Executive Secretary to the Resident Bishop (NY Conference)

Executive Secretary to the Resident Bishop (NY Conference)


Full-time, exempt position.


The Executive Secretary provides comprehensive administrative services to the Resident Bishop in his/her role of providing oversight and support to the churches/ministries of the New York Annual Conference as well as the responsibilities the resident bishop has to ministries/assignments to the wider global church.  The services provided by the Executive Secretary allows for the efficient operation of the Episcopal Office in order to accomplish this oversight.


The Executive Secretary is under the direct supervision of the Resident Bishop with secondary accountability to the Assistant to the Bishop and the Episcopacy Committee.

Principal Duties

  • Scheduling

The Executive Secretary, in direct consultation with the resident bishop, will maintain the bishop’s calendar in both electronic and print form. This responsibility includes:

  1. Scheduled meetings of the Council of Bishops, the College of Bishops, and other General Church responsibilities to which the bishop has been assigned.Meetings of Annual Conference committees and groups.
  2. Requests for the bishop to preach or attend special events across the church, with special attention given to those local churches within the Annual Conference.
  3. Assisting the bishop with travel arrangements with special attention given to coordinating meetings, time, and travel so as to honor the bishop’s time and to avoid excessive travel whenever possible.
  4. Providing the bishop with duly marked folders of accumulated material which may be necessary for each meeting and/or responsibility.
  5. Maintain an awareness of how to contact the bishop at all times in case of need/emergency.
  • Hospitality
  1. Cabinet meetings and hospitality needs related to whenever the cabinet is present (lunch/dinner/housing arrangements as well as other needs that the District Superintendents may have when meeting onsite or offsite).
  2. A strong presence of hospitality including good manners on the phone and in person, cordial language, and an ability to make people feel at home and welcome when the services of the episcopal office are requested.
  • Mailing

It is expected that the Executive Secretary will coordinate and arrange all correspondence (both print and e-mail) that comes into the office so that the bishop is presented with a clear and concise list of responses that are necessary in prioritized order. Specific responsibilities include:

  1. The coordination of all print and e-mail correspondence; including what is shared, filed or delegated, will be done in consultation with the Assistant to the Bishop. 
  2. The specific manner in which correspondence is sorted, prioritized and processed will be done in direct consultation with the bishop.
  3. It is expected that the Executive Secretary will compose letters, e-mails, memos, and reports to the support the ministry of the bishop.
  4. The development of standardized responses to some requests will be developed so that certain pieces of mail can be immediately processed. 
  • Database Maintenance

It is expected that the Executive Secretary will maintain an accurate and up-t0-date database of important and relevant information including but not limited to contacts, recurring meetings, birthdays/anniversaries, statistics, etc.

  • Finances

It is expected that the Executive Secretary will work in cooperation with the bishop and the Assistant to the Bishop in processing the finances of the Episcopal Office each month through the coordination of receipts, processing bills, and submission of expense reports to the Annual Conference and the General Council on Finance and Administration.This includes:

  1. Reconciliation of the Episcopal Office credit card.
  2. Maintenance of the Episcopal Office Petty Cash Fund.
  3. Process invoices for payment
  4. Review benevolence accounts.
  • Public Relations

While the Assistant to the Bishop is the bishop’s direct link to the media, the Executive Secretary is the bishop’s link to those who telephone or visit the office.As a result, special care must be taken in the following areas:

