About the Bishop search process

Bishops emerged in New Testament times, with the title “episkopos” – a Greek word that means “overseer.” Today the office of Bishop carries with it a wide range of responsibilities including defending the integrity of the faith, confirming and receiving new members into the Church, ordaining and providing pastoral care for priests and deacons, providing community leadership, administering the business affairs of their diocese, and participating in the affairs of The Episcopal Church and the worldwide Anglican Communion.

In 2017, the Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Northern California, The Rt. Rev. Barry Beisner, announced his intention to retire. At that time, the Diocesan Standing Committee formed a Bishop Search Committee, which will prayerfully discern where God is calling our diocese and who may best help us lead. The process will take 15 months from the appointment of the Search Committee in November 2017 to the electing convention on February 9, 2019.

Early in 2018 the Search Committee gathered information about our diocese, inviting feedback, ideas and visions about who we are and where we are feeling called by God to go. They used this information to create a profile that describes the diocese and articulates our call for a new bishop. This profile was published in the spring of 2018 for potential candidates to review and submit their application. There will also be an open nomination process in which people from around the diocese may submit the names of individuals whom they feel may be qualified to be bishop for consideration by the Search Committee.

Once the application and nomination process closes the Search Committee will be in confidential conversations with particular applicants and nominees. This part of the process is confidential out of respect to the candidates and their current ministries; it is important to honor their privacy as they are in discernment.

A slate of candidates will be introduced in December 2018. At that time the members of the diocese will have an opportunity to petition for candidates who are not presented on the slate. Members of the diocese will have an opportunity to meet the candidates in person in January, 2019.

During this time please pray for the members of the Search Committee, for the candidates in discernment, and for the Church. Once the profile and application are made public (spring 2018), it will also be important that members of the diocese are considering who might be a good fit for the position of bishop and to help connect those people to the posted information so that they can decide themselves if they’d like to apply.

Delegates to diocesan convention (November 2018) will also be the voting delegates at the election of the new bishop in February 2019. These delegates were elected at parish annual meetings in January / February 2018.


Want to know more? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions