2024 class canceled,
looking ahead to 2025
Meet Princeton Seminary
Princeton Seminary is a long-time partner with TMEC in offering an excellent Transitional Ministry class. Due to shifts in staffing and other needs at Princeton, there is no 2023 Princeton TMEC class. We hope to return in 2025.
Art of Transitional Ministry at Princeton Seminary
Once narrowly focused on the work of interim pastors, today’s Art of Transitional Ministry is designed to prepare all church leaders for the challenges of change. More than ever before, pastors require special skills and understanding, and our Transitional Ministry Education program has become a vital resource for leaders of all denominations.
The Art of Transitional Ministry is a two-part program (designated simply as “Week 1” and “Week 2”). In partnership with TMEC, the Transitional Ministry Education Consortium of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Princeton Theological Seminary typcially offers Week 1 and Week 2 concurrently.
Week 1 includes the basics of transitional leadership for all congregational pastors, regardless of their ministry setting. It is designed to share best practices for entering a congregation and community, analyzing the congregation’s strengths and growing edges, and helping them move toward a more vibrant future. From navigating change and managing conflict to discerning their own talents, fears, and limitations, participants will learn skills and build spiritual resilience for the journey of transition.
Week 2 is more experiential, addressing the needs of those currently engaged in transitional ministry. Working in small groups, participants will have an opportunity to share specific challenges and receive guidance and feedback from faculty and peers. Completion of Week 1 at a TMEC education site and current or recent service in a transitional role are required for enrollment in Week 2. Exceptions may be discussed with the faculty team leader.
Attendance at all sessions is required to receive a Certificate of Completion.
Meet the Team
Julie Thompson Barrier
In 34 years of ministry, Julie has served in a variety of roles in congregations in urban, suburban, and rural communities in the northeast (CT), mid Atlantic (NY, NJ, PA) and southeast (SC and GA) in congregations ranging from 80 to 2700 members. She is a graduate of Miami University (Ohio) and Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, with credits earned from Gordon-Conwell, New York, and Union (NY) seminaries.
Julie and her husband John Barrier live near the New Jersey shore, where she is the Designated Pastor at The Presbyterian Church on the Hill in Ocean, NJ. Their blended family includes
five adult children, a son-in-law and a new granddaughter.
Larrisa Kwong- Abazia
Larissa Kwong Abazia is the founder of Courageous Spaces, inviting others to co-create spaces for disruption, transformation, and change. She is also serving with Princeton Theological Seminary’s Office of Continuing Education as Project Coordinator for the Sustaining the Preaching Life program and the Teaching Spiritual Entrepreneurship Project. Kwong Abazia has served at all levels of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.): Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly, the General Assembly Committee on Representation, and in congregations located in Chicago (IL), Queens (NY), Greenwich (CT), and throughout New Jersey. Larissa recently served as the Transitional Presbyter for the Presbytery of the Coastlands and as the Transitional Head of Operations for More Light Presbyterians. She currently is the Designated Strategic Director of NEXT Church.
Dana Sutton, a Presbyterian pastor and leadership coach, has lived in the Huntington, West Virginia area since 1992 (though as of this date, he and his wife are contemplating a move to North Carolina). He enjoys outdoor activities of all kinds, teaching, writing, and asking questions... lots of questions! Coffee, humor, and good beer help with at least some of those. He looks forward to his first transitional ministry teaching opportunity this fall on the heels of a hiking trip on the Isle of Skye in Scotland.
The Reverend Brady “Brother Brady” Radford is an Ordained Minister in the Presbyterian Church, USA and a Licensed Professional Counselor in the state of Georgia. He has served in diverse educational, clinical and congregational settings from Greenville, SC to Atlanta, GA. He holds a Master of Divinity degree from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary at The Interdenominational Theological Center and a Masters in Rehabilitation Counseling from Georgia State University. Brady is also a trained conflict mediator with experience consulting local and national ecclesiastical entities. His deepest joy in life comes from family and the relationships he shares with his wife, Celestine and their three children, Aniyah, Brayden and Kalia.
Rev. Jessica Dixon is the Interim Pastor of Prospect Presbyterian Church. She began her service with Prospect on October 1, 2023.
Rev. Dixon is a professional Interim/Transitional Pastor and served churches in Oak Park, IL (near Chicago) and Norman, Oklahoma, before coming to New Jersey. Prospect is her third congregation in New Jersey.
She is a graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL, and St. John’s College in Santa Fe, NM. She is a Colorado native and loves her work in caring for her congregation and helping others navigate the complex work of transitional ministry. Her family includes her husband, Jack, and their two dogs, Bella and Sage.
Come back late in 2024 to find out more.