  1. Telephone Presence and Personal Demeanor
  1. Maintain and, as appropriate, field or direct telephone calls.
  2. Maintaining a friendly, concise, and up-to-date messaging on the answering service.  This should be done on a daily and/or weekly basis.
  3. Prompt attention to all messages left when away from the office.
  4. Awareness of how and when it is appropriate to delegate a phone call or visit to another appropriate source other than the bishop (e.g. District Superintendent, Assistant to the Bishop, Conference staff person).
  5. An ability to demonstrate a “firm politeness” at all times with everyone who calls or visits.  This is done in order to honor and respect the bishop’s office time, to respect each person who may call regardless of the issue or concern raised, and to demonstrate a spirit of grace and hospitality at all times.
  6. Personal calls and idle chatting, even with conference personnel, should be kept at a minimum at all times.  This requires self-discipline and knowledge of how to end conversations in a pleasant manner.
  7. Collaborate with the front office receptionist to ensure consistent, high quality reception and hospitality of the Episcopal Office
  1. Bishop’s Publicity
  1. The Executive Secretary is responsible for supplying needed public relations material/information regarding the bishop when requested.  Requests for public relations material regarding the Annual Conference or Conference Center staff should be referred to other conference personnel.
  2. Maintaining current biographical and other pertinent information on the bishop for distribution.
  1. Personal Public Relations
  1. Maintain a current list of birthdays and anniversaries for District Superintendents, Conference Staff, families, and other persons determined by the bishop in order to send appropriate cards and correspondence throughout the year.
  2. Giving the bishop, on a regular basis, appropriate cards and letters to be signed before mailing.
    1. Alerting the bishop to personal situations to which the bishop may wish to respond (e.g. illnesses, death, life transitions, etc.).
  • Other
  1. Collaborate with the Assistant to the Bishop to provide team support to the bishop.
  2. Exercise initiative and judgement in taking administrative action authorized by the bishop during his/her absence.
  3. Support the coordination of special events (e.g. Annual Conference, Tri-District Retreat, Bishop’s Convocation, other Annual Conference events) including preparation of required documents and certifications as requested.
  4. Build necessary relationships with members of the bishop’s cabinet.
  5. Respect and honor the diversity of The United Methodist Church community.
  6. Maintain an inventory of office supplies and reorder as necessary.
  7. Maintain administrative files and records, especially appropriate supervisory records on all District Superintendents and other records on ministerial personnel, in cooperation with the Assistant to the Bishop, as determined by the bishop, required by The United Methodist Book of Discipline, or legislated by the Annual Conference session.
  8. The Executive Secretary will be expected to perform other duties and tasks as requested/negotiated with the resident bishop.


  • Skills and Experience
  1. General business and management skills are required including knowledge of English grammar, proper spelling and punctuation skills, proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite and Microsoft Outlook, Apple iCloud, filing, organization, and basic bookkeeping skills.
  2. An ability to work independently without supervision.
  3. An ability to work well with all levels of management and staff as well as external customers and the faith community.
  4. An ability to give extreme attention to details with an eye for excellence.
  5. An ability to meet tight deadlines, effectively manage time, and prioritize tasks.
  6. A willingness to expand use of technology to effectively perform tasks and to seek new information, training, and resources as needed.
  7. Experience in making domestic and overseas travel arrangements.
  8. Experience in organizing meetings and events, including site selection, preparation of materials, organization of registration materials and local arrangements.
  • Maintaining Confidentiality

Whether or not one agrees with the issues at hand, the Executive Secretary is called upon daily to demonstrate a loyalty to the resident bishop and be able to maintain a constant spirit of confidentiality with regard to all matters learned or encountered while working in the office.

  • Flexibility
  1. While regular business hours are to be maintained (8:30-4:30, Monday-Friday), there are times when the Executive Secretary will be asked to work evenings and weekends on occasion. 
  2. There are also times when travel to various conferences/meetings will be requested or required.  This would include such things as Annual Conference (held each year in June), General Conference (held every four years in May), and Jurisdictional Conference (held every four years in July).  Negotiation for attendance at these events and others is done with the bishop well in advance of the actual event.
  3. Actual hours in the office each day and vacation time is determined in consultation with the resident bishop and will be determined as a part of the best way to carry out the responsibilities of the office and to accommodate the bishop’s schedule.
  • Knowledge
  1. It is expected that the Executive Secretary will learn United Methodist polity, structure, and terminology.  This would include a basic knowledge of The United Methodist Book of Discipline, especially the sections relating to the office of bishop and the role of superintending.
  2. The Executive Secretary will also be required to learn what responsibilities have been given to bishops/area offices and what has been assigned to others in leadership across the church.  This will require an understanding of the various boards and agencies across the Annual Conference and the local church in order to be effective in responding to various request that flow into the episcopal office.  This will also require the knowledge and usage of appropriate names of church bodies and church officials at all levels of United Methodist and within various ecumenical circles.


  • A minimum of 10-15 years of administrative support experience including at the executive level.
  • A College degree is preferred.
  • Bi-lingual experience would be helpful.

Salary And Benefits

  • This is a salaried position compensated commensurate with experience.
  • Other benefits include:
    • Paid vacation commensurate with experience.
    • Medical and pension benefits.
    • Sick days are available following negotiation.
Those interested are encouraged to submit a cover letter and resume to Robert M. Walker, Assistant to the Bishop, at rwalker@nyac.com.