Search Committee

For the General Minister and President

On February 26, the General Board voted to forward the name of Rev. Teresa (Terri) Hord Owens to the 2017 General Assembly as nominee for General Minister and President. Meet the nominee

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What the search committee saw in the nominee

“We saw in Terri that unique combination of pastoral, leadership, active presence in all expressions of the Church and administrative experience that the search committee believed was most needed,” said Search Committee Chair Jackie Bunch. “She has experience as a local pastor, theologian and leader.

“The committee particularly noted her skills in discernment, spiritual discipline and proclamation of the Word, but also as a listener .”

The Rev. Teresa “Terri” Hord Owens, nominee for General Minister and President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), is not only an ordained minister, but she has also spent time in academia as executive and mentor as well as earlier experiences in secular industries.

The pastor of First Christian Church of Downers Grove, IL, since 2010, Hord Owens is also Dean of Students at the University of Chicago Divinity School, where she has been since 2005. She answered God’s call to ministry in 1996 and was ordained in 2003. (Click here for brief biography.)

“The search committee recognized that leading the Church in this day and age requires a certain business acumen as well as a heart for ministry,” Bunch said. “We see that Terri brings that special mix of academic, executive and pastoral qualities that are required for leading the Disciples through this time in our North American culture. She has a background of bringing together diverse groups for dialogue that will serve the Church well.”

How the search committee process worked

The Search Committee followed the Executive Search Model which is intended to cast a wide net for potential candidates. First they started with anti-racism training and covenanted to pray each Wednesday morning, not only for the process but for the person God was calling to lead Christ’s Church.

The Search Committee launched a Church-wide survey on Feb. 12, 2016, intended to allow the committee the opportunity to listen to and hear from the Church. The survey had more than 1,600 responses with some in each language offered – English, Korean, Spanish and French. Just over half of the respondents identified as clergy and five identified as under 18.

A job description was crafted based on that feedback and, after being approved by the Administrative Committee, the position description was posted on May 19, 2016.

The committee received more than 40 nominations/recommendations. Each person was contacted and informed they were nominated. A link to the description and listing of application materials was provided and each was invited each to be in prayer and discernment about God’s call on his/her life. Applications were due July 10, 2016. Notices were posted on the website of the progress of the committee’s work along with e-mails to individuals who had requested updates on the process.

Nine names were screened by a professional human resources person outside the denomination in accordance with the search model. The search committee met to go over the applications.  After much discussion, the committee used a rubric matrix based on the feedback from the all-Church survey to identify the top four candidates to interview. It was only then that the committee interviewed the top four candidates in October. Three were forwarded to the Administrative Committee and on Feb. 24 the vote was taken on which to present to the General Board.

It has been confirmed by her physician that she is healthy enough to serve as General Minister & President of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).

from February 2017

For the last year, the General Minister and President (GMP) Search Committee has worked diligently to search for our next GMP. Thanks to the help from the general Church, we were able to gather information through a survey sent last Spring that helped us shape the GMP application. From that survey we carefully read hundreds of replies with the Church’s concerns and expectations for our next GMP. Prayerfully, we took each suggestion and concern into account.

The GMP Search Committee met a few times during the year to pray and plan. The last meeting held by the GMP Search Committee was on October 25-27, 2016 to interview candidates. After two days of interviewing, the Committee identified three (3) candidates to move forward to the Administrative Committee.

We ask that the whole Church remain in prayer and discernment of God’s will for our future, as the Administrative Committee meets with these three (3) candidates this week (February 23-24) and then advances one (1) candidate to the General Board. The General Board will review and vote whether or not to forward the nominee to our 2017 General Assembly July 8-12, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN, for consideration and vote on Sunday, July 9.

November 2016 Update

Remaining in prayer and discernment of God’s  will for our future, the 2017 General Minister and President (GMP) Search Committee met in Indianapolis, IN, on October 25-27, 2016 to interview candidates for the position of the General Minister and President.

After two days of interviewing, the Committee has identified three (3) candidates to move forward to the Administrative Committee.  The Administrative Committee is scheduled to review and interview the three (3) candidates by February 2017. Following the Administrative Committee interview process, one (1) candidate will be sent to the General Board. The General Board will review and vote to move the candidate onto our next General Assembly, which will be held on July 8-12, 2017 in Indianapolis for consideration and vote.

