Profile of the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of PittsburghDownload PDF
The Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh (ADP) seeks a godly leader gifted for the task of shepherding our diocese into a season of renewed vision, restored relationships, and continued faithfulness to the Gospel mission. The candidates we seek must be eligible for this task in terms of chemistry, competency, character and according to the constitutions and canons of the ACNA and the ADP.
Though primarily contained within Southwestern and Central Pennsylvania, the ADP has extraordinary diversity in terms of the culture, history, socio-economic status, strengths and challenges of the communities we serve. It is vital that our next bishop be capable of being “all things to all people” (1 Cor. 9:22) for the sake of the Gospel and in pursuit of true service to the entirety of the diocese. Our next bishop will need to be as comfortable in an old steel community as he is in an urban context. He should be warm and approachable, capable of discerning what is required in each interaction with individuals or groups for the good of the Gospel. He should be relationally responsive and engaged. We seek someone who is enjoyable to be with and who truly enjoys being with us.
The responsibilities of a bishop are many and varied and thus require a unique set of gifts and skills. The key areas of competency we desire in our next bishop are as follows:
Visionary and Collaborative Leadership: The bishop must, in collaboration with others and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, be able to cast a clear vision for the next season of Gospel work in the ADP. Our next bishop should be able to honor our rich history, while not being constrained or intimidated by it. We seek someone who invites and values creativity, ingenuity and the perspective and wisdom of others in pursuit of expanding the kingdom of God.
Pastoral Care and Oversight: A wonderful asset of the ADP is our faithful and competent clergy and lay leaders who genuinely love the Lord and one another. Our next bishop should be able to care for our leadership skillfully and prayerfully. He should be gifted for and genuinely enjoy the work of equipping, encouraging, guiding and tending to the souls of our deacons and priests. He should also be able to think strategically about how to connect our clergy in ways that leverage their differing giftings and backgrounds for the betterment of their work. The bishop is also to work alongside the Commission on Ministry to recognize those who have the gifts and experience that the Church needs to fulfill its mission in this current age. The bishop must discern those whom God is calling to ordained ministry and be prepared to guide and support both men and women in that process.
Further, with consideration to the difficulties of the last decade within the diocese, we look to our next bishop to give the diocese, particularly its clergy, space for open dialogue, reconciliation, healing, and the rebuilding of trust.
Transformational Leader: The quickly changing landscape of ministry in a post-COVID world coupled with a greater number of our clergy needing secondary income signals that our next bishop must be able to think in terms of mission to a new land rather than taking over a settled and static structure. This transformational thinking must also include a plan to raise up future leaders as many of our clergy age and consider retirement. He also must consider the tremendous resource we have in our network of deacons and how to best support and deploy them in their ministries. He should be committed to continuing and enhancing the diocesan relationship to Trinity School for Ministry and be willing to invest in the future leaders studying there.
He must carefully consider those challenges that lay ahead for us and embolden us to be courageous and flexible as we discern God’s will for this diocese in the post-realignment ACNA and post-COVID world.
Bridge-Builder: The ADP desires to move into a season of renewed continuity of vision and more effective and strategic collaboration within the entire diocese. We desire a bishop who can think creatively about how to manage the assets throughout the diocese and leverage them for our Gospel work. Further, we desire that our next bishop be not only willing, but also excited to work with our valuable ministry partners and cultivate increasingly fruitful relationships.1 He must also be prepared to faithfully represent the ADP to the province, the wider Anglican Communion, and to any other organizations with which he chooses to engage with goodwill and an eye towards partnership for the advancement of the Gospel.
Competent Administrator: Our next bishop should understand and be competent to meet the practical and administrative demands placed on the office. He will work closely with our diocesan staff and other diocesan structures to cultivate the smooth running of a nimble and responsive administrative body. He will oversee the work and ministries flowing from the diocesan office and consider carefully how it may best support the clergy and local churches. A crucial aspect of this administration will be an ability to establish a robust ordination process that attracts and discerns those qualified and called by God to ordained office in the church.
Marriage and Family: According to Scripture, the candidate, if married, should be “the husband of one wife” (1 Tim 3:2). He should have a strong marriage, with an openness to children (see BCP, 201-202). His wife should be a “coworker in the Gospel” and fully supportive of her husband’s ministry. If single, the candidate should be committed to a chaste single life.
The qualifications for the office of bishop, as laid out in the Holy Scriptures, are based primarily on the content of one’s character. Taken together, the relevant Scripture passages paint a beautiful picture of a shepherd who follows very closely in the footsteps of our Good and Chief Shepherd.
The “under-shepherd” the Bible describes is faithful and trustworthy in every way. He is steadfast in his care and provision for both his earthly family and his spiritual family (1 Tim. 3:1-7). He is eager and willing to execute the tasks the Lord sets before him (1 Pet. 5:1-3). Being led by the Spirit, he exhibits discipline and self-control in his personal life and his dealings with others (Ti 1:7). He is humble and teachable, considering others greater than himself (Phil. 2:3; 1 Pet. 5:3,5). He will protect the flock from false teachers and doctrine, while feeding his flock on the truth of the Gospel. He has both the heart and the will to bring back the strays and search for the lost (Eze. 34:16). The undercurrent of his work should be cheerfulness and joy, communicating to his flock and to the world that we do indeed bear GOOD news (1 Thess. 5:16). Above all, he must know and deeply love the Chief Shepherd of our souls (1 Pet. 2:25; Mk 12:30). This deep love will, among other ways, be reflected in a commitment to prayer, a thorough and ever-increasing knowledge of the Scriptures, and a sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.
For further examination of the character requirements of bishop: see 1 Peter 5:1-3, 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9. Also see the ACNA Ordinal for Consecration of a Bishop and ACNA Constitution and Canons, Title III, Canon 8.
The Constitution and Canons of the ACNA Qualifications for Leadership
To be eligible for the office of bishop, an individual must meet the requirements set out by the Constitution and Canons of the ACNA and the Diocese of Pittsburgh.
“A Bishop is an overseer of the flock and as such is called to propagate, to teach, and to uphold and defend the faith and order of the Church willingly and as God wants him to – not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to his care, but being a wholesome example to the entire flock of Christ” (1 Peter 5:23). Title III Canon 8 Sec. 1
Candidates are to be “baptized and confirmed, to be sufficiently instructed in Holy Scripture and in the doctrine, discipline and worship of this Church, as defined by this Province, to be empowered by the Holy Spirit and a wholesome example and pattern to the entire flock of Christ.” Title III Canon 2 Sec. 1
To be a suitable candidate for the episcopate, a person must:
- Be a person of prayer and strong faith;
- Be pious, have good morals and exhibit Godly character;
- Have a zeal for souls;
- Have demonstrated evidence of the fruit of the Holy Spirit;
- Possess the knowledge and gifts which equip him to fulfill the office;
- Be held in good esteem by the faithful;
- Be a male Presbyter at least 35 years old;
- Have demonstrated the ability to lead and grow the Church.
Title III Canon 8 Sec. 3