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Art of Transitional Ministry

Art of Transitional Ministry

2023 Dates: TBA!

Registration for the 2023 Opens January 3rd!

Register Here

Leading a congregation and faith community through transition is both challenging and rewarding. Whether it is a change in leadership or a changing neighborhood, it takes knowledge, skill, resilience and spiritual strength to navigate the waters of transition in a way that allows a congregation and its leaders to be open to possibilities, go deeper and thrive. The Art of Transitional Ministry offers education in the skills and understanding necessary for leading a congregation and faith community in transition. Leaders and participants come from several mainline traditions, which creates rich opportunities for additional learning.

The Art of Transitional Ministry Program is broken down into two week-long courses of study offered concurrently along with Spouse Track.

Week I
The basic education course is designed for pastors and congregational leaders who are serving or are considering serving in congregations that are in the midst of transition; yet, it is valuable continuing education for all faith leaders as we are all in the midst of change within our culture and world. This intensive 30-hour course provides basic understandings for consciously leading congregations through changes in context, identity, and leadership. Week I is appropriate for any short-term transitional ministry leader, including interim and designated pastors, as well as installed/appointed pastors serving congregations in the midst of change. It is also appropriate for clergy and laity serving in denominational bodies that need to understand congregations in transition. Additionally, personnel representatives and Committee on Ministry members are especially urged to take this opportunity to become familiar with the concerns of pastors serving in temporary roles (interim, designated and traditional ministries).

Week II
For pastors and leaders serving in congregations and faith communities in the midst of transitions in leadership, culture, context, and ministry. Participants will use their current ministry context to reflect on the leader’s role and tasks in times of transition. Completion of Week I within the past five years and current service in a transitional or interim ministry position (widely defined) is required for participation in this course. This course will provide an opportunity for going deeper into the work introduced in week I and beginning to understand our role as leaders in contexts of change and transition. Registration is limited and there are several homework assignments to prepare for Week II, so early registration is advised.

Spouse Track

Zephyr Point will not be offering the Spouse Track for Summer 2022. However, spouses and partners of participants are welcomed to take advantage of “non-participant” registration in order to take advantage of all the Tahoe Basin has to offer!

*UPDATE (2/7/2022) – All registrants for Art of Transitional Ministry 2022 will be required to present proof of vaccination (fully boosted or last dose within 5 months) upon arrival at Zephyr Point.  Full COVID-19 protocols and expectations will be sent by event leadership in May via email. For more info on Zephyr Point Programs Health and Safety Policies, see below.*

Travel Accommodation and Opportunity for Families

Event Check-in will begin on Sunday at 3pm and the event will conclude by Friday at 11am. We encourage participants who are flying to the conference to arrive at Reno-Tahoe International Airport. Shuttle transportation from the airport to Zephyr Point can be reserved with the South Tahoe Airporter. We recommend drop-offs at the Montbleu in South Lake Tahoe, and we can arrange to pick you up from there at your arrival time. If you schedule shuttle transportation, please send itineraries for shuttle service to program@zephyrpoint.org.

Zephyr Point will offer one shuttle from Zephyr Point to the Reno International Airport at the conclusion of the conference ($5). We will depart at 11:30am on Friday 7/22, and should arrive to the airport no later than 1pm. To sign up for this service, please add it as a sub-program during registration. You can call the Program Office to add transportation to your pre-existing reservation.

ATM participants can enroll their children in two summer camp offerings on-site at Zephyr Point. Incoming 1st-6th graders are invited to Camp Zephyr, a day camp run by the Zephyr Point Summer Staff. Camp Zephyr runs M-F 7:45AM-5:15PM. Middle School students are invited to participate in Zephyr Point’s Summer Basecamp. Both of these opportunities are unique to Zephyr Point! Contact the Program Team at program@zephyrpoint.org or (775) 588-6759 ext. 113 with further questions. 


Rev. SanDawna Ashley

Rev. Dr. SanDawna Gaulman Ashley is the Synod of the Northeast Transitional Leader. She has served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) since 1999 on three denominational levels: mid council ministry, national staff for the Office of the General Assembly and the Presbyterian Mission Agency, and a local pastor. She provides training, consultation, coaching, and resources to support middle judicatories, Committees of Ministries (COM’s), call seekers, and calling organizations. SanDawna serves on the faculty to train new mid council leaders and transformational pastors at four P.C. (U.S.A.) Art of Transitional Ministry sites. Additionally, her experience includes serving as the denomination’s Associate for Leadership Development. SanDawna holds degrees from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary (Doctor of Ministry), Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary (Master of Divinity), and Georgia State University (Bachelor of Social Work).

