How to Become a Bishop

Bishop Transition Process

Both ECCT and the General Church Canons lay out the requirements and process for the election of a bishop.

Per the Constitution of The Episcopal Church (Article II, Sec. 2) “No one shall be ordained and consecrated Bishop until the attainment of thirty years of age; nor without the consent of a majority of the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses, and the consent of a majority of the Bishops of this Church exercising jurisdiction. No one shall be ordained and consecrated Bishop by fewer than three Bishops.”

ECCT’s Canon XVI (Bishop Transition Process) lays out the process for the election of a bishop in Connecticut. What follows is an abbreviated description of this process.

  1. Upon being notified of an anticipated vacancy in the office of Bishop Diocesan or Bishop Suffragan, the Standing Committee informs the Presiding Bishop’s office, announces the anticipated vacancy to the Diocese, calls for a Special Convention for an episcopal election, and calls for the formation and election of a Bishop Transition Committee (BTC).
  2. Once elected the BTC convenes and, following the call of the Holy Spirit, adopts rules, organizes subcommittees, determines leadership, and engages with consultants, chaplains, and other professionals as needed.
  3. The BTC then works to create a profile of the Diocese, identify suitable Candidates, in particular minority Candidates, and complete appropriate background checks. Committee Nominees are chosen by the BTC from the pool of initial Candidates and announced.
  4. Once announced, Petition Candidates may be proposed to the BTC by the petition from clergy or lay delegates to Convention for 10 days. Petition Candidates are considered by the BTC using the same criteria as the Committee Nominees.
  5. Once all nominees (Committee and Petition) are known, the BTC facilitates opportunities for all nominees to get to know ECCT and the people of ECCT to meet the nominees.
  6. A special convention will be held on May 21, 2022 for the purpose of electing the new Bishop Diocesan.
  7. Once elected, the Secretary of Convention submits the name of the Bishop-elect to the Presiding Bishop and the Standing Committees of all other Dioceses in The Episcopal Church along with: a statement of receipt of evidence of the Bishop-elect’s having been duly ordered Deacon and Priest; certificates from a licensed medical doctor and licensed psychiatrist, authorized by the Presiding Bishop, that they have thoroughly examined the Bishop-elect as to that person’s medical, psychological and psychiatric condition and have not discovered any reason why the person would not be fit to undertake the work for which the person has been chosen; and evidence that a testimonial was signed by a constitutional majority of the Convention.
  8. The Presiding Bishop then notifies every Bishop of the election of a Bishop-elect and requests a statement of consent or withholding of consent from each. In addition, each Standing Committee in The Episcopal Church, has 120 days to notify ECCT’s Standing Committee of their consent or refusal. If a majority of the Standing Committees of all the Dioceses consents to the ordination of the Bishop-elect, our Standing Committee forwards this information on to the Presiding Bishop. If the Presiding Bishop receives sufficient statements to indicate a majority of those Bishops consent to the ordination, the Presiding Bishop then notifies our Standing Committee and the Bishop-elect of the consent.
  9. The BTC then assists with the consecration or installation of the Bishop-Elect, including assisting with the transition between bishops.
Learn More about the Ordination of Bishops in the Constitution and Canons of The Protestant Episcopal Church and the Episcopal Church in Connecticut