How do I word my reason for leaving this ministry job
October 4, 2012 8:32 AM Subscribe
I'm applying for new jobs and struggling to figure out how to word my "reason for leaving" in an unusual situation.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Short version: I am a community college instructor with a very good track record at my current college, looking to move to a college in a more desirable location. But before my college teaching days, I was a pastor. I left my last congregation due to long and intractable conflicts with the congregational leadership regarding the scope of my duties and responsibilities--which basically boiled down to that I thought I should have a place in congregational decision-making and they believed the minister should exercise no leadership at all. All decisions were to be made solely by the lay eldership. Under the polity of that denomination, they had the final say. We both agreed things weren't working out, and I had what I've termed a "negotiated exit." I received a modest severance package, and I wasn't fired, although I left sooner than I would have preferred. After that experience, I was well and truly burned out on ministry, and found an adjunct teaching position six months later, which I then turned into a full-time position after a year. So, while the church job isn't at the top of my work history, it's still present and it's followed by six months of unemployment, which is a clear enough sign that I didn't completely leave of my own accord. I realize with current work history in my new field it's not that big a deal, but I'd still like a short, satisfactory answer to why I left that position that makes sense to future employers, and I'm having trouble articulating one. How should that be phrased in one sentence?