The Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut

Policies Concerning the Licensing of Clergy

The information below is in a document located in this folder.

Clergy who are canonically resident in other dioceses, and therefore not canonically resident in the Diocese of Connecticut (DBA the Episcopal Church in Connecticut – ECCT), and who wish to exercise the privileges of their ordination in any form in this diocese, are subject to the stipulations set forth in the Constitution and Canons of the Episcopal Church, Title III, Canon 9, Section 6(a):

No Priest shall preach, minister the Sacraments, or hold any public service, within the limits of any Diocese other than the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident for more than two months without a license from the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest desires to so officiate. No Priest shall be denied such a license on account of the Priest’s race, color, ethnic origin, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or age, except as otherwise provided in these Canons. Upon expiration or withdrawal of a license, a priest shall cease immediately to officiate.

Clergy who have moved to Connecticut temporarily or permanently, or who are visiting in Connecticut for longer than two months, and who maintain canonical residence in another diocese or branch of the Anglican Communion, or who are members of another denomination in communion with the Episcopal Church, must apply to the Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese of Connecticut for a license to officiate in this diocese.

When applying for a license, please write a letter to Bishop Douglas explaining why you are in Connecticut, how long you intend to be here, and the name of the parish in Connecticut with which you are affiliated.

Please also include the following with the application:

  • A letter of good standing from the Bishop of your diocese of canonical residence.
  • Verification that you have taken part in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut’s Basic Safe Church Training program. If you have not taken such training, the Bishop requires you to do so and to provide his office with a copy of your certificate. Dates and registration information for Basic Safe Church Training sessions can be found here.
  • During the time of applying to be licensed for the first time in Connecticut, please contact the Bishop’s office to arrange an interview with one of the bishops of the diocese.
  • For clergy who live outside of Connecticut: Describe in your application letter to Bishop Douglas how you anticipate serving in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut, e.g. being on the clergy supply list.

Background Checks

The Episcopal Church in Connecticut Connecticut (ECCT) requires background checks for all clergy serving within the diocese.  Please contact  the Administrator for Transitions and Clergy Support, Amber Page Gehr at apagegehr@episcopalct.org, to initiate the background checks. Clergy who are candidates in the search process of a Connecticut parish do not have to pay the fee for the Oxford Document Company’s background check or the criminal background check by SecureSearch Faith –ECCT will cover those costs. Clergy applying for a license to officiate in Connecticut in order to be on the diocesan supply list, or to officiate from time to time in Connecticut, will pay the $140 fee for the Oxford background check, as well as the fee for the SecureSearch Faith criminal background check, which can range from $14 to $80 depending on what states and how many counties the clergy person has lived in.  (The current fee made payable to ECCT is $155. Please send a check in with your request for a license.) The fees for the background checks are non-refundable, and payment does not guarantee that the license to officiate will be issued.

Licenses are issued for one year, and are valid through December 31 of the year of issue. The License to Officiate must be renewed annually by written request to the Bishop in November or December. Responsibility for initiating the renewal lies with the licensed person. Your bishop’s letter of good standing is generally a one-time requirement and background checks are updated every five years. Mandatory Clergy Professional Development days are held every three years and attendance is required for all clergy serving in the diocese.