The search for the

15th Dean of Grace Cathedral

Topeka, Kansas


Almighty God, giver of every good gift: Look graciously on your Church, and so guide the minds of those who shall choose a dean for this Cathedral, that we may receive a faithful pastor, who will care for your people and equip us for our ministries; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Book of Common Prayer


Parish Meetings will be held in All Saints Hall during the following dates and times.  Please plan to attend one of these meetings:

Tuesday, November 13, 7 p.m.
Saturday, November 17, 10 a.m.
Sunday, November 18, 11:45 a.m.
Sunday November 25, 9:30 a.m.

Self-Study: Telling Our Story 

The first part of the Transition Process involves telling the story of Grace Cathedral by gathering information about our past and present and discerning God’s call for us as we move into the future.

The tasks include collecting data about the Cathedral and the Topeka community from various sources so that we can describe the Cathedral as it is today. Typical sources include parochial and annual reports, church histories, member conversations and demographic information about Topeka. Once we have created a picture of the Cathedral as we are today, we can invite our members to offer their input about what is important as we move into the future — given both today’s realities and our discernment.  From this understanding of the present and future, we will be able to write a description of the gifts and skills we will seek in a new clergy leader.

The presentation of our story takes the form of a profile that accurately describes both our present reality and our discernment of where God is calling us in the future. It will include the skills and gifts we want in our new dean. This profile is a document — typically around 20 to 30 pages — of narrative and pictures that will provide an accurate snapshot of our congregation.  A profile usually includes the following components:


  • Mission and Goals – Who we are and what we are trying to do
  • Current Ministries – Liturgy and Music, Christian Formation, Parish Life, Outreach, etc.
  • Church statistics – Membership, attendance, demographics
  • Future – Where is God calling us? What will we do differently?
  • Our New Dean – What we are seeking in a new priest-leader
  • History – Brief Story of our church
  • Our Community – neighborhood, local, state
  • Finances
  • Buildings/Property

Once the document has been completed and approved, it will be posted on our website where interested candidates can read it and find additional information about Grace Cathedral.

Transition Teams and Member Qualities
Click here for a printable Self-Nomination Form     Click here for a Google fillable Self-Nomination Form

Profile Team– The first part of the process is focused on our congregation: Defining and affirming the Cathedral’s history, current mission, vision and goals for the next three to five years. The task in this phase is to develop and implement a process by which Cathedral members explore our life – past, present and future. The process of gathering and assessing this data should engage as many in our congregation as possible so that parishioners have a stake in the process and its outcome.

The product is a profile of our church that will be used to introduce prospective candidates to the mission, ministries and future plans of our congregation. The profile generally contains the following: current mission, ministries, statistics, facilities, budget and financial data, history of the Cathedral, vision, and plans for the future. From the prospective of past, present and future, the leadership of the Cathedral or mission will identify the skills and gifts necessary for a new dean to assist our congregation as we move forward into our vision.

Search Team – Taking the information gained during the self-study phase, the search team reviews information from potential candidates and identifies those whose gifts, skills and experience most closely match the Cathedral’s needs. The team interviews selected candidates, does reference checking, and recommends to the Vestry the best candidate to serve as the next dean. This part of the process requires that the Search Team members hold in confidence the names of all candidates whom they encounter.

The Search Team is usually made up of seven members. This number may be augmented by other members of the congregation who offer specific skills to assist in the task (i.e., writer, photographer, editor). The work during the self-study phase requires openness and transparency so that the profile can be owned by our congregation. The work of the search phase requires confidentiality about candidates and openness about process.

The Vestry will be looking for team members to have the following qualities:

  1. Be a team player - no personal agendas or axes to grind. Transition work is predicated on team members trusting one another and working together effectively.
  2. Be able to commit the time – each phase is likely to start with meetings every other week. Teams often later meet weekly or even — in the final weeks of the search phase — more often than weekly. The self-study phase normally takes six months; the search phase is likely to take three to six months. Members will often travel to visit candidates near the end of the process. Being available is a must! While it is possible to miss a meeting and still be effective during the self-study, team members should commit to attending virtually all the meetings during the search phase.
  3. Be in the mainstream of life of the church - faithful in worship attendance, participation and stewardship. Have an understanding of the Episcopal Church and the way it works today. Someone who wants to return to the “good ole days” or re-create the Cathedral may not be the best candidate. The team member’s theological position should be aligned with the majority of parishioners and is willing to seek a dean to serve the interests of the entire church.
  4. Be of good judgment and integrity – parishioners should know the members of the teams and trust that they will do the best job they can to serve everyone at the Cathedral. Team members must be able to manage sensitive information and hold it in strict confidence, most importantly the names of potential candidates.