Rev. Kevin Buchanan

Kevin has been ordained since 1980 and began as a consultant for youth ministry for the Presbytery of South Florida and served two congregations as youth minister. From there, he served as a solo pastor and an associate pastor in Missouri, Oregon, and California. When he married Astrid in 2002, he served in transitional ministry at congregations in San Leandro, San Rafael, Windsor, Turlock, and San Anselmo, California. He served in long term transitional ministry (otherwise known as installed) in Marshfield, Wisconsin. Kevin then returned to transitional ministry and has served at Central Presbyterian Church in Terre Haute, Indiana and Woodland Presbyterian Church in Woodland, California. He is currently served as the transitional pastor at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church in Yuba City, California.

Rev. Mitch Coggin

Rev. Mitch Coggin is the Transitional Minister at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Victoria, British Columbia (Vancouver Island, Canada). Mitch has previously served 3 congregations in interim ministry in Indiana and Tennessee, two congregations as installed pastor and hospital and hospice chaplain.  Mitch has been on the Art of Transitional Ministry faculty at Montreat, Ghost Ranch and MALT.  He is a certified coach with the International Coach Federation and specializes in coaching mid-council leaders in the Presbyterian Leader Formation program and first-call pastors.  He has especially found coaching to be a valuable asset working with congregations through an interim process. Mitch is dually aligned as a Teaching Elder in the Presbyterian Church in Canada and PC(USA).  Mitch is a passionate woodworker, creating fountain pens on a lathe from the beautiful wood found in the Pacific Northwest.

Rev. Renée Rico

Renée confesses to be both excited and challenged by the opportunities of ministry in these pandemic times in the church. Renée began her “accidental intentional interim” ministry career straight out of seminary, serving in churches across the West as interim solo, head of staff and associate pastor positions, as well as in a United Methodist congregation. Now in her 11th interim position, she currently serves as Interim Senior Pastor at Trinity Presbyterian Church in San Carlos, CA. She has served on and led faculty teams for education events on The Art of Transitional Ministry for the PCUSA since 2002. Outside of church, Renée has many interests, including a love of Mexican food, knitting (she teaches and designs her own line of patterns) and fiber spinning. Her cat, Brandy, is her companion at home.

Rev. Barry W. Williams


Barry’s roots are in Southwest Louisiana where he grew up learning a bit about Cajun culture and cooking. He attended Centenary College in Shreveport, La., earning a B.S. degree in Business, then seminary in Austin, Texas and went on to serve churches in the suburbs of Houston, Dallas, and Ft. Worth before moving to work with a congregation in Salina, Kansas. In 1996, the Williams family (Brenda, his wife, and two sons, Stephen and Peter) moved to Southwest Missouri. Springfield has functioned as “home base” for Barry as he served as an Interim/Transitional Pastor in the region. He completed his 15th interim in March of 2022 with FPC in Lawrence, Kansas. He has been part of the PCUSA interim ministry education faculty since 2000. His interests include fly fishing, cooking, and staying in contact with family, friends, and colleagues.


Program Costs

Individual 2023 Rate
Week 1/ Week 2 TBD
Spouse Track TBD

Program costs do not include the cost of books/texts for required reading. Participants will need to purchase the required reading texts which you will be informed of upon registration.

Room and Board Rates

Room Style Rate
Double Occupancy Room TBD
Single Occupancy Room TBD
Commuter (meals only) TBD
Non-participant (room/meals only) TBD

Registration and Balance due 14 days before event start date. To Register click on the “Register Now” button at the top of the page. Be sure to make a note of all dietary needs, mobility issues, and roommate requests during the registration process

    • Includes Sunday dinner through Friday sack lunch; No Wednesday dinner; afternoon and evening are on your own to rest and explore Tahoe.
    • Program fills quickly. Please register early.
    • Participants are expected to stay the duration of ATM and any late arrivals or early departures must be coordinated in advance of the program with faculty. Please direct inquiries to program@zephyrpoint.org
    • The $100 deposit is non-refundable/non-transferable.

COVID-19 Safety Policies and Protocols

Here at Zephyr Point, the health and safety of our guests is always our first priority. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, we are committed to crafting inclusive policies that will allow us to run all of our programs. This requires creativity, logistical effort, and commitment on behalf of both Zephyr Point staff and program participants alike, and we thank you in advance for your commitment to keeping our community safe.

We will soon release our 2023 policies. Please check back to this site for the updated safety plan.  All of the policies in this plan will be based on recommendations and directives from the following agencies and organizations:

  • Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • State of Nevada Declarations and Guidance
  • Douglas County Department of Health and Human Services
  • American Camping Association (ACA)