DEAN, in ecclesiastical language, a church dignitary presiding over the chapter of a cathe dral. The word is from the French doyen and from the Latin decanus, one set over 10 (Gr. deka, Lat. decem, 10). Originally decanus was the designation of a petty civil functionary: its ecclesiastical use had its rise in monachism, where a decanus was named to be chief and monitor of 10 monks or 10 hermits; and the senior decanus of a canobitun served as head of the monastic community in the absence of the abbot. From the institution of canons regular, serving in the chapters of cathedral churches, came the usage of naming the chief among the canons of a chapter as its dean. Rural deans are parish priests who,inted by the bishop, ex ercise a certain jurisdiction and supervision over the churches or congregations and their rectors within a definite district in a diocese. In the Curia Romana, the dignitary styled Cardinal Dean of the Sacred College is the chief among the cardinals and is usually the oldest of the seven cardinal bishops: he succeeds his prede cessor in the see of Ostia. From ecclesiastical usage the term dean was adopted as designation of the leading member of various secular bodies, for example, the head of a university faculty, or a college, or of a guild. The deans in German cathedrals are subordinate to the provosts; they are appointed by the bishop usually, but some times by a sovereign or chapter. In the Church of England some of the deaneries are valuable benefices. A dean may hold one other living along with his deanery. He is bound to reside
eight months of the year at his cathedral. The bishop of London holds the honorary office of dean of the chapel royalnd there is also a R sub-dean and chaplains. Rural deans are bene ficed clergymen appointed by the bishop or arch deacon to exercise jurisdiction in certain mat ters in some part of the diocese. This office had fallen into disuse, being superseded by the appointment of archdeacons, but has latterly been revived. The rural deans hold office dur ing the life of those by whom they are ap pointed. There are also a few deans called deans of peculiars, who exercise an independent jurisdiction, and are not under a bishop. In Scotland the honorary title of dean of the chapel royal is bestowed on a clergyman of the established church, and six chaplains are also appointed to a similar honorary office, Deans of colleges are, in English universities, officers appointed to superintend the behavior of the members, and to enforce discipline. In the uni versities of Scotland and elsewhere the head of each of the faculties of law, theology, medicine, science, etc., is called dean of the faculty. In universities in the United States the dean of a department is the registrar or secretary, and in some institutions he has considerable to do with the discipline. The dean of guild in Scotland is a burgh official whose duty it is to see that buildings are erected in accordance with the municipal regulations.