The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook is the chief pastor of our diocese. She is the apostolic leader in mission, evangelism and spiritual formation. She represents the diocese to the wider church and the wider church to the diocese.
Credit: Susan L. Forsburg Photography
“Our world faces many challenges–pandemic, racial injustice, economic struggle, and deep division. In the face of anxiety, we may wonder whether God still has a mission for the Episcopal Church here. Yet there is no time when God’s love is more vital than a time of trouble and stress. There is no community more in need of the good news of Jesus than a community that lives in a time of turmoil. In fact, that’s exactly the kind of world Jesus came to. It’s the kind of world in which Christianity rst thrived. And it’s the kind of world that is hungry for the transformation only the living God can offer.
“Yes, this is a time of immense change. But change brings new opportunities for the church. Change is something that comes to us from the outside. Change is out of our control. Change happens to all people. The mission question is how we respond to change. We can try to ignore it. We can live more deeply into the way we have always done things.
“Or we can allow change to bring transformation. Change comes from the outside; transformation is how we respond on the inside. Transformation is a gift of the Holy Spirit. Transformation allows us to discover new approaches and overcome unanticipated challenges.
“Transformation is what God brings to us in Christ, and transformation is what Christ calls us to oer to the world. Transformation gives us courage. When we act prayerfully, boldly, and strategically, even in the face of fear, we are acting with courage. When we have courage, with Christ’s help, we can transform our congregations. We can transform our communities. We can transform our world.”
–The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook
The Rt. Rev. Dr. Susan Brown Snook is a leader in the areas of evangelism, church growth, church planting, and new mission development. Before entering seminary, she worked as a certified public accountant, and as a director of Christian education and a director of lay ministries at an Episcopal church in Arizona.
In 2006, the bishop of Arizona called her to plant a church in the northern suburbs of Phoenix and Scottsdale. From 2006 to 2017, she served as the church planter, vicar, and then rector of the Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Scottsdale, leading it through a process of growth to a program-sized parish and through a building process that created a permanent home for the vibrant congregation. From 2017 to 2019, she served as the Canon for Church Growth and Development” in the Diocese of Oklahoma, and in 2019 she was elected and consecrated as the Fifth Bishop of San Diego.
Bishop Susan is passionate about evangelism – proclaiming the good news of Jesus – and about developing thriving churches that transform lives in their communities. She is also passionate about sharing God’s love with all God’s people through ministries of service and social justice, including supporting the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the church.
Bishop Susan authored God Gave the Growth: Church Planting in the Episcopal Church and co-edited Acts to Action: The New Testament’s Guide to Evangelism and Mission. She co-founded the Acts 8 Movement, a group dedicated to proclaiming resurrection in the Episcopal Church. In 2018 Presiding Bishop Michael Curry appointed her to a six-year term on the board of Forward Movement.
Bishop Susan has been married for over 30 years to her husband, Tom Snook and they have two grown children.
1962 Born in Neubrucke, West Germany
1983 Graduated from Rice University, Houston, Texas with a Bachelor of Arts, English and Managerial Studies
1983 Married Tom Snook
1985 Graduated from Rice University, Houston, Texas with a Master of Accountancy and a Master of Business Administration
1985 – 1996 Employed as a tax consultant with Deloitte & Touche, Werlein & Harris, Margolis, Phipps & Wright
1992 First Daughter born
1995 Second Daughter born
1997 – 2002 Lay leader at St. Anthony’s, Scottsdale in the areas of Christian education and lay ministries
2003 Graduated from Church Divinity School of the Pacific, Berkeley, California with a Master of Divinity, ordained a priest in the Diocese of Arizona
2003 – 2004 Curate, St. Peter’s, Litchfield Park, Arizona
2004 – 2006 Associate Rector, St. Anthony’s, Scottsdale
2006 – 2017 Rector and Church Planter, Episcopal Church of the Nativity, Scottsdale
2014 Enrolled in Virginia Theological Seminary’s Doctor of Ministry program
2015 First book published, God Gave the Growth: Church Planting in the Episcopal Church
2017 – 2019 Canon to the Ordinary for Church Growth and Development, Diocese of Oklahoma
2019 Ordained and consecrated as fifth bishop, Diocese of San Diego
2021 Graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary with a Doctorate in Ministry
2022 Awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Church Divinity School of the Pacific