Charles Robertson named Canon to Presiding Bishop

June 5, 2007

Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori has named to the position of Canon to the Presiding Bishop the Rev. Canon Charles K. Robertson Ph.D., canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Arizona since 2004.

"Chuck Robertson brings theological and communication expertise and specific understanding of the Anglican Communion owing to his graduate work in England," Jefferts Schori said in announcing the appointment on June 6.

"He has experience in small churches, larger congregations, and inter-diocesan cooperative initiatives, and a particular understanding of the church in both the Southeast and Southwestern regions of the United States," she said.

Jefferts Schori said the position of Canon to the Presiding Bishop "will be ordered in new ways to support current and emerging mission priorities." Services currently provided by the Presiding Bishop's Office will continue to be addressed in a variety of ways, she added.

Jefferts Schori said the new canon will work closely with her and the Episcopal Church's chief operating officer, Linda E. Watt, in a collaborative approach to supporting the people of the Episcopal Church in their ministries.

Set to begin work at the Church Center on August 15, Robertson succeeds the Rev. Canon Carlson Gerdau, who has served as canon to Jefferts Schori since she took office November 1, 2006. Previously canon to Presiding Bishop Frank T. Griswold, Gerdau plans to retire September 30, Jefferts Schori said.

Robertson was selected through a search process led by the Rev. Canon Robert Nelson, canon to the ordinary in the Diocese of Nevada, where Jefferts Schori was diocesan bishop from 2001 to 2006.

"In this exciting time in the life of the Church, it is a pleasure and a privilege to serve in this capacity," Robertson said.

A Fellow of the Episcopal Church Foundation and former professor of ethics and communication, Robertson, 43, has served congregations in both Georgia and Florida and worked as a consultant in leadership development and conflict management in both the Church of England and the Episcopal Church. He is an honorary canon of the Diocese of Dar es Salaam.

Robertson is the author of several books including "Conflict in Corinth: Redefining the System," "Religion as Entertainment," "Religion and Alcohol: Sobering Thoughts," "Religion and Sexuality: Passionate Debates," "Barnabas: A Model for Holistic Stewardship," and the upcoming "Exploring the Sacred Bundle." He has also written various articles for journals including the Anglican Theological Review.

Robertson holds a bachelor of arts degree (cum laude) in communication from Virginia Tech, and a master of divinity degree (cum laude) from the Virginia Theological Seminary. While earning his doctorate in theology from England's Durham University, Robertson assisted at Durham Cathedral from 1996 to 1999.

He was rector of St. Stephen's Church, Milledgeville, Georgia, from 1999 to 2004. While there he was on the faculty of Georgia College and State University, teaching courses in communication and ethics. He was priest-in-charge of St. John's Church, Melbourne, Florida, from 1993 to 1996.

As canon to the ordinary based in Phoenix, Robertson has assisted Arizona Bishop Kirk Smith and focused on areas of new church plants, growth initiatives, and fundraising.

He has served on national boards for the Alliance for Christian Media and the Episcopal Network for Stewardship, and in 2001 co-founded Film Clips Inc., a "creative synergy between education and entertainment."

A native of El Paso, Robertson has been married for 16 years to Debbie, and they have three children, David, Jonathan, and Abigail.