Frequently asked questions

How long does the search take?

How long does a bishop search take? In our Diocese, the process will take 15 months from the appointment of the Search Committee in November 2017 to the electing convention on February 9, 2019. The timeline is available here.


What happens during the search? 

During the search process: 

  • The Search Committee will host listening events to gather information about the diocese, and hear what the people are looking for in a new bishop. 
  • The Search Committee will Create and publish a diocesan profile about what we seek in a new bishop. 
  • The Search Committee will Receive and evaluate open nominations. 
  • The Search Committee will present a slate of 3 to 5 candidates to the Standing Committee. This process takes at least 6 months. 
  • The Diocese will host the candidates for ‘walkabouts’ at several locations with open public forums to give everyone a chance to meet them, ask questions of them and hear their responses.
  • A special electing convention will be held on February 9, 2019 at Trinity Cathedral in Sacramento to elect the 8th bishop of the Diocese of Northern California.

Who is on the Search Committee?

The Standing Committee appoints people to the Search Committee in accordance with the Constitution and Canons governing our diocese. Meet the Search Committee here.


Is the process open to people of the diocese?

Parts of the process are open, and parts are confidential. The open parts of the process include: 

  • A listening phase where the Search Committee gathers information about our Diocese, invites feedback and ideas and visions about where we as a Diocese are feeling called by God to go, the kind of leader we need to call.
  • The open nomination phase in spring 2018, where people may nominate persons they believe to be qualified to become our next Bishop for consideration by the Search Committee.
  • The "walkabout" phase, beginning in December 2018, where candidates will be able to meet people of the diocese and answer questions

The closed portions of the process include:

  • Spring/early summer 2018 (once nominations close) through winter of 2018, when the Search Committee is in conversations with particular nominees. During this period the Search Committee will not be able to share how many nominees they have, how many are remaining in the process, or if a particular individual is or is not part of the pool.

What is a diocesan profile?

A document that accurately describes the diocese and articulates a call for the next bishop. Profiles are created by the Search Committee from information gathered typically through a series of listening events, surveys, and interviews around the diocese.


Do different members of the search committee represent different "types" of churches?

No. The Search Committee must represent the Diocese as a whole. 


Hold that thought! You’ll want to ask the person to take a look at our position profile first, which the Search Committee will create and publish in the spring of 2018. This will give an overview of who we are as a Diocese, what we’ve heard in the listening process, and the gifts, skills, and qualities we are seeking in our new Bishop. Once that is public, then we’ll accept nominations.

How do I nominate someone to be our next bishop?


Will we know everyone who applies to be bishop?

No. In order to respect the confidentiality of everyone who applies, we will only publish the list of the names of the 3-5 candidates on our slate for Bishop after they have been presented to the Standing Committee.


Who votes for the next bishop?

A special electing convention will be held on February 9, 2019 at Trinity Cathedral to elect the 8th Bishop of the Diocese. The voting membership of the Convention is composed of members of the Clergy canonically and actually resident in the Diocese and lay delegates, elected as members in accordance with the Canons of our diocese. Please note that the delegates elected at 2018 annual Parish Meetings (as directed by Canon) will be the delegates voting at the special convention.


When will we have a new bishop?

Providing the Standing Committee receives the consents for the consecration of the Bishop-Elect from a majority of the Bishops Diocesan of the Church and a majority of the Standing Committees of the dioceses, the consecration is scheduled for June 29, 2019. The Most Rev. Michael B. Curry, Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church, is the chief consecrator.