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Parish Administrator

As defined by diocese: The parish administrator is a confirmed adult communicant in good standing and is authorized to exercise administrative responsibility in a congregation and serves under the direction of the clergy, as defined by the bishop. The parish administrator serves as custodian of all parochial records, administers the operation of the parish, is responsible for the completion of all reports that are required in compliance with diocesan and TEC canons, and manages budgeting and fiscal administration of the parish. 

  • Personal qualities and history of the Parish Administrator
    • Ability to work as a member of a ministry support team and to work collaboratively with other members of the parish and diocese for the good of the community 
    • Ability to analyze, prioritize, plan, and pay attention to detail 
    • Takes initiative with ability to lead or work in a team of volunteers or professionals 
    • Establishes personal system to ensure timelines for completing tasks 
    • Communicates issues and options in a rational manner including ability to convey technical issues accurately and concisely 
  • Formation considerations prior to licensing
    • A general understanding of aspects of parish administration and familiarization with the church’s Manual of Business Methods of Church Affairs 
    • A general knowledge of the canons, polity, structure, and decision-making processes in the Episcopal Church and Anglican Communion 
    • A specific knowledge of the appropriate canons for parish administrators 
  • Elements of training

    Parish administrator training includes completion of the following individual tracks: 

    • Review of the Manual of Business Methods of Church Affairs – with emphasis on forms and reporting requirements, audits, insurance matters, and budgeting and fiscal administration 
    • Parish Administrator Training – Review of the Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs with emphasis on methods and procedures for internal controls, accounting guidelines, insurance matters and business practices, budgeting, and fiscal administration, in accordance with the canons and policies of the Episcopal Church USA and the Diocese of East Tennessee. Other topics may include “Episcopal Doctrine and Governance,” “Forms and Reporting,” and “Insurance.” 
    • Communications –explore methods of internal and external communication opportunities within the parish. Areas covered will include web sites, electronic and print newsletters, social media, video and photography, bulletins, bulletin boards, targeted e-mail lists, ads, newspaper, radio and TV. 
  • Suggested resources for licensing and renewal


    • Speaking Faithfully. Jim Naughton & Rebecca Wilson, Morehouse Publishing, 2012 
    • Tweet If You [heart] Jesus: Practicing Church in the Digital Reformation. Elizabeth Drescher, Morehouse Publishing, 1st edition, 2011 
    • Manual of Business Methods in Church Affairs. Episcopal Parish Services, current edition 
    • Church Finance Today. Subscription 

    Web sites 



  • Renewal of license process

    A licensed lay Parish Administrator will be licensed for up to 3 years at a time. Before 3 year has passed, the licensed lay Parish Administrator should have: had opportunities to practice their ministry; received review of administration performance; continued to develop their skills; and should receive an assessment of their good standing.  

    At this time, a member of the clergy with oversight and responsibility for this ministry can recommend that their license be renewed or that they pursue other ministries within the church and give room for others to practice this ministry. 

    Each year the diocese will request an updated roster of licensed Parish Administrators for each parish and worshipping community.