Ask the Discernment Doctor

The Discernment Doctor is in.  If you have specific questions about the OTM Portfolio, resumes, questionnaires, interviews, etc., e-mail them to the Discernment Doctor stephentayres (at)  As your inquiries may be posted in the blog, please feel free top protect the names of the innocent (i.e. clergy, bishops, transition ministry officers, or search committees).  If I use private e-mails sent to me as the basis of a blog, I will not publicize the name of the questioner.

11 thoughts on “Ask the Discernment Doctor”

  1. I am writing from St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church (a parish church) in Edwardville, IL. We will soon be seeking an interim rector as our rector of 17 years is retiring. One of our early concerns is what to pay an interim priest. Can you assist or refer me to an appropriate source?

    • Your diocese should have compensation guidelines for clergy, interim or permanent. From a clergy person’s perspective, if you expect your interim to work as the same hours as your previous rector, the compensation should be in the same ballpark, if not the same.

  2. Beth Phillips said:

    I hear you are giving an OTM profile workship this week. Where is it and can I register online?

    • Beth,

      Its this Wednesday, May 1 at Trinity, Stoughton. You can contact the Rev. Rob Hensley about late registration rhensley51 – at – The flyer is posted in a March 2013 post.

  3. I need tips, advice, general help, and how best to answer the questions in the narrative section of the OTM profile. I am a transitional deacon looking to find my first call.

  4. REvd Bob Jones said:

    Very shortly I will be taking a sabbatical and one element to it is to review my ministry, past, presnt and future. May I have your permisson please to use the OTM questions for reflection. If permisson is given I would would quote you as source.

  5. Mark Proft said:

    Our parish is searching for a new rector, but the diocese insists that all applications go only to them. How can we remain open to contact from interested candidates and is that an avenue of communication that candidates would use?

    • Policies for screening of candidates names varies from one diocese to another. Many dioceses like all names to be screened first. Here in Massachusetts, clergy can apply directly to parishes, diocesan screening occurs when the parish has narrowed down their list to a handful of final candidates. Diocesan screening usual involves a phone call from the parish’s Diocesan Bishop or Transition Ministry Officer to their counterpart in the applicant’s diocese. major screening questions include: “Has the candidate had any problems in their current position that have not been revealed?” and “Does the candidate participate in the life of the diocese?” In some politically/theologically conflicted dioceses, screening questions may also be asked about a candidate’s stance on various hot topics.

      Clergy are encouraged to know the local diocesan policy before submitting an application. Should a clergy person contact your parish directly, just gently steer them to your diocese.

  6. Thank you very much. God bless you.

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