Four chosen as nominees for 27th presiding bishop

By ENS staff
Posted May 1, 2015

[Episcopal News Service] The Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop May 1 announced the names of the bishops it will nominate this summer to succeed Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori.

The four names will be formally submitted to the General Convention during a joint session on June 26, the day prior to the day set for the election by the House of Bishops of the 27th presiding bishop. The nominees are:

The committee’s formal announcement, along with biographical information about each nominee, is posted on the General Convention website here in English, Spanish and French.

 Breidenthal was dean of religious life and of the chapel at Princeton University in New Jersey when he was elected on Nov. 11, 2006, to be the ninth bishop of Southern Ohio. He was ordained and consecrated April 28, 2007. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from Portland State University, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, in 1977, a Master of Divinity degree in 1981 from Church Divinity School of the Pacific and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in theology from Oxford University in 1991.

MichaelCurryCurry was the rector of St. James’ Episcopal Church, Baltimore, Maryland, when he was elected on February 11, 2000, to be the 11th bishop of North Carolina. He was ordained and consecrated on June 17, 2000. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1975 from Hobart and William Smith College, in Geneva, New York, and a Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from the Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

IanDouglasDouglas was the Angus Dun Professor of Mission and World Christianity at Episcopal Divinity School when he was elected on Oct. 24, 2009, to be the 15th bishop of Connecticut. He was ordained and consecrated on April 17, 2010. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980 from Middlebury College, Middlebury, Vermont, and a Masters of Education in counseling and consulting psychology from the Harvard Graduate School of Education in 1982. Douglas earned a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 1983. In 1993, he earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in religious studies from Boston University.

DabneySmith1Smith was rector of Trinity Church, New Orleans, Louisiana, when he was elected on Dec. 9, 2006, to be the fifth bishop of Southwest Florida. He was ordained and consecrated on Sept. 15, 2007. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in broadcasting production from the University of South Florida in Tampa in 1980, a Master of Divinity in 1987 from Nashotah House and a Doctor of Ministry from Seabury-Western Theological Seminary with special focus on congregational development in 1999.

The announcement of the nominees now opens a 12-day process to be followed by any bishop or deputy who wants to nominate from the floor a bishop not on the committee’s slate. The committee recently outlined the process that must be followed before any additional bishop may be nominated in that manner.

Jefferts Schori and President of the House of Deputies the Rev. Gay Clark Jennings recently wrote to their houses with information about the bishops’ election and deputies’ confirmation process that will be followed at convention. That information is here.

All of the nominees will be given the opportunity to address both houses of General Convention the afternoon of June  24. Their names will be formally submitted to the General Convention during a joint session of the two houses on June 26. Nominations from the floor, done according to the committee’s process, will happen during that session as well.

Bishops will gather at the Convention Eucharist at 9:30 a.m. on June 27 in the Salt Palace Convention Center. Following that, the bishops with seat, voice, and vote will board buses to travel to St. Mark’s Cathedral, where the election will take place in the context of prayer and reflection.

Once the election has taken place, Jefferts Schori will send a delegation to Jennings to inform her of the name of the bishop who has been elected. Jennings will refer the name to the House of Deputies legislative committee on the Confirmation of the Presiding Bishop without announcing the name to the full House. The legislative committee will make a recommendation to the House of Deputies whether to confirm the election or not confirm, and the House of Deputies will immediately vote on the recommendation. Jennings will then appoint a delegation of deputies to notify the House of Bishops of the action taken.

“No communication is permitted from the House of Bishops during the election and until confirmation is received. I know this will be a challenge, but ask your cooperation and faithfulness to our mutual life and accountability,” Jefferts Schori said in her letter to the bishops.

The presiding bishop-elect will preach at the convention’s closing Eucharist on July 3, and Jefferts Schori will preside. The presiding bishop-elect’s nine-year term officially begins Nov. 1, 2015.

The presiding bishop is primate and chief pastor of the church, chair of the Executive Council, and president of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society.

The 78th General Convention meets June 25 – July 3, in Salt Lake City, Utah.


Comments (33)

  1. Rich Basta says:


  2. John Andrews says:

    From my view point as a lay person, the Joint Committee has chosen four good men to lead our church into the future. Praise God from whom all blessings flow…………..

