Bishops & Staff
Choose a bishop or department from below or from the list on the left to learn more.
The Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas, Ph.D. is the XV Bishop Diocesan of The Episcopal Church in Connecticut, serving approximately 168 parishes and faith communities in the state of Connecticut. Elected in October 2009, he was ordained bishop in April 2010. Douglas Came to Connecticut from the Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts where he was the Angus Dun Professor of Mission and World Christianity for over two decades. He has been active in the wider Episcopal Church as a member of The Executive Council, Chair of the Standing Commission on World Mission, and founder of Episcopalians for Global Reconciliation. Douglas formerly served on the Standing Committee of the Anglican Communion and represented The Episcopal Church on the Anglican Consultative Council. He is a widely published author and speaker on topics related to missiology, the missional Church, history of The Episcopal Church, contemporary Anglicanism, and world Christianity.
The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens was elected and consecrated in 2007 and serves as the Bishop Suffragan of the Episcopal Church in CT. Laura enjoys working with parishes and communities as they seek to enhance their life of discipleship, nurturing their spiritual lives and engagement with scripture. Linking this discipleship with ministries of being sent out into the world as apostles to share the good news is the primary focus of her ministry.
There are two bishops serving the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. The bishop diocesan is the Rt. Rev. Ian T. Douglas Ph.D., elected in 2009 and consecrated in 2010. The Rt. Rev. Laura J. Ahrens, D.Min. is bishop suffragan and was elected in 2007. The bishops meet regularly and work together in a shared episcopal ministry. In addition, each has assigned responsibility for specific areas of ministry and specific organizations and networks.
The office of mission finance and operations oversees all accounting and financial operations and with other staff, oversees property management, human resources, information technology services, and other administrative and operational needs.
The office of Mission Advancement & Coaching helps the people and parishes in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut to reimagine and restructure to more fully participate in God's mission. He was part of the Task Force for Reimagining the Episcopal Church in Connecticut and with the bishops, is leading the transition to realize the changes that were proposed, and accepted. He is also working with parishes and individuals to engage in missional experiments.
The Office of Mission Integrity and [Lay] Training promotes and sustains safe and healthy boundaries by equipping the diocese to respond to clergy misconduct and violations of clergy professional standards, overseeing appropriate background checks, and coaching parish leaders when responding to misconduct by laity. Additionally, the office facilitates educational opportunities for lay leaders with a focus on multi-cultural awareness, strengthening relationships and capacity, and safe church training.
The Office of Mission Leadership’s primary responsibility is “to work with parishes in times of transition to help bring about missional transformation.” It includes:
- Recruiting, assisting with the selection, and overseeing appointment of ordained leaders committed to God’s mission;
- Assisting parishes seeking to call a rector, priest-in charge, or missional pastor (in close cooperation with the bishops);
-Working closely with the Commission on Ministry and its leadership to raise up missional priests and deacons for the 21st century Church;
- Partnering with other diocesan staff, particularly the Canon for Mission Collaboration and Congregational Life, in working with emerging networks and communities of practice in the Diocese of Connecticut to help ordained and lay leaders become more faithful to God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation.
The office of Communications and Media is responsible for:
-finding and sharing stories and images of God's mission
-providing and supporting platforms for communication by bishops, staff, clergy, laity, parishes, groups, etc
-directing and overseeing the diocesan communications strategy in service to goals & the gospel
-developing, editing and overseeing distribution of pan-diocesan news, information, promotions and annual convention
-supporting parish communications
Formation is rooted, first and foremost, in baptism. As such, the Rev. Halley has a role in providing resources for the lifewide and lifelong formation of all baptized Episcopalians in Connecticut. As Dean of Formation, the Rev. Halley also shepherds and supports those in formation to serve the Church and world as priests and deacons while working with the Rev. Lee Ann Tolzmann, Canon for Mission Leadership, to provide ongoing support for new clergy. Additionally, he is the primary staff contact for the Commission on Ministry (COM) and works to implement the recommendations of the COM.
The Secretary of the Diocese is elected annually at the Annual Convention. There is no limit to the number of terms served. The Rev. Sandra Cosman is the current Secretary of the Diocese (elected 2014). She also serves as Secretary of the Mission Council.
The Archives of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut are the official repository for records created by and about the diocese, its related bodies, and individual Episcopalians. Our mission is to identify, collect, preserve, classify, and make available the records of the ongoing life and work of the Episcopal Church in Connecticut. We also offer reference service to Diocesan staff, clergy, laity and the general public. The Archives was created by resolution at the diocesan convention in 1866, and its resources exist as a part of the broader mission to support community life and parish work in the Episcopal Church in Connecticut.
The Secretary of Convention is an elected officer of the Annual Convention and is the chair of the Convention Planning Committee. Along with the Planning Committee, the Secretary of Convention has oversight over all aspects of Convention, from the Call to Convention that goes to all parishes and clergy to the Journal of Convention published after the Annual Convention, and everything in between.