Connecticut diocese elects Ian T. Douglas as bishop

October 24, 2009

The Rev. Dr. Ian T. Douglas of Episcopal Divinity School, Cambridge, Massachusetts, was elected Oct. 24 as 15th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Connecticut, pending the required consents.

Douglas, 51, Angus Dun Professor of Mission and World Christianity at EDS, was elected on the second ballot out of a field of four nominees. He received 150 votes (121 needed to elect) in the lay order and 169 (140 needed to elect) in the clergy order.

His election marks the first time in the diocese's 224-year history that a priest from outside of the diocese has been elected bishop.

The election took place during the diocese's 225th annual convention at Christ Church Cathedral in Hartford.

According to a release from the diocese, Douglas remained in Massachusetts during the day, as is customary for out-of-state nominees. The Rev. Barry Miller, a Connecticut priest assigned to "shepherd" Douglas during the election process, called him with the results of the balloting. As Bishop Diocesan Andrew Smith reported to the convention, Douglas said, "I am humbled, I am honored, and I accept."

Douglas will succeed Smith, who has served the diocese since 1999 and will retire in January 2010.

Under the canons of the Episcopal Church (III.11.4), a majority of bishops exercising jurisdiction and diocesan Standing Committees must consent to Douglas' ordination as bishop within 120 days of receiving notice of the election..

Douglas will be ordained and installed as diocesan bishop on April 17, 2010, in a service in Hartford with Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori presiding.

The other nominees were:

  • the Rt. Rev. James Curry, 61, bishop suffragan (Diocese of Connecticut);
  • the Rev. Mark Delcuze, 51, rector, St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, Ridgefield, Connecticut (Diocese of Connecticut);
  • the Rev. Beth Fain, 57, rector, St. Mary's Episcopal Church, Cypress, Texas (Diocese of Texas).

Douglas, who is also associate priest at St. James Episcopal Church in Cambridge, worked at the Episcopal Church Center in New York City in overseas development and was a parish assistant in the Diocese of Haiti before joining the EDS faculty.

He was ordained deacon in June 1988 and priest in June 1989 after receiving the 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. He and his wife Kristin are the parents of three young adult children: Luke, Timothy, and Johanna.

Douglas is also a member of the Episcopal Church's Executive Council, which carries out programs and policies adopted by General Convention. He is the church's clergy representative on the Anglican Consultative Council, the Anglican Communion's most representative decision-making body which includes bishops, clergy and laity.

More information about Douglas, including a video presentation and answers to the search committee's questions, is here.