  3. Ronn Rucker, Ed. D says:

    4 wonderful nominees. Our Bishop in Ohio is a great man. Breidenthal was dean of religious life and of the chapel at Princeton University in New Jersey when he was elected on Nov. 11, 2006, to be the ninth bishop of Southern Ohio. He was ordained and consecrated April 28, 2007. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1974 from Portland State University, a Master of Arts degree from the University of Victoria, in British Columbia, in 1977, a Master of Divinity degree in 1981 from Church Divinity School of the Pacific and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in theology from Oxford University in 1991.

  4. Judith Hartmen says:

    What ? No women nomimated ??? Really !

    1. Helen Anbell says:

      no women in the final 4. There were female candidates earlier on, some of whom withdrew themselves from the process. The fact that all 4 remaining candidates are male doesn’t mean women were left out entirely. It may well be that the 4 candidates truly are the best options from the candidates the search committee considered.

    2. The Rev. John Crist says:

      Dear Judith,
      Were any women bishops willing to run? From what I have heard the answer is NO.

  5. Walter C. Joyce says:

    I would be very sad to see Bishop Curry leave the diocese of NC. He has been a drivig force and a true inspirtion. His bookl “Crazy Christians” (a compilation of his convention addresses) should be enough evidence that he is the right person at this critical time in the live of our church. Hearing him speak is an experience not to be missed. It is hard for me to advocate for him to be PB because we would lose him from NC, but is fire and heart is exactly whatt we need.

    1. Amy rose cecil says:

      He has been a blessing to the diocese of NC. He is so wonderful and we need to prepare our hearts to share him with many others. Bless you Bishop Curry!

  6. Channing Smith says:

    Hard to believe that Bishop Greg Rickel from the Diocese of Olympia did not make the list. He is progressive, organizationally minded, and inspiring. I was truly looking forward to learning about the vision he had in leading the Episcopal Church for the next nine years. Our loss not having him in the mix.

    1. dallas baxter says:

      I nominated him, so it was either his choice not to stand or the committee’s not to have him. He is, indeed, a great choice. Also, young so …. 2024?

  7. Pat Trytten says:

    No women? No one west of Ohio? No younger people? Back to the old, male institution. Shame on all of you!

    1. Doug Desper says:

      Recent experience in Maryland has taught that preferring diversity check-off points in preference to call and qualification is a mistake. We need to stop making chromosome counts and pigmentation into a litmus test for enlightenment. Male, female — how about the best of the called, willing, and able — no matter how many diversity points get checked off?

      1. Diane Barker says:

        Amen to that!

    2. Kathy Snow says:

      Dear Pat Trytten, “Old, male institution” has absolutely nothing to do with Bishop Curry. I wish most 30 year olds had half of his energy, drive, and ability to get across the love of Christ to others. He is about serving God by actively helping all of God’s children, from migrant farm workers to inner city dwellers to all of those who live and work in North Carolina and far beyond. Our diocese has been blessed and spiritually enriched to have him.

      1. Pat LeNeave says:

        Amen, Kathy!! He is the greatest thing since sliced bread for the office of Presiding Bishop. I adore him!

    3. Carolyn sowa, says:

      Complants against males, Caucasians, seniors, or not being from the right part of the country are just as troubling as those against women or minorities or those who are homosexual. Lets leave the pc to the secular and remember we are the body of Christ. All loving all inclusive..

  8. Rev. Douglas James says:

    It is a great news. We together pray that the spirit will guide these great men of GOD

  9. Richard McClellan says:

    May the Holy Ghost guide all in the decision of the new bishop of TEC.

  10. Martha Richards says:

    Any of the four Bishops nominated would be well qualified for the job. We need to pray for the guidance of the Holy Spirit in the selection of our next leader.

    1. Richard McClellan says:


  11. Rev. Tom Buechele says:

    The joint nominating committee worked very hard and have selected 4 “men for all seasons”. I am impressed with their degrees and experience. I will add my voice however to some folks dismay that not only were no women put forth as nominees but no Latinos (as)-Hispanos (as) or Asians. The racial face of the USA is changing rapidly and in a short time the convergence of those diverse languages, cultures and spiritualities, largely embedded in USA poverty, must be integrated with a very old aging Episcopal anglo population. A great and challenging task. I pray the one “man for all seasons” elected will lead us into that diversity and inspire us in that direction.
    and call to justice.

