Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Why do we need a bishop?

 In the Anglican tradition, the bishop is the center and focus of the mission and ministry of the diocese.  Our name, Episcopal, means “of bishops.” The ancient meaning of the word referred to an overseer, and the bishop offers a ministry of oversight over the parishes of the diocese. The bishop is called to bring us together as the larger community of faith for the work of the Church.  

What does a bishop do?

 “The ministry of a bishop is to represent Christ and his Church, particularly as apostle, chief priest, and pastor of a diocese; to guard the faith, unity, and discipline of the whole Church;, to proclaim the Word of God; to act in Christ’s name for the reconciliation of the world and the building up of the Church; and to ordain others to continue Christ’s ministry.” (Book of Common Prayer, p. 855). In practice, a bishop generally presides and preaches at a different congregation every week, baptizes, confirms, and ordains, oversees the work of diocesan ministries, and acts as pastor to the clergy. 

Who is eligible to be nominated as our bishop?

 The canons state that a bishop must be at least 30 years old at consecration and must resign from all jurisdiction at 72 years of age. Any priest or bishop in good standing in any of the churches of the Anglican Communion is eligible; however, a bishop diocesan may not enter an election process until he or she has completed five years in the position to which he or she was elected. 

What is the process for nomination?

The Standing Committee establishes the process for nomination. For our election, nominations and applications of qualified individuals will be accepted during the month of May. Two forms will be made available when the profile is published: one form for those being nominated by someone else and a second for those nominating themselves.  

Can other nominees be added later?

 Once the slate has been announced, additional candidates who meet the requirements to stand for election may be added by petition. The Petition process is open for ten days following the release of the slate.   

Who elects our bishop?

 The election will take place at our Annual Convention in November. All priests functioning in an active ministry and canonically resident in the diocese have a vote.  The lay delegates elected by each parish for Convention will each have a vote. Voting will take place until a single nominee receives a majority of votes from both lay people and clergy on the same ballot. The election must be consented to within 120 days by a majority of bishops with jurisdiction and a majority of Standing Committees across the Episcopal Church. 

Have a question about the Bishop search process?

If you have a question about the search for the XV Bishop of the Diocese of South Carolina that is not answered above, please send an email to the Rev. Dr. Philip Linder, Chair of the Bishop Search Committee at