License to Officiate (LTO)


LTO Policy and Procedure

For clergy interested in being licensed to officiate (LTO) in The Episcopal Diocese of California

Canonical requirement for licensing: 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 so 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)]

It is the policy of the Diocese of California for all LTO clergy to be part of a clergy team serving at one of our congregations, or to maintain an official affiliation with a diocesan institution. The terms of the association with a congregation (whether non-stipendiary or stipendiary) should be negotiated by you and the congregational leadership; this does not mean that service in the particular congregation need be your primary ministry. The canons of the diocese require that the bishop, rector, and vestry approve the appointment of assistant clergy.

A background check, including motor vehicle record check, credit check, and a criminal background check, by Praesidium is required. The diocese will initiate the process with Praesidium. They in turn will contact you to complete the process. You are responsible for the cost of the background check, approximately $150.

Schedule an interview with the diocesan transition minister, Denise Obando,, 415.869.7804, to initiate the licensing process. A written statement regarding why you are in the Diocese of California, how long you intend to be here, and what you will do here will be requested at this time.

Submit either electronic or hard copy, of the following documents to the transition minister:

  • A letter from the bishop of the diocese in which you are canonically resident stating that you are currently a priest in good standing.
  • The DioCal LTO Application Form.
  • Your current resume.
  • Have the rector / vicar at the congregation where you will be active complete the DioCal LTO Recommendation Form.

The bishop may request other documentation at any time.

The licensing process may take a month to complete.

It is your responsibility to renew your license annually, and is subject to review. To renew your license, return the expired license, the renewal form, recommendation form, and a copy of your current annual non-parochial report that you submitted to your bishop.