Skip to Main Content

Diocese of East Tennessee Leadership Positions

Each annual diocesan convention elects leaders for the diocese and the bishop appoints leaders for certain committees. Descriptions of responsibilities for elected and appointed leaders are listed below. Positions rotate terms, however, so not every position is available each year.

Bishop and Council

The Bishop and Council comprises the bishop plus ten lay and clerical members who represent each of the three geographical areas of the diocese – two of each from the populous South East and Middle East areas and one of each from the Upper East Area. Each term is three years. Clergy and lay members may not be from the same parish, and members must be 18 years old or more. Bishop and Council members may not serve simultaneously on the Standing Committee. Members gather four to six times a year for meetings at the Diocesan House in Knoxville, and annual meetings may include an overnight retreat.

“B&C” carries out the work of the Diocesan Convention between its annual meetings and oversees the program of the diocese. Among its responsibilities, B&C prepares the diocesan budget to be approved by Diocesan Convention and approves grants and loans recommended by the Opportunity Fund Committee. Members follow implementation of convention resolutions and work with the bishop on ministry and mission decisions in the diocese. Members may also serve on committees and/or work on projects and tasks between meetings at large, and may need to build and lead teams to accomplish goals and complete projects.

For a list of Bishop and Council members and their terms of office, see the Bishop & Council Page.

Camp and Retreat Center Board

According to the diocesan canons, “the management of the affairs of the diocesan camp and retreat center shall be provided by a Camp and Retreat Center Board of Managers … of no fewer than twelve persons appointed by the bishop with the consent of the convention.” Four members rotate off annually. Responsibilities include guiding development of the property, working with the executive director, planning programming and myriad other functions. This year the board has met almost monthly, sometimes at Grace Point and sometimes at the Diocesan House.

Commission on Ministry

The Commission on Ministry is responsible for those matters set forth in Title III, Canon 2 of the Canons of the Church, in particular the “present and future opportunities and needs for the ministry of all baptized persons.” This includes “the design and oversight of the ongoing process for recruitment, discernment, formation for ministry and assessment of readiness.”

Fifteen individuals are appointed by the bishop and approved by the convention for three-year terms, and they may serve successive terms. Three clergy and two lay persons rotate off annually.

Committee on the Church Pension Fund

Two clergy and three lay representatives are appointed by the bishop annually to serve as liaison and a communication link between parishes and the institution. The committee furnishes annually to the fund a list of the clergy and their pay, and it receives from the fund statements of contributions. This committee works with the treasurer and financial administrator of the diocese and supports surviving spouses and minor dependents, and it reports to the Bishop and Council and to the diocese on the state of the fund.

Committee on the Constitution and Canons

The bishop appoints four clergy and three lay members for three-year terms, and members may serve successive terms. At least one member must be an attorney. The committee proposes changes to the diocesan canons as needed so that they conform to the canons of the Episcopal Church. The committee also may “make recommendations at the Convention for amendments to the Constitution or these Canons for the operation of the Diocese,” and any other requested changes to the canons must be processed through this committee.

Disciplinary Board

Four clergy and three lay serve on the Disciplinary Board each for a three-year term. Members of the Disciplinary Board may not serve simultaneously on the Standing Committee.

Functions of the Disciplinary Board may be found in the Canons of The Episcopal Church, Title IV.

Episcopal Endowment Corp.

This body has custody, control and is charged with the investment of all funds placed with it by the diocese. In addition to the bishop, four or five members serve three-year terms and are elected by the convention.

General Convention Deputies

Four clergy and four lay people are elected in the year prior to that of a General Convention. One or two additional nominees in each order will be retained as alternates. Deputies serve for three years – until the next group is elected – and they may be elected to successive terms.

Deputies sit in the House of Deputies of the General Convention, which is the legislative body of the Episcopal Church. The House of Bishops is the other unit in this bicameral body. Deputies are not delegates; they are deputized to act on their own and to vote their own consciences.

In the Diocese of East Tennessee, deputies attend an overnight diocesan deputation meeting and the Province IV Synod meeting, and then they attend the 9-10 day General Convention.

At the General Convention, they consider resolutions on virtually every topic imaginable, elect officials, consider a budget, pray, worship, laugh and sometimes cry together.

When they return, they are asked to interpret for East Tennessee Episcopalians, along with the bishop, the actions and decisions of the convention.

Click here to meet our deputies. Please consult a current deputy for more information about General Convention, or see the official Episcopal Church web page for the General Convention.

Standing Committee

The Standing Committee serves as a council of advice to the bishop. It has six members, three clergy and three lay. Each term is three years, and members can be re-elected for one successive term. One clergy and one lay member rotate off each year. Members of the Standing Committee may not serve simultaneously on the Bishop and Council or Commission on Ministry.

The Standing Committee schedules monthly meetings, but sometimes it conducts its business via e-mail or conference call.

Among its responsibilities, the Standing Committee gives consent for all bishops elected in the Episcopal Church. It recommends individuals for ordination. It gives the bishop advice on the purchase, sale or encumbrance of any property held by a congregation of the diocese. All complaints involving sexual misconduct by lay employees, volunteers or clergy are referred to the Standing Committee. In the event the diocese is without a bishop, the Standing Committee serves as the ecclesiastical authority.

For a list of Standing Committee members and their terms of office, see the Standing Committee Page.

University of the South Trustees

Two lay people and one member of the clergy serve on the board of trustees of the University of the South. The term of office is three years, and trustees can be re-elected for one successive term. One trustee rotates off each year.

Trustees are expected to attend the annual board meeting each May and any special meetings that may occur throughout the year.

Trustees should be personally committed to the basic aims of the university. They are responsible for informing their dioceses about the university and should be willing to contribute to its financial well-being.