Minister Search Team

The Minister Search Team Has Been Selected!

Thanks to all who stepped up to be a candidate and to the members who voted at the the special membership meeting on August 25th.  The team will consist of the following members:  Prissy Barbour, Russ Chaffin, Luke Pinoli, Catherine Weissenberg, and Sarah Linares, with Mary Jo McGrath, Douglas Howard, and Spencer Winston as the alternates.  Stay tuned for updates from the team!


Per the Unity of Santa Barbara Bylaws, as of March 3, 2019, Article VII, SECTION 7.02 SPECIAL TEAMS

The Board of Trustees may form special Teams at any time for specific purposes, having a term of one year or less.  An example is the Search Team, which is convened by the President of the Board of Trustees in the event of a vacancy in the position of minister.

The Search Team will consist of five (5) members selected in the following manner:

    1. The Board of Trustees will elect one of its members.
    2. The Board of Trustees will elect one other person who is an active member of the church and not currently serving on the Board of Trustees.
    3. At a Special Membership Meeting called by the President for this purpose, the membership will elect three (3) active members to serve on the Search Team, and three (3) active members to serve as alternates. Any subsequent vacancy on the Search Team will be filled by an alternate selected by the remaining team members from the alternates elected by the membership.
  1. The Search Team will elect its own Chair, set its own meeting schedule, and appoint and/or request additional assistance as needed.
  2. The Search Team will keep the membership and board informed about its progress.
  3. Current and past ministers, including Temporary and Interim, will play no role in the Search Team’s process.
  4. The Search Team will work independently of the Board of Trustees until presenting the Board with its list of at least two (2) recommended candidates. The Board President is an ex officio member of the Search Team.
  5. The Search Team will have complete transparency with the board at all times as it performs its duties during the search for a new minister.
  6. The Search Team will assist the Board in any appropriate way to facilitate arrangements for the candidates to visit the church. Upon conclusion of the candidates’ visits, the Search Team will be dissolved.
  7. A newly constituted Search Team will continue the search for a new minister, if two-thirds (2/3) of the congregation does not vote for a particular candidate for minister or the Board does not select that candidate.
  8. The Search Team will do its work in general agreement with the UWM procedural document for Minister Search and the protocol detailed in that manual. It will conduct live interviews (in person or via the Internet) with any candidate before his/her name is submitted to the board.


Although it is not stated in our bylaws, Unity Worldwide Ministries (UWM) advises, “Paid Staff members and Licensed Unity Teachers should not serve on the search team as it could raise a conflict of interest.”

Check back here regularly for more information about and updates on the minister search process.