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Synod of the Northeast Seeks Transitional Synod Leader


Transitional Synod Leader Position Description

Dear Members and Friends of the Synod of the Northeast,

The Synod of the Northeast is seeking a Transitional Synod Leader. After consulting with key stakeholders throughout the Synod and drawing from our own backgrounds, the Synod Search Team, in consultation with the Synod Commission developed the attached job description. We are seeking a candidate who will lead us through the transition and also facilitate what we are calling a “re-boot” of the “New Way Forward”, a document you can find out our website,

It is important to us that the Transitional Synod Leader have a strong knowledge of family systems. We are looking for a self-differentiated leader who is a non-anxious presence in a wide variety of situations. We are also seeking a candidate with experience leading institutional change.

Those who are interested in applying should be aware that the Synod of the Northeast is diverse. We hope to find a candidate able to call together members from all groups, including BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities, to work together in the process of forming the New Way Forward 2.0.

Please be advised, that for this position, we are only considering Teaching Elders and Ruling Elders in the PC(USA). While we value our denominational partners, at this time we need a leader who is, on day one, knowledgeable of our denomination and well-networked across the PC(USA). To apply, please send a cover letter and resume or PIF to the above email. We cannot accept these documents via mail, fax, or any other methods of transmission. All applicants must submit their documents by September 15, 2020. Thank you for your interest.


Rev. T. J. DeMarco, Moderator
Transitional Synod Leader Search Team

Synod of the Northeast Position Description
Transitional Synod Leader


The Transitional Synod Leader will provide interim leadership to the Synod of the Northeast,
focusing first on listening and observing to identify systemic problems and provide analysis and assessment of synod systems and organizational leadership structures. The Transitional Synod Leader will promote healing, understanding, and reconciliation as the Synod works toward a “re-booting” of the New Way Forward. In addition, the Transitional Synod Leader will establish a safe environment in which all are welcome and stabilize Synod operations (especially in its role of supporting and building collegial and collaborative relationships with Presbyteries). This position will apply proven transitional ministry approaches to leading change in the Synod.

The Transitional Synod Leader will work primarily with the Synod Staff, the Stated Clerk, the Synod Commission, and other mid-council leaders within the Synod to accomplish the following:

  • Facilitate the New Way Forward 2.0 Discernment Group that will assess the values and implementation of the New Way Forward to date and create a recommended 2.0 path based upon listening groups and surveys from groups within the synod community.

  • Re-establish deeper relationships and trust between the Synod and constituent Presbytery leadership

  • Establish new standards of timely communication throughout the Synod utilizing best practices to ensure access to information.

  • Engage in the process of the development of new commissioners and officers of the Synod. • Update Synod policies and procedures as needed.

  • Participate in the development and adjustment of the operating budget.

  • Work with consultants when needed to help guide the transition. (Engaging any consultant is subject to the approval of the Leadership Team. Prior authorization and clear goals are required before engaging a consultant.)

  • Partner with the Stated Clerk to help facilitate alignment of the Synod’s mission. • Supervise the staff in accordance with personnel policies and procedures.


The Transitional Synod Leader is accountable to the Synod Mission and Ministries Commission through the Administrative Working Group and its Personnel Team, along with the Leadership Team. The individual will:

  • Develop meaningful and trusting relationships, especially with Presbytery leaders of constituent Presbyteries, the New Way Forward 2.0 Discernment Group, and Synod staff. These connections will be an essential position responsibility.

  • Participate in denominational relationships at all levels of the church.

  • Serve on the Synod Assembly as a corresponding member with voice and no vote.


The Synod will provide access to a computer system and phone and the capability to work remotely. There is an office at the Synod designated for the Transitional Synod Leader as needed or desired as a workspace.

Essential Skills and Experiences

  • Self-differentiated person, emotionally mature individual who can navigate conflict and ambiguous or unclear territory with grace and agility.

  • Is a calm, non-anxious presence in all situations.

  • Spiritually mature and able to join others in their faith journeys.

  • Encourages collaboration with the diverse groups within the Synod including persons of color and the LGBTQIA community.

  • Strong understanding and articulation of the Book of Order, Book of Confessions, and Constitutional relationships between Synods and constituent Presbyteries, and practical experience at the mid-council level.

  • Demonstrated ability to lead ecclesiastical, structural and cultural change that lead to positive outcomes.

  • Knowledge of systems and instituting change

  • Ability to develop interpersonal relationships with those who have wide-ranging perspectives.

  • Supports the development of leaders.

  • Maintains confidentiality and neutrality where appropriate and avoids triangulation.

  • Must be a member in good standing of the Presbyterian Church (USA), either a Minister of the Word and Sacrament or Ruling Elder.

  • Exhibits generous listening, patience, humility and pastoral presence.

  • Maintains healthy boundaries.

  • Is well networked across the PC(USA).

  • Exhibit ability to adapt, exhibit grace, honesty, and flexibility when faced with unanticipated or complex challenges.

Compensation and Call

This position will meet or exceed the Synod minimum compensation for an exempt full-time call. The Synod Mission and Ministries Commission will approve the appointment of the Synod Transitional Leader upon recommendation of the Administrative Working Group and its Personnel Team. This position is expected to be for up to two-year term and may be extended as determined by the Commission. The Transitional Synod Leader will be either a member of a PC(USA) congregation or a member of a presbytery as appropriate to the individual’s ecclesial status. Believing that the position of Transitional Synod Leader requires skills specific to this transition time, the Synod Commission has determined that the Transitional Leader will be limited to the call presented in this position description and will not be able to apply for the permanent Synod Leader position.


The work of the Transitional Synod Leader is reviewed by the Administrative Working Group and its Personnel Team, along with the Leadership Team. New employees will serve a six-month probationary period with an initial review after three months

Submit Cover letter noting salary requirements, Resume or Personal Information Form and three references by September 15, 2020 to:

Rev. Theodore DeMarco, Transitional Leader Search Team Moderator . For questions in advance of submission, please contact Rev. DeMarco.


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