COLUMBUS, Ohio (Reuters) – The U.S. Episcopal Church chose Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori on Sunday as its first woman leader, a move unprecedented in the Anglican church and one likely to produce more turmoil in a faith divided over the ordination of an openly gay bishop.
Her election came 30 years after the 2.3 million-member Episcopal Church, the U.S. branch of the worldwide Anglican Communion, approved the ordination of women to the priesthood.
“It will be a great adventure,” said Jefferts Schori, who holds degrees in biology and oceanography and taught religious studies at Oregon State University before her 1994 ordination.
NAME: The Rt. Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori
EXPERIENCE: Oceanographer, National Marine Fisheries Service, Seattle; Ordained, 1994; assistant rector Episcopal Church of the Good Samaritan and dean of Good Samaritan School of Theology in Corvallis; consecrated bishop of Nevada, 2001; Voted to confirm first openly gay bishop, 2003; Member, Special Commission on the Episcopal Church and the Anglican Communion
EDUCATION: bachelorâ€™s degree in biology from Stanford University, 1974; masterâ€™s in oceanography, Oregon State University, 1977; Ph.d., Oregon State University, 1983; masterâ€™s in divinity, Church Divinity School of the Pacific, 1994
FAMILY: Husband, Richard Miles Schori; one daughter