beginning time to its conclusion. It is important, especially for commuters, to have pastoral coverage arranged prior to your attending the event. A certificate of attendance/completion will not be given to anyone who misses any portion of a session.

Materials: Depending on the event, you will be given a workbook or handout material. The purchase of books and other reading material recommended will be the responsibility of participants.

Room and Board: Some of our events are scheduled with room and board available. Each site has different costs and requirements for payments. We will convey to you the information from the site about availability and cost. Any dietary or other special needs must be handled between the participant and the site staff.

Association Membership: ELCA and LC-MS participants in LuTMA educational events are strongly encouraged to become members of their respective denominational interim ministry organizations – Interim Ministry Association – ELCA or Interim Ministry Conference – LC-MS. Further information about dues and membership is available on the Members page of this web site.