License to Officiate (LTO) Guidelines

Priests wishing to be licensed to officiate in The Episcopal Diocese of New York must first meet all of the application requirements.  You will find below a statement of the canonical requirement for licensing and an outline of the application process.  If you have any questions about these guidelines or the application process, please contact Alito Orsini in the Transition Ministry Office at 212-316-7414:

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, 2012: 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.

Note regarding annual renewal of a License to Officiate

Licenses to Officiate expire on the last day of June each year.  In early June 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 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 expects 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 regular basis, AND/OR by serving the diocese as a supply priest, available for at least 6 services annually.

The Transition Ministry Office maintains supply clergy lists, which are available online through the diocesan website.  Click here to view the Suuply Information Webpage.  Supply Information web-address.

The Diocese of New York recommends the following minimum compensation guidelines for supply priests:

  • $180 for one service, plus travel expenses at the IRS rate
  • $270 for two services, plus travel expenses at the IRS rate
  • $100 for a week-day service, plus travel expenses at the IRS rate
  • Ministry in addition to the Sunday or week-day services is to be compensated at an additional
    hourly rate, plus travel, to be agreed upon by the parish and priest.  For guidance please contact
    the Transition Ministry Office.
  • Travel reimbursement includes all public transportation fares (with receipts) OR mileage at the standard IRS mileage allowance (54 cents per mile in 2016).
  • Statement of Pension assessment: "If supply clergy, who are active (that is, not retired and drawing pension benefits), earn $200 or more per month in salary and/or housing from the same congregation for three or more consecutive months, an assessment of 18% to the Church Pension Fund is mandated, retroactive to the first month."

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