[Episcopal Church Office of Public Affairs press release] The Rev. Leslie Nunez Steffensen has been named the canon to the Episcopal Church bishop suffragan for the armed forces and federal ministries, a member of the presiding bishop’s staff.
In this full-time position, Steffensen works with Bishop Carl Wright, bishop suffragan for the armed forces and federal ministries and among her duties are the direct administrative support of Episcopal priests who serve as federal chaplains in the armed forces, veterans affairs hospital centers and federal bureau of prisons. She assists the bishop suffragan in the recruitment, support and care of these chaplains.
“This ministry to our federal chaplains draws upon my experience in the U.S. Navy, upon hard-won knowledge as a military spouse, upon my international experience, and upon my priesthood,” said Steffensen. “The Episcopal Church currently has 110 federal chaplains stationed all around the world. I am honored to serve and support my fellow priests in their call to ministry in difficult settings, whether at sea on a battleship, on a battlefield, at a remote duty station, in a prison, or in a hospital.”
After graduating from officer candidate school and completing studies at the Navy and Marine Intelligence Training Center in 1989, she was on active duty for four years as a naval aviation intelligence officer, “chasing Soviet submarines at the end of the Cold War,” she adds. Steffensen later served as a volunteer for mission, the Episcopal Church’s program for adult volunteers. She was the academic dean and instructor of theology and biblical studies at Msalato Theological College in Dodoma, Tanzania.
Most recently, she was assistant to the rector at Grace Episcopal Church in Alexandria, Virginia. Prior to that, she was administrative coordinator for the Center for Anglican Communion Studies at Virginia Theological Seminary.
For the Episcopal Church, she served on the Bishop for Armed Forces and Federal Ministries Interviewing Committee; the Disciplinary Committee, Diocese of Virginia; and co-editor for The Wiley-Blackwell Companion to the Anglican Communion.
She is a graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, with a master’s in divinity and a master’s in theological studies; and The Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland, with a bachelor’s in international studies.
Steffensen is based in Washington, D.C. She can be contacted at email@example.com.