An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church

Dean (Cathedral, Seminary, College, Deanery)

At a cathedral, the dean is the member of the clergy in charge, although the cathedral is the official headquarters of the bishop. Assisting clergy at a cathedral have the title "Canon." At a seminary, the dean's function is like that of the president of a college or university. The dean is responsible for spiritual, academic, and fiscal aspects of the seminary's mission. The title is sometimes "Dean and President." The dean of a college is responsible for curriculum as well as securing and supervising faculty. The dean of a deanery is a priest, usually rector of one of the deanery parishes, who is elected or appointed to oversee the work of the deanery. The dean is responsible for convening the clergy and at times the lay representatives of the congregations of the deanery.

Clergy who serve as deans use the title "The Very Reverend." They may wear a distinctive piping (colored trim) on the cassock.

Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from “An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians,” Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.