G. The General Superintendents
*The term general superintendent is the Wesleyan synonym for bishop, and the term preferred by the Church of the Nazarene. However, when the former term may cause confusion (e.g., in ecumenical settings), the latter term may be used for clarity.
FOR THE FOLLOWING REASONS:
2. Within the Church of the Nazarene, the title has been misunderstood so as to have people incorrectly refer to our general superintendents as "generals," as though it were a military type of title instead of a term referring to their general oversight. General superintendents ought to no more be called "generals" than district superintendents ought to be called "districts."
3. The superintendency constitutes the "episcopal" side of our "representative" government which combines "episcopal" and "congregational" elements (cf., the "Forward" of the Manual, page 8). the traditional rendering throughout the Christian Church for the episcopal office (i.e., office of general oversight/superintendency) has been the term bishop.
4. Within the majority of the larger Wesleyan tradition, the function of general superintendency has been the role of the bishop, and the terms general superintendent and bishop have functioned synonymously within the larger Wesleyan tradition.
5. With such a footnote, the term general superintendent would REMAIN the primary term used by the Church of the Nazarene and would REMAIN the term used throughout the Manual.
6. The footnote only provides the opportunity for helpful clarity in settings where our usual terminology has proven and remains unclear.
7. Within the larger Wesleyan tradition, general superintendents/bishops have never been understood as a "third order." Universally, within the larger Wesleyan tradition general superintendents/bishops are understood to be "elders" (cf., the Manuals/Disciplines of The AME, AMEZ, CME, Free Methodist, United Methodist and The Wesleyan churches). Therefore, such a clarifying footnote in no way implies that our general superintendents would be ordained to a ministerial order superior to that of elder.