Ministerial Search

In 2019, Northlake will call a new settled minister. Here is a summary of the process that leads up to that decision.


Schedule for Search Process



  • February – Preparation for Search workshops  (Click here to see Nancy E’s slides from the workshop.)
  • March to April – choose Search Committee (SC) – meet our Search committee members
  • June or July – Search Committee retreat
  • August – October – gathering input from members (cottage dinners or other focus groups, surveys, interviews) about our goals and priorities, strengths and challenges as a community, and what we are looking for in our new minister. (We encourage you to listen to Warren J’s sermon from February 11 on the “10 C’s of Ministry”.)
  • Fall – Beyond Categorical Thinking Workshop (optional)
  • October / November – SC writes congregational record and prepares search website
  • December – ministers seeking positions review our website and others



  • Early January – SC receives applications from interested ministers (may be as many as 15?)
  • Jan to Feb – SC will exchange information with candidates we’re interested in. Do initial interviews and reference checks.
  • Feb to March – pre-candidating weekends. 3-4 candidates will travel to our area, and preach in a “neutral pulpit.” Our search committee will observe them.
  • End of March / beginning of April – make an offer
  • April – announce the name of the final candidate to the congregation
  • April – candidating week – candidate visits for a week – many opportunities for meeting / greeting / assessing
  • April – congregational vote on whether to “call” the candidate
  • August – new minister joins congregation

Note: the names of ministerial search candidates are confidential. The search committee will not reveal any names or identifying information about any of the ministers they consider other than the final candidate.


Learn more: Click here for more details on the UUA process. The “Settlement Handbook” contains most of the essential details. There are also some helpful videos at