The Graceful Exit Project

The Graceful Exit Project is an initiative started by me, Carolyn Hipkins, a former United Methodist clergywoman. It’s aim is to help pastors who have been forced out of their pulpits survive the experience and thrive beyond it.

I am a pastor who was forced from my pulpit when my last church closed. I was not appointed to another church and left the United Methodist Church in May 2010. I am now a member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden in Upper Marlboro, MD.  I’ve been praying for a long time about what ministry God would now have me do. What has come to mind is to develop a clergy outplacement assistance ministry.  This project is the first step.

It’s rather difficult to find statistics on clergy terminations.  But what statistics are there show that 1100 – 1300 pastors a month are forced from their pulpit. (1)  Others show one pastor is terminated every six minutes.  A forced exit is a traumatic experience.  The pastor is let go with little or no severance and guidance about what to do next.  This page contains a link to blog posts and articles I’ve written about surviving the job loss, job searching, and other topics.  You can also go to the page from the drop down menu. I am sharing what I’ve learned as I go on my journey.  Hopefully other pastors will find the posts and articles helpful.

While this project is directed towards pastors I believe the information contained will be helpful to anyone who has endured a forced exit.

Graceful Exit Project


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