Bishop Search Narrows


On November 9, 2017, Bishop Kirk Smith announced his retirement and called for the election of his succesor. On the same, day, Bishop Todd Ousley, from the Presiding Bishop's Office of Pastoral Development who oversees the transition process for the Episcopal Church, outlined the next steps. The Standing Committee, with The Rev. Canon Daniel Tantimonaco as President, will oversee the search and transition process for the diocese. The Diocesan Staff's responsibility will be to work to keep the diocese doing business as usual throughout this transition.

The Search Committee is designated by the diocesan Canons. The names of those who are serving on the committee are listed below. Their job is to find a list of final candidates to present to the whole diocese in a series of "walkabouts" before the election takes place at the Diocesan Convention on October 19-20, 2018. The bishop-elect will then work with Bishop Smith for a few months before being consecrated as the Sixth Bishop of Arizona on March 9, 2019 by Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.

Below are links to announcements and other information about the status of the search process. If there are any questions, please contact Clyde Kunz, Chair of the Search Committee, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


The Standing Committee has accepted and hereby presents the recommendations of the Bishop Search Committee for our next Bishop. This follows a rigorous search and prayerful discernment process that began with review of written applications (from which gender, race/ethnicity, age, and other identifying information had been redacted) followed by video interviews with the most qualified applicants, then face-to-face interviews and worshipful, prayerful interaction with several semi-final candidates.

Each nominee submitted essay responses to twelve questions as part of their initial application; those questions and their responses may be seen by clicking on the link below each bio. Nominated candidates and a short bio of each, are presented in alphabetical order:

The Rev. Dr. Dena Marcel Cleaver-Bartholomew
Rector, Christ Church (Manlius, NY) Diocese of Central New York

Born into a military family and raised in the Episcopal Church, Dena has had the opportunity to witness the faithfulness of God’s people in a wide variety of contexts. She learned to go where the mission is, and is fortunate to be married to a man who shares her commitment to responding to God’s call. David and Dena met at Yale Divinity School and have been married 30 years. He is also ordained, has a doctorate in biblical studies, and does taxes for fun. They are blessed with two daughters. Audrey is engaged and will begin law school this fall.  Lydia recently graduated from college with a degree in economics, and will participate in the Episcopal Service Corps this year. They are each active discerners of God’s call and willing to invest themselves where the Holy Spirit leads.

Dena’s call is to be a faithful leader who listens to, discerns with, and facilitates the joyful transformation of God’s people. Ordained for 30 years, she seeks and serves God, the eternal source of life and love, the One who creates all that is. With gifts for preaching, teaching, organizing, and creatively collaborating, Dena builds community with others as they follow Jesus together. She is a lifelong learner, and welcomes the opportunity to grow in knowledge in differing environments. In 2017 Dena earned a Doctor of Ministry in Church Leadership and Community Witness from Emory University. 

Dena enjoys traveling, especially with her family, and delights in exploring new places, trying new foods, and appreciating other cultures. She loves to read, do yoga, and walk, and has a special fondness for dogs.

Answers to Essay Questions

The Rev. Jennifer Anne Reddall
Rector, Church of the Epiphany (NY, NY) Diocese of New York

The Rev. Jennifer Reddall, the Rector of the Church of the Epiphany in New York City, believes the world is hungering for Good News, and that the “Episcopal branch of the Jesus Movement” has a compelling message of joy, love, and justice to share. At their best, our churches welcome all and seek to build communities where newcomers and established parishioners alike can grow their faith, experience the love of God and neighbor, and claim their identity as disciples and ministers of the Gospel.

At Epiphany, Jennifer has led a diverse congregation in growth, particularly among new families with children. She began as Associate Rector in 2003, became Priest-in-Charge in 2011, and Rector in 2014. She successfully restructured their Day School, completed a major building project, and led the creation of new local and international outreach ministries. 

Jennifer grew up in California, and after graduating from Yale University with a degree in Theater Studies, she joined the Episcopal Urban Intern Program in Los Angeles. She graduated from the General Theological Seminary with an MDiv in 2002. Her first ordained role was as the Curate at the Church of the Epiphany in Agoura Hills, a large suburban parish outside Los Angeles.

She is a Trustee of the Diocese of New York, a former chair of the Diocesan Liturgical Commission, and a member of the Organizing Committee of the New York Episcopal Credit Union. She has served on the Institutional Review Board at Weill-Cornell Medical College for over ten years, and was recently appointed to serve on the House of Deputies Subcommittee for Truth and Reconciliation in Sexual Harassment and Exploitation.

Jennifer is the mother of Nathan, who is nine. Her parents moved to Tucson in 2016. Jennifer is in a long-term relationship with Paul Sheehan, who lives primarily in Hong Kong.

Answers to Essay Questions

The Rev. Andrew Wallace Walter
Rector, Grace Episcopal Church (Silver Spring, MD) Diocese of Washington

The Rev. Andrew W. Walter is Rector of Grace Episcopal Church in Silver Spring, Maryland, a diverse, spirit-filled congregation located just outside the nation’s capital. Working closely with the Vestry, clergy, and staff, Andrew has guided Grace Church in pursuing its vision, and under his leadership, the Grace community has grown significantly in spiritual depth, activity, and resources. The parish has: expanded the number and diversity of its programs for Christian formation; focused on growing its children, youth, and young adult ministries; nurtured relationships with local churches, schools, and organizations; and, committed themselves to serving others, particularly by working for racial justice, and by hosting a refugee family from another country. Andrew loves to preach, teach, and be with people of all ages. He believes deeply in the transforming power of Christ’s love, and he tries to share that love through his life and ministry. 

As Rector, Andrew serves on the Board of Grace Episcopal Day School, which provides a diverse student body with a quality education in a supportive and spiritual environment. He is also active in the wider church, currently serving in the Diocese of Washington as Chair of Diocesan Council, and for The Episcopal Church, as a member of the Executive Council Investment Committee and Economic Justice Loan Committee. 

Previously, Andrew served for four years as Associate Rector at Saint Luke's Parish in Darien, Connecticut. Prior to his ordination, Andrew worked in the finance industry and taught high school mathematics.

Andrew earned his Masters of Divinity at the General Theological Seminary and is a graduate of Bucknell University and the Groton School. He also studied at the University of Chicago and Teacher's College, Columbia University.  Andrew and his wife, Susan, have been married for over thirty years, and they have three sons: Thomas, James, and Timothy.

Answers to Essay Questions

To submit your name for consideration as a Petition Candidate, please fill out the application form.

The Petition Process closes at 5:00 p.m. (Arizona time) on Friday, July 20, 2018.

Last modified on Sunday, 15 July 2018 17:46

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