Bethlehem Ready for 9th Bishop

Diocese of Bethlehem •

The Diocese of Bethlehem is accepting applications in the search for its ninth bishop. The diocese will accept names until Sept. 11, and completed applications are due a week later.

The Rt. Rev. Sean Rowe, Bishop of Northwestern Pennsylvania, was elected bishop provisional in 2014. The Rt. Rev. Paul Marshall, the diocese’s eighth bishop, resigned in December 2013.

The search website says Bethlehem’s standing committee determined in 2014 that the diocese was not ready to search for a new bishop, and should call a bishop provisional instead: “Leadership had atrophied, committees were stressed and not functioning well, financial resources were in need of realignment and transparency. Relationally, some among us were hurt, and we were in need of healing.”

The page adds that the diocese seeks a bishop who:

  • Is creative, imaginative and willing to take risks.
  • Possesses as energetic spirit, is prepared to listen, learn from the diocese, pay attention to our needs, understand our DNA, build trust, and work aggressively on the core foundation of diocesan mission.
  • Is prepared to take action with us to begin to develop mission strategies in the varied regions of our diocese and wisely align financial resources as such.
  • Is able to take the long view: Our challenges will not be resolved by quick fixes, our opportunities require strategy.
  • Has a proven record of collaboration and working with a diverse group of people to make things happen.
  • Is a reconciler who seeks to resolve conflict in a spirit of compassion.
  • Is a leader with passion for social and international justice.
  • Exhibits emotional intelligence, transparency, and maturity.
  • Will get in the “sandbox” and play. This is a diocese that enjoys having fun.


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