Election of the 27th Presiding Bishop

The four nominees, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas and the Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, will be officially placed in nomination at a joint session of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies on June 26.

In The Episcopal Church, the Presiding Bishop is the chief pastor and primate of the church and its nine ecclesiastical provinces. The Presiding Bishop is charged with responsibility for leadership in initiating, developing and articulating policy and strategy, overseeing the administration of the Church Center staff and speaking for the church on issues of concern and interest. He or she serves as president of the House of Bishops, chair of the Executive Council and president of the Domestic and Foreign Missionary Society, and is elected by the church’s General Convention to serve a single nine-year term.

In the early years of the Episcopal Church the Presiding Bishop was simply the senior diocesan bishop who presided over the House of Bishops. In 1919, the office was transformed into an elected one, and in the 1940s the decision was made that the Presiding Bishop should resign any other jurisdictions for which he or she might have pastoral responsibility. So in this respect, the office of Presiding Bishop is different from that of an archbishop found in other churches in the Anglican Communion, which have diocesan responsibilities in addition to overseeing a national church.

The Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori’s term as Presiding Bishop will end on November 1, 2015. She will be succeeded by a bishop elected from a slate of four nominees during the General Convention. The nominees were selected by a nominating committee made up of a bishop, a member of the clergy and a layperson from each province, as well as two youth members appointed by the President of the House of Deputies.

The four nominees, the Rt. Rev. Thomas Breidenthal, the Rt. Rev. Michael Curry, the Rt. Rev. Ian Douglas and the Rt. Rev. Dabney Smith, will be officially placed in nomination at a joint session of the House of Bishops and the House of Deputies on June 26. On Saturday, June 27, members of the House of Bishops with seat, voice and vote will convene in St. Mark’s Cathedral in Salt Lake City, where the election will occur in the context of prayer and reflection. Once an election has taken place, Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori will send a deputation to the House of Deputies for confirmation of the election.

Once confirmed, the announcement of the Presiding Bishop-elect will be made to the public. Watch our diocesan General Convention web portal for election results on June 27.

The nominees

Bishop of Southern Ohio
Ordained April 28, 2007

“The peace of Christ is always about engagement with the neighbor, beginning with whoever crosses our path or lives close by, and working out from there. So the zone of peace we establish with one another as communities of Christian practice should push us outward into our neighborhood and beyond.”


Bishop of North Carolina
Ordained June 17, 2000

“I pray for a Church passionately committed to making disciples who follow in the way of Jesus of Nazareth in the Episcopal tradition and who in so doing participate in the realization of the dream of God for this world. A church like that will really be a house of prayer for all people. The face of a church like that will reflect the faces of all the peoples of our lands in all our wondrous God-given variety. A church like that will be truly catholic. A church like that will bear witness by its very life to the unconquerable love of God we know in Jesus. That church will proclaim the word of God with power, evangelize as much by listening as by sharing, embody hospitality with authenticity, serve, witness and prophesy deliverance in our local and global societies. The discipleship of a church like that will truly follow in the way of Jesus of Nazareth and make a transformative difference in this world. That’s the church I pray for.”

Bishop of Connecticut
Ordained April 17, 2010

“Our primary vocation, given to us in baptism, is to participate in God’s mission of restoration and reconciliation. Following Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we are agents of God’s love for the whole world. The Church is a result of our faithfulness to this mission of God and not an end to be maintained.”


Bishop of Southwest Florida
Ordained March 10, 2007

“This scriptural teaching continuously inspires me. ‘If any one is in Christ, there is a new creation…All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation’ (2 Corinthians 5:17ff) We are given the blessing and the gift of living for others with God’s love. I am excited for the ministry of the Episcopal Church in living the ministry of reconciliation. I believe it is God’s desire and our purpose.”