Leslie Nunez Steffensen, standing to Bishop Carl Wright’s left, applauds during his ordination and consecration.
Donovan Marks/Washington National Cathedral

The Rev. Leslie Nunez Steffensen has been designated as canon to the Bishop Suffragan for the Armed Forces and Federal Ministries, a member of Presiding Bishop Michael Curry’s staff.

In this full-time position, Steffensen works with the Rt. Rev. Carl Wright. Her duties include direct administrative support of Episcopal priests who serve as federal chaplains in the armed forces, Veterans Affairs centers, and Federal Bureau of Prisons. She assists the bishop in the recruitment, support, and care of these chaplains.

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“This ministry to our Federal Chaplains draws upon my experience in the U.S. Navy, upon hard-won knowledge as a military spouse, upon my international experience, and upon my priesthood,” Steffensen said. “The Episcopal Church currently has 110 federal chaplains stationed all around the world. I am honored to serve and support my fellow priests in their call to ministry in difficult settings, whether at sea on a battleship, on a battlefield, at a remote duty station, in a prison, or in a hospital.”

After graduating from Officer Candidate School and completing studies at the Navy and Marine Intelligence Training Center in 1989, she was on active duty for four years as a Naval Aviation Intelligence Officer, “chasing Soviet submarines at the end of the Cold War,” she said.

Steffensen later served as a Volunteer for Mission, serving as academic dean and instructor of theology and biblical studies at Msalato Theological College in Dodoma, Tanzania. She was one of four editors of The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion.

Most recently, she was assistant to the rector at Grace Church in Alexandria, Virginia, and administrative coordinator for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary.

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