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Why should I care who serves as bishop?

Bishops have a tremendous responsibility. The catechism of the Anglican Church of North America states “Bishops represent and serve Christ and the Church as chief pastors, catechists, and missionaries in the tradition of the apostles. They are to confirm and ordain, and to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the Church.” (page 60 question 143)

How is a bishop elected?

The process of electing a bishop is lengthy, typically spanning 18 months. Below is an overview of the process.

      • A nominating committee is assembled, prayerfully, by the diocesan standing committee.
      • The nominating committee surveys the diocese to obtain information about the health of the diocese, important issues currently involving the membership, and characteristics the diocese feels are important in its bishop.
      • A diocesan profile, bishop qualifications, and a job description are published by the committee.
      • Nominations are obtained.
      • Candidates are vetted by the nominating committee through a lengthy process of interviews, discussions with references, travel to home parishes, as well as significant candidate review and prayer.
      • Final candidates have the opportunity to meet and speak to individual parishes within the diocese.
      • A slate of candidates (typically 2 or 3 people) is submitted for voting at an electing synod.
What is an electing synod?

An electing synod is a meeting of the churches within the diocese. It is composed of the same people as a normal synod (clergy and lay delegates) but is called for the sole purpose of electing a bishop. At the meeting, representatives from each church pray and vote for candidates. The more candidates submitted, the longer the process. After the voting is complete (typically multiple rounds), a single person is elected as bishop.

What happens after the election ?
Once an election is complete, the selected candidate is submitted to the College of Bishops for consent. Each diocese elects a bishop for the whole Church and this is why consent from the College of Bishops is necessary. This occurs during the annual College of Bishops meeting. 
After approval from the College of Bishops is obtained, the final step is the consecration of a new bishop. This ordination includes the laying of hands by the archbishop on the newly elected bishop. This maintains apostolic succession. 
What is apostolic succession?

This term refers to the ability of bishops to trace their lineage back to the apostles. Each bishop has been consecrated by someone who has previously undergone the same prayer and laying on of hands by another bishop. This can be traced backwards in time to the apostles, maintaining an unbroken line of succession.

The office of bishop was not created by the Church but by Christ and willed by him for the Church.  Through the historic succession of bishops, the Church is visibly connected to the ministry of the apostles.

Click here to learn more about apostolic succession and to see how the bishop we elect will be connected to St. Peter through it.

What are the basic requirements for a man to be nominated for bishop?
  • MDiv degree or equivalent
  • Minimum 10 years of parish ministry experience
  • Not divorced
  • Ordained in the Anglican Church
What are the qualifications to be a bishop in the ACNA?

First and foremost, the bible speaks to the qualifications of a leader in the church:

In addition, the ACNA Provincial Canons outline further criteria in Title III, Canon 8, section 3:

Section 3 – Concerning Criteria for the Episcopate
To be a suitable candidate for the episcopate, a person must:

1. Be a person of prayer and strong faith;
2. Be pious, have good morals and exhibit Godly character;
3. Have a zeal for souls;
4. Have demonstrated evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit;
5. Possess the knowledge and gifts which equip him to fulfill the office;
6. Be held in good esteem by the faithful;
7. Be a male Presbyter at least 35 years old;
8. Have demonstrated the ability to lead and grow the Church.

Lastly, candidates should match the qualifications described in the Gulf Atlantic Diocese Bishop candidate profile.

Can someone outside the Gulf Atlantic Diocese be considered as a candidate for our next bishop?


Who are the members of the Bishop Nominating Committee?

The Bishop Nominating Committee is made up of the following members:


  • The Rev. David Trautman (Chair)
  • The Rev. Dr. Travis Boline
  • The Rev. Canon Dr. Jessica Jones
  • The Rev. Canon Dr. Michael Petty


  • Dr. Sam Ashoo
  • Heather Allert
  • Kaiti Kirby (Youth)
  • Gabe Holloway
  • Mark Wilkerson
How are names submitted to the Bishop Nominating Committee for consideration?

Candidates are formally nominated by a delegate to the electing synod. Delegates include clergy and lay members from each parish in the Gulf Atlantic Diocese. 

How long is the selection process for the new bishop of the Gulf Atlantic Diocese?
May 2021: Announce call for new bishop
June 2021: Conduct diocesan survey
August 1, 2021: Publish diocesan and candidate profiles and solicit names of candidates
September 1, 2021: Deadline for receiving candidate names for consideration
September 2021 – January 2022: Conduct interviews
February – March 2022: Narrow list of candidates to 2-3 finalists
April 2022: Publish names for election; candidates visit
May 14, 2022: Electing Synod, St. Peter’s Cathedral
June 2022: College of Bishop’s Meeting and Consent
August 26, 2022: Celebration of Bishop Lebhar’s Ministry
August 27, 2022: Consecration of New Bishop