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.