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Rector Search Process

Bethesda Episcopal Church has begun a search for its next permanent Rector.  There are 21 steps in the Standard Parish Transition to a new Rector.  It is a national, and possibly international, search for candidates.  According to Elizabeth Strickland, the Albany Diocesan’s Transition Minister, the transition process usually takes approximately 18 months, though a few additional months may be added until the new Rector starts due to moving and other logistics.  Church canon law provides that the Vestry is the search committee that conducts the Rector search.  The 21 steps break down into four phases, which are briefly outlined here.

Phase I:  The Information Phase

  1. Diocesan Deployment Officer / Diocese Transition Minister Meets with Vestry
  2. Conduct Parish Meetings for Discussion and Input
  3. Design and Administer the Parish Survey
  4. Develop Rector Search Criteria
  5. Create a Parish Profile

Phase II:  The Advertisement Phase

  1. Prepare Parish Office of Transition Ministry (OTM) Portfolio for the OTM Website
  2. Diocese Transition Minister Posts OTM Portfolio on the OTM Website
  3. Develop Interview Questions for References and Applicants
  4. Advertise Position in Church Publications and Websites

Phase III:  The Evaluation Phase*

  1. Receive Applications (60-day period is typical)
  2. Evaluate Applications Against Previously Established Criteria
  3. Determine Candidates for Further Consideration
  4. Interview Candidates by Telephone
  5. Interview References of Candidates by Telephone
  6. Select Finalist (Top 3)
  7. Visit the 3 Finalists
  8. Request Oxford Background Checks for 3 Finalists (Diocese Transition Minister)
  9. Host Visits from 3 Finalists and Request Appointments for Each with Bishop

Phase IV:  The Selection Phase

  1. Select Rector and Request the Bishop’s Approval Before Issuing Call
  2. Issue Call to the Rector
  3. Finalize and Sign the Rector-Parish Covenant Relationship Document

Welcome Bethesda’s Next Rector to lead Bethesda in its Worship of God and Service of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ…

* Per tradition and at the strong recommendation of the Diocesan Transition Minister,  the names and parish locations of candidates are confidential and known only to the Vestry.