The Rev. Canon Stephen Carlsen

The Rev. Canon Stephen Carlsen

The Rev. Canon Stephen Carlsen

Canon for Congregational Vitality
Steve was raised in the Midwest and the West and attended Wheaton College (Illinois). He studied theology and got an M.Div. from the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, discerning a call to the priesthood. After additional studies at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, he was ordained in the Diocese of Chicago. Following a curacy at Christ Church, Winnetka, he became the rector of Harcourt Parish, a small congregation in the Ohio countryside, on the campus of Kenyon College, where he also served as Director of the Board of Campus Ministries. After five years in Ohio, he became the sub-dean of St. John’s Cathedral in Denver and worked on staff with Bishop Poulson. He then moved to Indianapolis, accepting the call to be the dean of Christ Church Cathedral. During his dozen years in Indianapolis, he helped the urban congregation embrace a multi-ethnic identity, become a center of compassion and advocacy, and develop programs for strong lay spiritual formation. From Indianapolis, Steve went to Key West to serve as interim rector.

In addition to a regular practice of the daily office in his congregations and being formed by the Eucharistic life of our Anglican spirituality, Steve and his wife, Jen Hund, find God in nature, sailing, and self-supported bicycle touring. Steve and Jen have been married for nine years. After a career in higher education, Jen has worked in non-profit management in Indianapolis and Key West. Steve has two adult children, Nathaniel (25) and Luka (23), who live in Maine and attend graduate school in California, respectively. 

Of this new opportunity, Steve says, “One thing I know, wherever God’s people are, God has a mission for that community. Our vitality comes from engaging God’s mission to our neighbors. I look forward to helping leaders, lay and ordained, in the Diocese of Oklahoma, be renewed by God’s grace and to provide support as they reach out to their neighbors.”

Steve adds, “I am delighted to be called to the Diocese of Oklahoma, helping lay and ordained leaders strengthen and develop models of ministry that bring the vital, abundant life our Lord promises us in the Gospel.”

Bishop Poulson reflects: “Steve brings to this calling extensive experience in congregations of different sizes and contexts, including multi-cultural ministry (he speaks Spanish). He is one of the most innovative and faithful priests I know, and is a wonderful listener. He and I studied congregational development together, and served together in Denver, so I know his gifts firsthand. As I’ve said often over the past year, I view congregational vitality as my most important priority in our diocese. My goal is for our CCV and the excellent Ministry Partners team from our staff to walk alongside those congregations in our diocese who are seeking greater vitality (spiritual, financial, missional and more) as, together, we listen for and follow God’s call.”

Steve will begin in early August, and will be formally installed as Canon at the Diocesan Convention in October. Email Phone


924 N. Robinson I Oklahoma City, OK 73102
(405) 232-4820
Hours: 9 am to 5 pm CST