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Episcopal Church Structure and Organization

October 12, 2011
Office of Public Affairs

The Episcopal Church is governed by a bicameral General Convention, which meets every three years, and by an Executive Council during interim years. The General Convention consists of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies.

The House of Bishops is composed of every bishop with jurisdiction (diocesan bishop), every bishop coadjutor, every suffragan bishop, every retired bishop, every bishop elected to an office created by General Convention, and every bishop who has resigned because of mission strategy – each of whom has a seat and vote. The House may also elect collegial members who are admitted with seat and voice, but no vote. Collegial members are bishops in the Anglican Communion who serve extra-provincial dioceses.
The House of Deputies is composed of up to four lay and four clerical deputies from each of the jurisdictions, domestic and overseas, elected in the manner determined by each jurisdiction.
It is traditional for the House of Bishops to meet at least annually in interim sessions between General Conventions, when its agenda is limited by the Constitution and Canons to matters affecting the general state of the church and meeting the needs of contemporary society. When meeting in interim session, it does not have legislative power to initiate or amend programs approved by the two houses meeting as General Convention.
When the two houses meet concurrently in General Convention, legislation is enacted, church policy and programs are approved, and a budget for the next triennium is adopted.

The official Interim Bodies of The General Convention of The Episcopal Church are:


  • Board for Transition Ministry
  • Board of the Archives of The Episcopal Church
  • Board of Trustees for the Church Pension Fund
  • Episcopal Relief and Development Board of Directors
  • General Board of Examining Chaplains
  • United Thank Offering Board

Bishop Committee

  • House of Bishops
  • House of Bishops Committee on Pastoral Development
  • House of Bishops Committee on Theology
  • House of Bishops Planning Committee
  • Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice


  • Disciplinary Board for Bishops

Covenant Committee

  • A Igreja Episcopal Anglicana do Brasil
  • EDSJ Covenant Committee
  • Episcopal Church in the Philippines
  • La Iglesia Anglicana de la Region Central de America
  • La Iglesia Anglicana de Mexico
  • South Carolina Covenant Committee
  • The Episcopal Church in Liberia

Deputy Committee

  • House of Deputies Committee on the State of the Church
  • President of the House of Deputies Council of Advice

Executive Council Committee or Commission

  • Assessment Review Committee
  • Commission on Impairment and Leadership
  • EDSJ Covenant Committee
  • Executive Council Committee on Anti-Racism
  • Executive Council Committee on Corporate and Social Responsibility
  • Executive Council Economic Justice Loan Committee
  • Executive Council Executive Committee
  • Executive Council Investment Committee
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Advocacy and Networking
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Finances for Mission
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Governance and Administration for Mission
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on Local Ministry and Mission
  • Executive Council Joint Standing Committee on World Mission
  • Executive Council Subcommittee to Review Grants Processes
  • Joint Audit Committee of the Executive Council and the DFMS
  • South Carolina Covenant Committee

Joint Standing Committee

  • Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop
  • Joint Standing Committee on Nominations
  • Joint Standing Committee on Planning and Arrangements
  • Joint Standing Committee on Program, Budget and Finance


  • Anglican-Roman Catholic Dialogue in the USA
  • Bishop for the Office of Pastoroal Development Search Committee
  • Committee to Study the Relationship of General Seminary & General Convention
  • COO Nomination Advisory Committee
  • House of Bishops Spouse/Partner Planning Group
  • Legal Review Committee
  • Lutheran Episcopal Coordinating Committee
  • Moravian Episcopal Coordinating Committee
  • Presbyterian Episcopal Dialogue Committee
  • Provincial Leadership Council
  • United Methodist Episcopal Committee

Standing Commission

  • Standing Commission on Liturgy and Music
  • Standing Commission on Structure, Governance, Constitution and Canons


  • White & Dykman Subcommittee

Task Force of Executive Council

  • HBCU Task Group

Task Force of General Convention

  • Advisory Council on the Stewardship of Creation
  • Advisory Group on Church Planting
  • Task Force for Latino-Hispanic Congregational Development and Sustainability
  • Task Force on Clergy Leadership in Small Congregations
  • Task Force on Leveraging Social Media for Evangelism
  • Task Force on Review of PB Election and Transition Process
  • Task Force on the Episcopacy
  • Task Force on The Episcopal Church in Cuba
  • Task Force on the Study of Marriage
  • Task Force to Study Church Leadership & Compensation
  • Task Force to Study Dual Call Couples
  • Task Force to Study Provinces
  • Task Group to Update Sexual Misconduct Policies