Chaplain, San Francisco, CA

Cathedral School for Boys is an Episcopal school located in the historic Nob Hill neighborhood of San Francisco and serving 260 students in grades kindergarten through eighth. Cathedral School is a division of Grace Episcopal Cathedral, and it resides on the same city block as Grace Cathedral and the Diocese of California. Because of the School’s location, the Chaplain serves as a member of a vibrant network of institutions, clergy, and laity working on behalf of the Episcopal Church and a collection of Episcopal organizations.

At the same time, Cathedral School operates largely autonomously. Although the School shares some space with Grace Cathedral, it is independently governed and financed. Importantly, the Chaplain reports directly to and works closely with the Headmaster.

Throughout its history, Cathedral School has sought to provide the finest possible education for boys within a highly diverse community of students, faculty, and parents. Roughly 40% of the students identify as non-white, and there are twenty-four zip codes represented within the student body. Cathedral maintains one of the most robust financial assistance budgets in the Area (known as “adjustable tuition” at the School).

The breadth of religious diversity within our community is both wide and intentional, and the religious plurality that exists at Cathedral School remains one of our hallmarks. Importantly, this plurality, we feel, enhances our identity as an Episcopal school. We believe that this attribute provides each student with the opportunity to forge, at his own time and pace, an abiding understanding of who he is as a spiritual being. Our religious diversity also compels each boy to develop an appreciation for the beliefs of others. As one parent recently commented, “My son graduated with a deeper understanding of his beliefs as a Hindu, and with an essential awareness of and respect for the practices of others.”

The Chaplain represents one of the most public and influential voices within the Cathedral School community. The Chaplain directs four Chapel services a week, all of which are held in Grace Cathedral. The Chaplain coordinates many of these services with teachers, administrators, and students. (Grace Cathedral, in fact, regularly hosts dignitaries and leaders from all over the world, and the School makes every effort to harness the Cathedral’s history and reputation as a leading institution for social change.) The Chaplain is also responsible for developing and delivering a K-8 religion curriculum, which currently includes a study of the Old Testament, the world’s major religions, and ethics. The Chaplain is also intimately involved in the School’s service learning program. (In fact, Cathedral’s location within the City of San Francisco and proximity to a variety of prominent service organizations represent an area of programmatic opportunity for our School.)

While tradition is an important part of Cathedral School’s ethos- the boys wear ties to class, for instance- it is not encumbered by history. In fact, we seek candidates, who are interested in helping Cathedral School, specifically, and Episcopal schools, more generally, reimagine the role that a Chaplain can and should play in a diverse, dynamic, and increasingly interconnected world. Thus, it is our hope that the incoming Chaplain will possess the interest and capacity to think and act expansively in reimagining this role.

Cathedral School seeks an ordained Episcopal priest attracted to the unique Mission of our School. It is imperative that candidates feel called to work with boys at this formative stage of their lives and especially as we, at this inflection point in social and cultural history, necessarily reconsider what it means to be a young man. Experience serving as a school Chaplain is helpful, though not mandatory. More important are the attributes of compassion, creativity, integrity, motivation, and humility. Those lacking a sense of humor need not apply. A desire to collaborate is essential.

This is a full-time position. The salary and benefits offered by Cathedral School are some of the best in the Bay Area, and the Cathedral School Chaplain, if qualified, participates fully in the Church Pension Fund. We recognize the potential complexities of moving to the Bay Area, and we offer support to those undertaking this move.

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and three references to Harrison Wilkes, assistant to the Headmaster at wilkes@cathedralschool.net.