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I will answer questions about strategic planning, conflict management, fund raising, and clergy transition in synagogues and churches.

Experience in the area

I have fifteen years' experience assisting congregations as a consultant and denominational official. As a Senior Consultant for the Alban Institute I work with a wide range of churches and synagogues across North America. Previously I served 12 years as a parish minister.


Society for Professionals in Dispute Resolution.
Unitarian Universalist Ministers Association


Ministry and Money: A Guide for Clergy and Their Friends (Alban, 2002).
Congregations: the Alban Institute Journal.
The Journal of Unitarian Universalist History.


B.A. Oberlin College
M.Div. Harvard University

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    K = Knowledgeability    C = Clarity of Response    P = Politeness
V08/15/13101010Thank you very much for your quick .....
Kathy05/08/12101010Thanks. You confirmed my concerns. I appreciate .....
kendall01/09/11101010Wow! asked my question at 6:24 got .....

Recent Answers from Dan Hotchkiss

2013-08-14 Financial income for a pastor:

V,    It sounds to me as though you are doing your best to make prudent decisions as you step toward following your call to ministry. Not quitting your job till you have found a way to earn a living in

2012-05-11 previous question:

Dear Kathy,    I see two questions in your message. One is whether your Pastor is at risk for the way he handles his taxes, and the other is whether you may be at risk for the way you are managing his

2011-12-05 ministry name and tagline:

Dear Tom,    The most important challenge in starting a new ministry is to get to know the people you hope to reach, so that you can communicate with them in terms of the things they are already looking

2011-02-02 Is the God of the Bible an Imposter?:

If you begin by thinking--as some churches teach--that the Bible is one book, perfect and consistent in every detail, then you can easily find passages in the Bible that shock you.    The Bible actually

2011-01-09 tax exempt ministries:

From the information you give, the arrangement certainly looks fishy. IRS oversight of congregations is looser than for other charities, but the same essential criteria apply. You can learn more about


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