The Search Committee asks that you remain in prayer for the candidates, the process, and for our continued discernment.

October 2016 Update

The 2017 General Minister and President (GMP) Search Committee will be meeting this week, October 26-27, to interview our candidates. Please keep us in your prayers as we move into this vital part of our search process.

After the interviews, the Search Committee will further refine the list and forward their names to the Administrative Committee for consideration.

The Search Committee asks that you remain in prayer for the candidates and for our continued discernment. Please set aside time for prayer for these sisters and brothers sometime between 6 and 10 am in your time zone each Wednesday.

September 2016 Update

The 2017 General Minister and President (GMP) Search Committee met in Dallas, TX, Aug. 17-19, 2016.  After prayerful consideration and discernment of God’s will for our future, the Committee processed all the applications received for the GMP position and has selected candidates to interview. After the interviews that will take place in October 2016, the Search Committee will further refine the list and forward their names to the Administrative Committee for consideration. The Search Committee asks that you remain in prayer for the candidates and for our continued discernment.

August 2016 Update

The 2017 GMP Search Committee continues to work diligently in the search for our next General Minister and President. All received applications have been screened and the Committee is ready to move forward in the process. The Committee will be meeting next week, August 17 – 19 in Dallas, TX, to review the applications, and to select three to five persons to interview in the next phase of the process. We ask that you keep the committee in your prayers as they are moving forward in narrowing down the applicants.

July 2016 Update

The 2017 GMP Search Committee is grateful to all who nominated/recommended a person for General Minister and President.  Persons whose names were submitted received an email from the Committee inviting the person to be in prayer and discernment about God’s call on their life as GMP. The application process has closed and the Search Committee invites the Church to remain in prayer for the Search Committee and all persons applying. Please set aside time for prayer for these sisters and brothers sometime between 6 and 10 am in your time zone each Wednesday.

June 2016 Update

The 2017 GMP Search Committee would like remind all interested applicants applying for the position of General Minister and President, to please complete all the required documents with the Office of Search and Call and submit all materials requested no later than July 10, 2016.

Below you will find a link that will take you to the Job Description and to the materials requested for the application process.

Job Description and Materials Requested

Recommendations:

If after reading the Job Description, you are interested in recommending a qualified applicant, complete and submit the form found at the following link:

Recommendations Form

The Search Committee invites all to be in prayer for the process and for the person God is calling as GMP.

For more information on the GMP Search Process, please visit our page at http://disciples.org/ogmp/search-committee/

May 2016 Update

The 2017 GMP Search Committee announces, beginning today, May 19, 2016 through July 10, 2016 the application process is open to all Disciple clergy who have papers in the Office of Search and Call and who are interested in leading and serving the Church as the General Minister and President. The Search Committee invites all to be in prayer for the process and for the person God is calling as GMP.

Below you will find a link that will take you to the Job Description and to the materials requested for the application process.

Job Description and Materials Requested (English, PDF)
Job Description and Materials Requested (Korean, PDF)
Job Description and Materials Requested (French, PDF)
Job Description and Materials Requested (Spanish, PDF)

All interested applicants applying for the position of General Minister and President shall have completed papers in the Office of Search and Call and submit all materials requested no later than July 10, 2016.

If after reading the Job Description, you are interested in recommending a qualified applicant, complete and submit the form found at the following link:

Recommendations Form


March 2016 Update

Thank you to all who participated in the Survey.
At this time the Search Committee is completing the job description for General Minister and President. If you are considering recommending someone as the General Minister and President, please review the job description. Once approved by the Administrative Committee, the job description will be sent out around May 20th.

Contact the search committee by e-mail or USPS at GMP Search Committee, 7 W. Hoffecker Street, Middletown, DE 19709.


February 2016 Update – Survey Invitation

The search process for our next General Minister and President is underway and the Search Committee is seeking your input in this process. Below you will find a link to a short survey (offered in French, Spanish, Korean and English) on the work of the General Minister and President.  We hope to hear from you — What qualities do you think we need in a General Minister and President? How important are the current roles to you? Is there a role not mentioned that you feel should be included?

With your help, our goal is to further define the gifts needed to lead our denomination.  Please take 2-3 minutes to complete and submit your answers by February 29. Be assured that all the answers you provide will be kept in the strictest confidentiality.

EnglishFrançais | Español | 한국어

Contact the search committee by e-mail or USPS at GMP Search Committee, 7 W. Hoffecker Street, Middletown, DE 19709.


