By virtue of baptism, every member of the church is called to ministry. The role of a clergy is to be the spiritual leader of a congregation engaged in ministry with the entire congregation in its ministry. In a model of mutual ministry, the clergy and the lay leadership work together to cast a vision for mission and carry out that vision and mission. 

Lay and ordained leaders are charged with seeking ways to inspire and support the entire congregation in its ministry both within and outside the parish. While clergy play a particular role in formation, liturgy, and preaching, the ministry of every person is needed to fulfill God’s mission.  

In this section, you’ll find information about exploring a call to ordained ministry, licensing and training requirements for specific lay ministries, and the process for requesting or renewing licenses for clergy who are not canonically resident in the Diocese of Washington.






The central focus of the discernment process for ordination to the diaconate or priesthood is not whether an individual is called to ministry, since by baptism God has called all of us to minister. Rather, the principal focus of discernment concerns how closely an individual’s gifts and experience match the unique challenges of diaconal and priestly ministry in this time and place.

The diocese needs ordained leaders who will equip our congregations to adapt to new realities, sing the Lord’s song in new lands, and proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in ways that speak to the varied contexts and cultures of our communities. We seek leaders with the skills and capacities to plant new congregations and worshipping communities.

The Commission on Ministry (COM)

The Commission on Ministry is a group of laity and clergy who support the exploration of ministry in the diocese in accordance with the provisions of the Canons of the General Convention of The Episcopal Church.


Dr. Paul Crego (Class of 2023)
Dr. Dora Currea (Class of 2022)
Ms. Aileen Moody (Class of 2024)
The Rev. Terri Murphy (Class of 2023) Clerk
The Rev. Sarah Odderstol (Class of 2022) Chair
The Rev. Jim Quigley (Class of 2024)
The Rev. Dr. Yolanda Rolle (Class of 2024)
Mr. Michael Sherman (Class of 2023)
The Rev. Debbie Kirk (Class of 2023)
The Rev. Patricia Alexander (Class of 2023)
The Rev. Joan Crittenden (Class of 2022)

Diocesan Staff Liaisons to the COM

The Rev. Dr. Robert Phillips, Canon for Leadership Development and Congregational Care
The Ven. Steve Seely, Archdeacon and Diocesan Liturgist
Allen Fitzpatrick, Executive Assistant to the Canons