Leader Search Information

Seven members of the Ethical Society of St. Louis have been appointed to the Leader Search Task Force to identify the next Leader of our Society. 

Questions, please contact us at ESSLsearch24@gmail.com


  • Leader Search – Member Update

    The Task Force completed its review of applications received thus far and identified applicants for interviews. The Task Force conducted Zoom interviews with those identified, and all members of the Task Force were present for the interviews. The Task Force has finalized the list of questions to ask references.

  • Leader Search – Member Update

    The job posting for the Leader position indicated, “To be guaranteed consideration, applications are due by April 5, 2024. Applications received after that date will be considered until the position is filled.” With that in mind, we have begun reviewing applications, without closing down the possibility of receiving additional ones. We have also been working on reducing and finalizing our bank of interview questions.

  • Leader Search – Member Update

    We are most eager to cast a wide net and to have a robust pool of applicants. With that in mind, please remember to share the employment opportunity with those you know who might have connections to persons who would fit the Society’s next Leader. If you belong to LinkedIn, please ask others on LinkedIn to check out our LinkedIn posting.

    We have begun receiving applications via our special email account: ESSLSearch24@gmail.com. Each application is acknowledged within one or two days of receipt. At the same time, we are working on developing a bank of interview questions, with the understanding that each candidate interviewed may warrant different—or somewhat different—questions. Currently we have 123 questions in ten categories. Some came from members of the Task Force, and some were suggested by artificial intelligence. We are now in the process of culling and refining our list.

  • Leader Search – Member Update

    We have begun the important step of letting the world know about our search. Our focus has been on AEU societies and contacts, UUA publications and contacts, humanist organizations in the U.S. and Europe, liberal religious organizations, and divinity schools. At this point, the employment opportunity is posted on 10 job boards, and we have sent emails to more than 50 people asking them to share the opportunity with people they know who might be interested in applying. The position will soon be promoted on additional job boards and on more than half a dozen social media sites, and we aren’t done yet. If you know anyone who could be a good fit for our next Leader, please let them know about the opportunity. The best link to send is: https://www.ethicalstl.org/leader-search/

  • Leader Search – Member Update

    The Leader Search Task Force has been making steady progress. Using what we learned during the Listening Sessions, we completed a detailed job description which we submitted to the Board for consideration at their January 9 meeting. Task Force co-chairs, Don and Carole Beere, attended the meeting to answer questions about the document and other aspects of the search. The Board members made a few suggestions, which have been implemented, and they approved the release of the job description.

    The Task Force finalized the search-related documents for the Ethical Society’s webpages, and the pages are now operational. There are two parts: one for Society members and one for potential applicants. To access them, go to the lower right-hand corner of the Ethical Society’s home page.

  • Leader Search – Member Update

    Recognizing that the search for our next leader is important to all of us, the Leader Search Task Force is committed to keeping you apprised of our work. This is the first of many communications. We also value your thoughts, so please feel free to contact us through email at ESSLsearch24@gmail.com. Emails sent to this address are only available to the Task Force members (Katie Borders, David Brown, Cy Henningsen, Lindsey Nissenbaum, Brian Vandenberg, and co-chairs, Don and Carole Beere).

    For those who may not have been through this process at the Society, here is a brief review of how the search works: once the job posting is approved by the Board, the Task Force will post it; the Task Force will review applications, select the top applicants, interview them, and check their references; the Task Force will identify one finalist, and the name, along with all supporting documentation, will be referred to the Board. If the Board is in agreement, that candidate will be invited to the Society to meet the congregation and give a Platform. The congregation will vote on whether to hire the individual.

    Except for holiday breaks, the Task Force has been meeting weekly since October 1. Because we are very concerned that the search accurately reflects the priorities of the congregation, we have held seven Listening Sessions, three on weekday evenings (one of which was via Zoom), one on a Saturday morning, and three on Sundays (two after Platform, one before). Seventy-seven people, in addition to members of the Task Force, attended the sessions, which asked three questions:

    • What credentials should a leader have?
    • What are the most important responsibilities of a leader?
    • What personal attributes are most important in our leader?

    We are now organizing the responses from the Listening Sessions and the emails we received to understand the priorities of the congregation. Thank you to everyone who attended a Listening Session. Your input is very helpful.

    Our next step is to develop a draft of the job posting. We plan to have this ready for the Board’s consideration in January. Once a job posting is approved, we will be listing it every place we think might attract someone who fits the job description. If you have ideas of places to list, please let us know. Also, let us know if there are individuals to whom we should send a job announcement. Our goal is to cast a wide net.