 

January 2016 Update from the committee (Français Español | 한국어)

group photo

2016-2017 GMP Search Committee: Top Row (L-R): Bill Jennison, Lori Tapia, Allison Enari, Mary Lou Kegler, Tom Perring, Young Lan Kim, Monique Crain Spells, Tony Rodriguez. Seated Row (L-R): Jennifer Garbin, Susan Morris, Jackie Bunch (Chair), Danny Gulden.

In this first communication, we are pleased to inform you that the General Minister and President (GMP) Search Committee of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) has been approved by the General Board. With a sense of humbleness and gratitude for being called to this important task, the committee met from Jan. 15-17 in Dallas, Texas to begin the search process. During this two-day meeting, we prayed with each other for God’s guidance, participated in Pro-Reconciliation/ Anti-Racism training, spent time building covenant with each other, and focused our energies in active listening and engagement. We established a timeline that will take us from writing the position description through interviews and final recommendation of our denomination’s spiritual leader and Chief Executive Officer.

It is important that we engage everyone in the church – everyone – from the folks in the pews through the General Church. With this communication, we invite you to walk this journey with us. We have established a GMP Search Committee informational website which will serve as a way for you to communicate your thoughts and ideas with us. A questionnaire will be provided to solicit your input and we will be sending updates throughout our process. To be added to our email list, please sign up here.

Finally, in recognition of the central role God plays in our process, we have committed to be in prayer with each other on Wednesdays, sometime between the hours of 6-10am. Regardless of where we are physically located, this prayer time will spiritually bond us. We invite you to join us in this prayer life.

For more about the selection of a General Minister and President, see the Design of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the Standing Rules for the General Board.

Contact the search committee by e-mail


 

Initial information and timeline

General Assembly 2017 will kick off a season of renewal for Disciples. We have an opportunity to elect a new general minister and president and this historic election will come on the heels of our Mission First! pilot project. We will have the feedback from our Mission Gatherings and the Mission Council and, potentially, structural adjustments. Together, we will be set to cast a new vision together.

With prayer and God’s leading, the process is already beginning to identify the leader who will take us past the 50-year marker for our current organizational model and put us on a path for mission. The Administrative Committee of the General Board named the search committee tasked with nominating the next general minister and president. The General Board approved the search committee in a Nov. 2 conference call. (Procedures for the search committee are laid out in the Standing Rules of the General Board in Section 8. As stipulated in the rules, all are members of the General Board.)

The committee had an organizing meeting in January 2016 to begin their work toward a deadline to bring candidates to the board in February 2017. A job description will be released to the Church in May with names being received in June and July 2016. The work of the general minister and president is broadly outlined in The Design of the Christian Church (paragraphs 50-53).

The Church’s intentional efforts toward more diversity and acknowledgement of the gifts of women are bearing fruit. Many of the board members who are eligible for the search committee are women with a number being women of color.

“We definitely see the needle moving in the number of women, particularly women of color, at this level of leadership,” said Sharon Watkins, general minister and president.

Please keep these dedicated people in your prayers as they do this important work for the next 18 months. The legend for the demographic information following the individuals’ names is below.

Jackie Bunch, B, L, F, 60+, Ohio region, Chair
Monique Crain Spells, B, C, F, 30-39, Indiana region
Allison Enari, A, C, F, 23-29, Indiana region
Jennifer Garbin, W, C, F, 40-49, Canada region, AC
Danny Gulden, W, C, M, 40-49, Georgia region
Mary Lou Kegler, B, C, F, 60+, Greater Kansas City region, MT
Young Lan Kim, A, C, F, 40-49, Pacific Southwest region, AC
Sue Morris, W, L, F, 50-59, Nebraska region, MT
Tom Perring, W, L, M, 50-59, Pacific Southwest region, MT
Tony Rodriguez, Hi, L, M, 50-59, Florida region, MT
Lori Tapia, Hi, C, F, 40-49, Arizona region

Alternate
William Jennison, W, L, M, 50-59, Northwest region

Code Key:

  • Ethnic Groups: “A” – Asian/Pacific Islander; “B” – Black; “Hi” – Hispanic; “W” – White
  • “C” – Clergy; “L” – Laity
  • “F” – Female; “M” – Male
  • “AC” – Administrative Committee; “Mod” – Moderator Team