License to Officiate (LTO) Guidelines

Priests wishing to be licensed to officiate in the diocese of New York must meet all of the requirements laid out in the application guidelines below.

No Priest shall preach, minister the sacraments, or hold any public service, within the limits of any Diocese other than the Diocese in which the Priest is canonically resident for more than two months without a license from the  Ecclesiastical Authority of the Diocese in which the Priest desires to officiate.  No Priest shall be denied such a license on account of the Priest's race, color, ethnic origin, sex, national origin, marital status, sexual orientation, disabilities, or age, except as otherwise provided in these canons.  Upon expiration or withdrawal of a license, a priest shall cease immediately to officiate.

[Constitution & Canons, 2009: III.9.6 (a)]

  1. APPLICATION - Complete the application and return it to the Canon for Transition Ministry.

  2. Complete the Statement on Participation in the Social Security System and return it to the Transition Ministry Office.

  3. BACKGROUND CHECK - Send a check for $120.00 payable to "Oxford Document Management Inc." to me so that we can initiate the required background check.  If you have completed an Oxford background check elsewhere within the past two years send $45.00 for a data transfer.  These fees are non-refundable.  No License to Officiate is granted before completion of this background check.

  4. SAFE CHURCH WORKSHOPS - 8 hours of training [4 hours in Child Sexual Abuse Awareness and 4 hours in Sexual Harassment & Exploitation].  If you have already completed the required training you may provide photocopies of the certificate(s) you received or ask for copies to be sent to me.  If you have not yet completed one or both of the workshops you may take them when offered in this or another diocese.  Clergy in process for a License to Officiate who have not had training in last five years are required to take or re-take both the child and the adult trainings.  Completion of both workshops is required before a License to Officiate can be granted.

  5. ANTI-RACISM TRAINING - Completion of Anti Racism training is required before a License to Officiate can be granted.  If you have previously completed Anti Racism training, you may provide photocopies of the certificate(s) you received or ask for copies to be sent to me.  If you have not taken the training you can attend the next training session offered in this Diocese.  To register or for more information please contact Ms. Arlene Bullard at 212-932-7363 or

  6. STATEMENT OF GOOD STANDING - Please ask the Bishop of the diocese in which you are currently canonically resident to direct a statement of good standing for you to:  The Right Rev. Andrew M. L. Dietsche, Bishop of the Diocese of New York, 1047 Amsterdam Avenue, New York, NY  10025.

  7. LETTER OF RECOMMENDATION - Please ask the Rector, Pastor, Priest-in-Charge, Employer, or Supervisor of the parish, community, or institution where you are employed and/or where you will be exercising priestly ministry to send the Bishop a brief letter recommending you and outlining your ministry.

  8. INS EMPLOYMENT ELIGIBILITY VERIFICATION - Please be prepared to furnish the documents required by the INS for Employment Eligibility Verification.  Send photocopies of the required documents along with your application and bring the original documents at the time of your interview.

  9. INTERVIEW - BISHOP'S OFFICE - Following the completion/receipt of the required items, your application will be reviewed and references contacted.  You will be notified by the Bishop's office regarding the status of your application and the scheduling of an interview.

  10. IF YOU ARE A TRANSITIONAL DEACON SERVING AS A PARISH ASSISTANT - Your Rector will need to notify Bishop Dietsche of your appointment as prescribed in the Constitution & Canons, 2006: III.9.3 (a).  Following your ordination to the priesthood a new License to Officiate as a Priest will be issued without the need for a separate application process.


Note regarding annual renewal of a License to Officiate

Each License to Officiate for Supply Work will expire on the last day of the calendar year in which it was first issued.  Toward the end of each calendar year all current LTO priests will receive a "Report and Renewal Request" form which asks for a brief report on the past year's ministry settings, including dates and locations of any supply work that was done.  Upon receipt and review of this completed form a new license for the upcoming calendar year is sent to each LTO priest by mail.

Note regarding opportunities for participation in the life of the Diocese of New York

The Bishop of New York encourages all priests who hold a License to Officiate to participate in the life of this diocese by maintaining an official affiliation with a parish, community or institution for which they conduct worship services on a regularly scheduled basis, AND/OR by serving the diocese as a supply priest, available for at least 6 services annually.  Please complete the section on the Application Form listing your parish/community/institution affiliation AND/OR your preference(s) for supply work in one or more of the three regions - Metropolitan, Region II or Mid-Hudson.  If you do not list an affiliation and do not indicate a regional preference for supply work, you name will be placed on the master supply roster maintained by the Deployment Office.

The Diocese of New York recommends the following minimum compensation guidelines for Sunday supply priests:  1 regular service - $165.00 plus travel; 2 regular services - $235.00 plus travel.  A regular service includes Holy Eucharist with Sermon OR Morning Prayer with Sermon.  Travel includes all public transportation fares (with receipts) OR mileage at the standard IRS mileage allowance (56.5 cents per mile in 2013).

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