The Transition to a New Dean: Frequently Asked Questions

Bishop Mathes presented the Forum on Sunday and explained how the search for a new Dean will occur.  Here are answers to recurring questions as we embark upon this journey.

Has the search begun?
The process has begun, although the search per se is not yet underway. It will take 12-18 months before we have a new permanent Dean.

What about leadership in the interim?
Our capable Sub-Dean, the Rev. Canon Allisyn Thomas, is currently Priest-in-Charge, and will continue as Sub-Dean. In the next couple of months, the Chapter, with the Bishop’s approval, will appoint an interim Dean who will provide leadership while the search is underway. The Interim Dean will have the full canonical authority of the Dean, but does not have tenure.

Is the interim Dean a candidate for the position?
No. The interim is specifically a temporary position to keep things running smoothly while the search is underway. This person cannot be a candidate for the position, and is not involved in the search, but rather with the other business of the Cathedral. Additionally, clergy who are currently serving are typically not candidates for the position.

Will I have a say in the search?
Yes! The first stage is one of self-study. There will be an active process to solicit opinions and ideas from the congregation, to clarify who we are as a congregation, and where we want to go. A Profile Committee will be appointed by the Chapter to lead this part of the process. The results of the self-study will be published online and available for everyone to read. This Profile of the Cathedral will become the principal tool for telling potential candidates about St. Paul’s. However, as the search moves forward, it becomes a confidential personnel issue, and the community will not be directly involved.

So who selects and evaluates candidates?
The Congregation is represented by Chapter, which will appoint a Calling, or Search, Committee. This Committee will reflect the diversity of our community and membership. The Calling Committee and the Bishop’s office will work together to identify candidates. Both applications and nominations will be accepted for consideration.  Ultimately, the Calling Committee will recommend one candidate to Chapter.

Does the Bishop select the candidates?

The Bishop’s role is advisory. He may help identify candidates, but the final selection is up to Chapter, based on the recommendation of the Calling Committee. However, Bishop Mathes must consent to the person ultimately called to serve as Dean.

Will I get to meet the candidates and hear them preach?
No. In order to protect the privacy of the candidates, their relationship with their current call, and the integrity of the process, the congregation will not meet the candidates. Members of the Calling Committee will visit the candidates’ home parishes to evaluate them.

What will happen to (insert your favorite ministry or program here)?
Lots of people are concerned whether the new Dean will value their favorite ministry. Be of good heart! Things aren’t going to change during the search, and it is up to us as a community to decide what is important as we move forward.

St Paul’s has been blessed by three outstanding Deans: The Very Rev. Jim Carroll, the Right Rev. John Chane, and the Very Rev. Scott Richardson. As Bishop Mathes reminded  us during his recent forum, our community is healthy and strong.  In the words of Julian of Norwich, “All shall be well, and all shall be well and all manner of thing shall be well.”

Brought to you by blogmaster Susan Forsburg, with help from Mark Lester

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1 thought on “The Transition to a New Dean: Frequently Asked Questions”

  1. Thank you for this excellent Q&A. I pray without ceasing for our leaders during the work ahead, and offer thanksgiving that we are in such good hands.


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