Process for Nominations by Petition


The following process is based upon similar processes adopted in the dioceses of California, Easton, Maryland, Newark, North Carolina, Olympia, South Dakota, Southern Virginia and Western North Carolina. Some language is adopted with thanks. 

The canons of The Episcopal Church provide for an election process in which laity and clergy are empowered by the Holy Spirit to discern and raise up new episcopal leadership. No one person or group knows whom God will use, the people consenting, to lead this diocese. Rather, the invitation to leadership is a process of discerning a call.

The principal method for calling nominees for election in the Diocese of Massachusetts is discernment work carried out by the Bishop Nominating Committee (the “Nominating Committee”). This committee, comprised of a diverse and faithful group of lay persons and clergy, is appointed to carry out the task of forming a slate of nominees for election. 

The petition process, by contrast, is intended to address the circumstance when a person called to candidacy has not been vetted in the Nominating Committee process or was not identified by it as one of the slate of nominees. The petition process also opens an opportunity for the diocese to continue discerning the person God is calling to be our next bishop. 

The petition process is an opportunity for nominees to be considered after the preliminary slate is announced, providing enough time to have each petition nominee go through all aspects of the vetting process, including interviews, reference checks and background checks required by the diocese and The Episcopal Church. The practice of nominations from the floor of the electing convention is not allowed.

A petitioner has seven days after the preliminary slate of nominees is announced to submit all required documentation described below. ALL DOCUMENTATION must be submitted to the Bishop Nominating Committee electronically at no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern on March 22, 2024.

The decision of whether a petition nominee will continue in the process or be added to the slate will be made by the Standing Committee of the diocese and is not appealable.


Priests ordained, canonically resident and in good standing within a diocese in The Episcopal Church may petition to be a nominee for election as the 17th bishop diocesan of the Diocese of Massachusetts. 


All documentation must be submitted to the Bishop Nominating Committee electronically at, no later than 11:59 p.m. Eastern on March 22, 2024.

1.  Application

In your application, please submit the following items:

    A)  Letter of Introduction
    B)  Resumé/CV [pdf format]
    C)  Office of Transition Ministry Profile
    D)  A Link to a Video Sermon
    E)  Example of a Pastoral Letter in Response to a Local or World Event
    F)  Contact Information for Four References (One from Your Ecclesiastical Authority)
    G)  Responses to the following questions:
            1.  Who is Jesus to you?
            2.  What calls you to being a bishop? Why now? Why with the Diocese of Massachusetts?
            3.  When was a time that you faced a challenge or opportunity that called forth your gifts as a strategic leader?
                        Tell us this story.
            4.  The Diocese of Massachusetts works against sexism, racism and homophobia, and toward diversity, equity,                                 inclusion and belonging. Can you describe an experience articulating the social, economic and political                                 dimensions of the Gospel? In that experience, how did you engage with people with differing views?
            5.  Please share an experience working in a multicultural and/or multilingual context.

2.  Background Checks

The nominee will be required to undergo a thorough background check. The background check will involve a review of the nominee's financial history, credit, employment history, disciplinary history and other areas—including an interview by the chancellor. If, after review of the background check results, a nominee has failed the background check due to disqualifying information, the Nominating Committee shall forward a recommendation, the background check results and the name of the nominee to the Standing Committee.

The Standing Committee may, based on the disqualifying information, disqualify the nominee from consideration. A decision of disqualification by the Standing Committee is not appealable. 

3.  Nominators

It is the petition nominee's responsibility to ensure that your nominators meet the requirements described below and submit their forms by the deadline.

Each nominator must submit this form:

All petition nominees must submit six clergy and six lay nominators, two (one clergy and one lay) from each region in the diocese, by the deadline. Nominators must also meet the following requirements:

  • All Nominators:
    -No one may self-nominate themselves.
    -No more than one signature from a congregation/mission will be accepted. 
    -None may be a bishop, a member of the Standing Committee, a member of the Bishop Nominating Committee or Transition Committee.
  • Clergy Nominators:
    -At least one must be a deacon.
    -At least one must be a presbyter.
    -Each must be canonically resident and in good standing in the Diocese of Massachusetts.
  • Lay Nominators:
    -Each must be a communicant in good standing in their congregation.
    -Each must be a delegate to the Special Electing Convention of the Diocese of Massachusetts, as certified with the diocesan Office of Convention as of March 22, 2024.

Please share this form with your nominators:

It is the petition nominee's responsibility to ensure that your nominators meet the requirements described above and submit their forms by the deadline.

Please contact the Bishop Nominating Committee with any questions by e-mailing