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Senior Minister Search
PLEASE NOTE: The Senior Minister Search Committee is no longer accepting new applications for the position of Senior Minister.

Job Description of Senior Minister

The Riverside Church in the City of New York is looking for the next senior minister of this multicultural church.  We seek a senior minister who is an intellectually exciting preacher; one who draws on biblical and theological scholarship, prayerful reflection, and socio-political awareness to proclaim the Gospel for today’s world.  We seek a progressive theologian whose ministry is consistent with the Riverside tradition of prophetic social justice ministry.  This minister must be able to communicate across cultures and faiths and to guide the church when conflict threatens our relationships with one another.  Such a person will be able to energize and shape the congregation’s vision of discipleship and to welcome all to God’s banquet table.  The new senior minister will have a mature relationship with God.

We seek a senior minister with demonstrated experience in growing, retaining and leading a large self-governing congregation with energetic lay participation. The practices of leadership we seek include: 1) a collaborative style, including skills in active listening, team-building and empowering others; 2) commitment to a culture of mutual respect, openness and love toward church members, staff, guests and neighbors in need of our social services; 3) commitment to institutional accountability and transparency. We seek a minister who is imaginative in embracing traditional and contemporary forms of worship and enabling the changes this congregation seeks. The senior minister will be a person of integrity who is comfortable setting boundaries when necessary.


The senior minister is expected to function effectively in a congregational and covenantal polity under lay leadership. This collaborative leadership style establishes the context of the following responsibilities. The senior minister is expected:
  • To provide faithful and loving leadership that emphasizes accountability for a staff of over 100 and many volunteers;
  • To interpret the Gospel in Riversides tradition of prophetic preaching from a free pulpit, and to nurture a worship of God that expresses the congregations faith that God loves all people and teaches us to love one another in our diversity, through compassionate care and justice engagement.
  • To articulate a public voice for The Riverside Church in this city, the nation, and the world, including through the use of new media;
  • To nurture the congregations spiritual development and communal care of one another;
  • To work closely with lay members and staff to develop program priorities in youth and family ministries, Christian education and faith formation, worship and music, social services and justice ministries, and outreach to new constituencies; and
  • To promote responsible stewardship and to lead the financial and institutional development of the church for its mission in the 21st century.

  • A Master of Divinity degree from a recognized seminary is required; a doctorate of philosophy or ministry is preferred.
  • Certified ordination by and current good standing in a recognized denomination is required.
  • A minimum of 10 years of pastoral ministry in a multicultural congregation is required. Demonstrated ability for calm presence and wise counsel amidst conflict is also required. A love for city living and an appreciation for a multi-lingual environment are preferred.
  • Demonstrated excellence in preaching and leading worship is required. Strong history of theological study, reflection and writing is required.
  • Demonstrated achievement in the stewardship of the spiritual and material gifts of the church is required. This includes program, financial, and human resources management experience in a large, diverse, urban congregation with a multi-million dollar budget. Fund-raising experience is preferred.
  • A history of social service and social justice engagement is required; community organizing skills are preferred.
  • An identifiable practice of self-care and self-reflection.
  • Demonstrated experience in growing a church.
Applicants should submit their curriculum vitae and a cover letter of interest that addresses their call to The Riverside Church. These materials should be sent as a single PDF document to SMSearch@TheRiversideChurchNY.org.

Review of applications will begin October 1, 2013, and will continue until the position is filled. The position is also being listed through the UCC (http://oppsearch.ucc.org/) and ABC (https://www.abpsconnection.org/) websites.