Bishop Election 2024

On this page: Discernment Process and Bible Study (NEW!) | Mission Profile |  Vice President’s Message | Election Process and Timeline

Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod will be electing a new bishop at the Synod Assembly, May 3-4, 2024. Watch this page for information and updates. Updated February 16, 2024.


Discernment Process

We are now in the second, discernment phase, in which the people of the synod have time to review the mission profile and participate in prayerful conversation under the leadership of the Discernment Team. The team will host an in-person discernment session and offers a video bible study for your use pre-identifying persons for consideration. 


Discernment Bible Study

In Person Discernment Session March 2

The team is offering an in-person discernment session on Saturday, March 2, 10 a.m. – noon, in Benbow Hall at the Brossman Center on the campus of United Lutheran Seminary. This will include a recap of the Mission Profile and time to engage the Bible study with the attendees.

We will make the session available online as a watch only event. Watch for details.

Seating is limited. Register here.


This video is available for use by congregation groups and Bible studies, clergy groups, or individuals to discern persons who have the gifts and willingness to serve as bishop.

The Bible study is designed to last one hour, but the video can be paused and take longer if desired. We expect the group will be self led, but it may also be helpful if someone who has previously led a Bible study or small group helps to keep the group on task during the ten minute discussion periods.

If names of pre-identified individuals do arise from the Bible Study, please contact that individual and ask them to prayerfully consider being pre-identified. If they are so willing, send the name and contact information to SEPA Vice President Tracey Beasley at .

Watch the Video

Download the Video

Download Leader Instructions

 Pre-identification is not nomination. Nominations are made via the first ballot conducted on Friday, May 3.

Mission Profile

The Synod Mission Profile, which is based on the results of a survey of synod members and leaders and interviews with Bishop Davenport and other key leaders, was published by the Transition Team on January 8, 2024.

Download PDF     Download PowerPoint


A Message from Vice President Beasley

Text of Vice President’s Message

Grace and Peace Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod. I am Tracy Beasley, the Vice President of this Synod. Happy New Year!

As you know, we are in the election process of calling a bishop. And right now, as of today (January 8), we are in phase two, which is the discernment process.

Phase one was from the transition team, which they have done an excellent job of putting out our mission profile. Look on our internet ( to see that 131-page document. That team has done an excellent job.

Again, now we are in the discernment process, which is the prayer-filled process. Once you see the mission profile, the discernment team is going to give you about a month to look it over, to talk about it in your congregations, with your family all over the Synod.

And then the discernment team will come out and have conversations all over the Synod so we can talk about that profile and what it means to everyone in the Synod and how we can lift up names of people who may have the gifts that we are looking for to be our next bishop.

Now, the Holy Spirit has given me, some time ago now, a vision for our Synod while we are in this discernment process, to be praying.

I am asking you to stop whatever you’re doing at 12 noon each day to pray about the process. That means to pray for our outgoing Bishop Davenport, to pray for the Synod staff, to pray for our congregations, to just pray for the Holy Spirit to come into this whole process because we are a praying Synod.

With all that being said, let us pray.

The Lord be with you.

Almighty God,

we thank you for this day, a day we’ve never seen before.

We thank you for life. We thank you for strength.

We thank you for Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod, Lord. We thank you for the staff here. We thank you for Bishop Davenport.

We thank you in advance for the Bishop who you have chosen to be our next Bishop for the Southeastern Pennsylvania Synod.

We as the people of God need to see clearly and hear clearly who you have chosen.

We thank you, Lord, in advance for what you are about to do for SEPA Synod.

In your most holy name we pray.


Thank you. 12 o’clock every day, one accord to be in prayer.

See you soon around the Synod.


Bishop Election Process and Timeline

The synod constitution outlines a three-stage process to prepare the synod for the election. Read the continuing resolution.

▶︎Transition Team will develop a Synodical Mission Profile.

▶︎A Discernment Team will develop a prayer-filled process for conversation and discernment across the synod.

▶︎The Committee on Bishop Elections shall oversee the process of ecclesiastical ballot at the assembly.


Election Timeline

November-December 11
Bishop Election survey open. Completed!

January 8 – Synod Profile published by the Transition Team
The Synod Profile (based on the survey) and Position Description (taken from our synod constitution) will be released for review and by interviews will be released for review by January 8, 2024. [ Download PDF or PowerPoint ]

February 8-March 17Discernment Process
Discernment Team  will  hold meetings around the Synod to have conversations and discernment about the Synod profile and how to identify persons who might possess the gifts that came out of the conversations and the profile.

March 1 – Pre-identification Process Opens
A form will be made available by which individuals may submit the name of a rostered minister for consideration; individuals may also submit their own name.

March 22 – Pre-identification Process Closes
At midnight on March 22, submissions will be closed.

March 31 – Pre-identified Person Information Due
Those whose names have been submitted will be contacted to determine if they are willing to discern a call to bishop. If so, they’ll be asked to provide biographical details and a photograph, as well as information necessary for a background check.

April 2 – Pre-identified Persons Information Available on Synod Website
Biographical information and a photograph of each pre-identified person choosing to move forward will be posted on the synod website for review.

May 2Pre-identified Persons Information Removed from Synod Website
Information will be removed from the website the day prior to Synod Assembly.

May 3-4Synod Assembly
The  Committee on Bishop Elections shall oversee the process of an ecclesiastical ballot as specified in the Constitution. No pre-identified persons shall be on the ballot at the start of the Assembly. Any names to be placed in nomination shall be written on the first ballot at assembly.  

The Bishop Election Team encourages members of the synod to stay informed about the process and familiarize themselves with the information as it becomes available, especially if you are a voting member at Assembly. 


For more information contact:

Vice President Tracey Beasley,