  12. I have had the pleasure of growing up with Michael Curry under his dad Kenneth Curry in old St. Phillip’s Buffalo and now I serve with Ian Douglas in Connecticut. Let us fast and pray over the next coming weeks that we may serve Christ, presenting ourselves, our souls and bodies for the mission of God on earth.

  13. Wilma LaRae Neal says:

    I too was disappointed when our Bishop Greg Rickel was deleted from those running for this office but when I saw Bishop Michael Curry’s name on the list my whole body chuckled. After hearing him speak and share his love at a Conference in Atlanta several years ago he captured my heart. He not only loves God….. he truly loves people, EVERYONE…. I mean, men & women, green & blue, poor & rich, small & large, animal, vegetable or mineral. The material he writes and presentations he gives truly pass along his love and care for others. Whoever it may be God bless us with the very best Presiding Bishop that is chosen to replace our wonderful Katharine Jefferts Schori.

  14. Erna Lund says:

    Indeed Pray that a “Man for all Reasons” will have the Compassion, Spiritual fortitude and Moral backbone to Speak Out Loudly for Truth to Power in our country and world corrupted and dominated with politics and wars–and our desperatly needing a humane/humanitarian world vision–not afraid to speak out loudly for justice and equal rights for all peoples — for the Palestinians now only two(2) percent Christian community remaining in the Holy Land where our Dear Lord Jesus Christ was born and buried, and now millions of refugees in the Middle East abandoned, with Palestinians constantly uprooted and regarded as collateral damage! Who is that man? Is he among these four?

  15. Michael Chase says:

    Time for a qualified man!

  16. Ttus O. Olajide says:

    Amen. Never met any of the candidates, but they all seem to be well qualified. A job well done by the nominating committee.

  17. R.L. Cherry says:

    To me, it is time for a tolerant PB, whoever that might be. By that I mean, let the liberal churches be liberal and let the conservative churches be conservative. If a church or diocese wants to leave the fold, let them go with a Christian wave of good-bye. Let us never be in the news as instigating a lawsuit. Money is not what our Faith is about. We need a Presiding Bishop, not a Pope.

    1. Gene Hawkins says:

      Agree – thanks.

  18. The Rev. J.Houston Matthews says:

    Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Having served the church for 37 years , I believe e we have four great candidates for PB. As wounded Vietnam Veteran, Priest, Father, and Grandfather, I have been given the grace to survive Vietnam, the Episcopal Church,and cancer. From Prayerbook changes, to the ordination of women, to the inclusion of those of different sexual ordination, we have survived. It is my prayer that we will move forward with love and the grace of a Dietrich Bonhoeffer in celebration of our Anglican Diversity and Anglican Comprehensiveness, so that we may select the PB to lead our weaken Church and to proclaim to the world that Jesus is still Lord of Lord and King of Kings. Pax

    1. Josephine DiCalogero says:

      Thank you.

  19. Terry Francis says:

    I am in complete agreement with R I Cherry. We certainly do need a more tolerant PB in regards to conservative Episcopalians. Our present PB has shown through her statements and actions that she couldn’t care less about the concerns of conservative members of this church. I hope and pray that the these four candidates will consider all Episcopalians important to the church regardless of their social or political views and will communicate with conservative congregations rather than litigate. I just want a PB that will indicate loud and clear that in Christ there is no progressive and there is no conservative and that both groups are equally loved and equally important to this denomination.

  20. Harriet Warnock-Graham says:

    I am so going to miss Katharine Schori. When the church needed a Presiding Bishop with a backbone, Katharine arrived. It is to be hoped the next one has an equally firm backbone and an equally firm commitment to the Episcopal Church. In the face of the Windsor gang’s willingness to countenance the torture and brutality of some African dioceses; its willingness to exclude LGBT folk from full inclusion in the life of Episcopal Church, going backward would be a crime.

  21. Josephine DiCalogero says:

    Peace to all. I wish to thank and support the Rev j, Houston Matthews on his service and comment. You have given much and survived much and your statement should be peel from all of our bells. May God guide our church through this pivotal convention. May all leave with the gifts of the Spirit and bring home the wonder, awe and joy that we are given each day if we only look and accept the love that God so overwhelmingly gives. God bless the Bishops and Deputies as they cast their votes tomorrow. May they and the whole church be re-invigorated with the joy of the Holy Spirit.

Comments are closed.