Assistant to the Bishop for Lay Leadership and Equity Initiatives

Date posted: Monday 01 February 2021

This position requires presence in the Synod Office and significant travel to congregations within the synod including two to three Sundays per month. A 50 hour work week is expected.



The Assistant to the Bishop for Lay Leadership and Equity Initiatives reports to the Bishop and works in partnership with other staff to assist congregations and members to be equipped as lay leaders in the world and to serve well in congregational governance roles. Assistants to the Bishop share responsibility for overseeing and supporting congregations during call processes and in times of conflict or transition; each Assistant to the Bishop relates to one or more conferences on a rotating basis.



Essential Responsibilities



· Develops and oversees training opportunities that equip members of congregations to embrace their vocations in the world, be public witnesses in matters of faith and justice, and grow in an understanding of vocation as a key identity.

· Develops learning opportunities for lay leaders elected to offices or councils within congregations to practice good governance for mission.

· Develops and implements a plan for intentional follow-up with rostered ministers in the first year after taking a new call, serving as co-leader of this initiative.

· Coordinates the monthly training sessions for the interim pastor cohort;

· Coordinates initiatives and programs across the synod that address racial justice and equity. With the Bishop insures implementation of the synod’s racial justice and equity strategy.

· Serves as the Bishop’s representative on the planning council of Lutheran Advocacy – Minnesota.

· Assists the Bishop in providing pastoral care to leaders and congregations.



Shared Responsibilities with Bishop and other Assistants to the Bishop (Mobility Team)



· As a member of the Mobility Team, assists congregations during pastoral vacancies by building relationships with call committees and congregation councils, providing names in consultation with the Mobility Team, identifying candidates for interim service, and helping to assess leadership needs identified in the Ministry Site Profile; engages with about 50% of the call processes.

· Serves as staff liaison to one or more conferences (assigned through an annual rotation) by attending conference gatherings, developing relationships with deans and rostered and lay leadership, and providing pastoral care for clergy and lay rostered leaders.

· Offers early intervention in times of conflict in a congregation, which may include the use of consultants.



Shared Responsibilities with all Synod Staff



· Works to build strong relationships among leaders and congregations of this synod and to foster a positive regard for the role of and partnership with the larger church in the life of each ministry setting.

· Serves as a member of the synod staff team by attending regularly staff and synod council meetings and retreats; participating in events for rostered and lay leaders; and supporting leaders, programs, and efforts that further the mission of all expressions of the church.

· Assists in the planning and carrying out arrangements for events that encourage collegiality among leaders and congregations in this synod, including ministeriums, conference assemblies, synod assembly, theological conference, congregational leader events, and others as identified.

· Represents the synod at installations, meetings of churchwide, regional, or synodical ministry partners and institutions when requested.

· Serves as a resource person for congregations, institutions, and agencies in this synod, when requested.

· Communicates and serves collegially with all on the synod staff in order to build up and accomplish the collective and connective ministry of the Saint Paul Area Synod.






1. Demonstrated commitment to the transformational power of God’s grace as expressed in missional theology with a biblical and Lutheran understanding of theology of the cross and discipleship in response to God’s grace in Jesus Christ.

2. Ability to articulate a robust understanding of vocation in the Lutheran theological tradition.

3. At least 7 years of experience as a rostered leader in the ELCA or a full communion church body or as an actively engaged lay leader in a congregation.

4. Demonstrated ability to work with volunteers.

5. Experience working with elected lay and rostered leaders of congregations.

6. Experience in creating sustainable community partnerships.

7. Ability to communicate well in diverse cultural, ethnic and socio-economic contexts, especially addressing issues of racial justice and equity.

8. Demonstrated abilities in the management of people, finances and information. Ability to use technology including Word, Excel and social media.

9. Demonstrated ability to work collegially in strategic planning and visioning.

10. Ability to work in partnership with peers at the synodical level.

11. Active participation in a mission-oriented community of faith.

12. Demonstrated openness to learning new skills and serving within a learning organization.



The Saint Paul Area Synod seeks applications for the position of Assistant to the Bishop for Lay Leadership and Equity Initiatives. Interested applicants need to submit a resume and a cover letter, detailing their interest, along with contact information for three references. Requirements for the position are included in the job description. Review of applications will begin on Feb. 15, 2021, and will continue until a person has been selected for this position. Application materials can be sent to Alicia Rodriguez at