Episcopal Diocese of Washington

To draw people to Jesus and embody his love
for the world by equipping faith communities,
promoting spiritual growth, and striving for justice

Position Descriptions & Reviews

The diocese strives to promote a fair workplace at Church House and in its congregations. These resources will help you describe the jobs you have to offer and work with employees to create a happy and productive workplace.

Position Descriptions

A position description outline what an individual is to do as a part of the church organization. It defines a particular piece of the church's mission, objectives, and action plans in which an individual will participate, and how one is to perform. The position description is the practical link between a church's planning process and the implementation of those plans, and it is the most effective means of communicating specific expectations and responsibilities from the church to the individual. It is a guiding document for that individual, whether clergy, lay employee, or volunteer, and therefore it must be clear,   detailed, and complete. Position descriptions are people-oriented and serve to structure a person's daily tasks--something most people welcome.

Position descriptions aid in many ways in any church setting. They can:

  • Provide criteria for recruiting, interviewing, and selection. 
  • Maximize understanding about the duties and responsibilities of a position. 
  • Help an organization know if there is proper delegation of duties. 
  • Serve as a basis for meaningful performance evaluations. 
  • Act as a training aid. 
  • Provide objective criteria for corrective action, reprimand, or termination. 
  • Show compliance with equal employment opportunity requirements. 
  • Serve as a basis for setting wage and salary grades. 
  • Write a lay job description
  • Write a clergy job description


Performance reviews

As Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde has written, "Everyone who works in and for our churches deserves a clear description of their responsibilities, mutually agreed upon goals and expectations, and metrics for measuring the fruitfulness of their efforts.

These conversations, while initialing intimidating, are generally experienced as affirming and supportive.  They provide clergy and lay employees with an opportunity to reflect upon their work,  a forum for making suggestions to improve their work environment, and a means of establishing mutually agreed upon goals for their ministry."