Kristin Uffelman White elected 10th bishop of Southern Ohio

Posted Oct 2, 2023

The Rev. Kristin Uffelman White was elected the 10th bishop of Southern Ohio on Sept. 30. Photo: Diocese of Southern Ohio

[Diocese of Southern Ohio] The Rev. Kristin Uffelman White was elected Sept. 30 to be the 10th bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. She will be the first woman to hold the position.

White, 51, has served as canon to the ordinary for congregational development and leadership in the neighboring Diocese of Indianapolis since 2018. She was chosen from a field of five nominees in an election held at Christ Church Cathedral in Cincinnati. On the third ballot, she received 91 clergy votes and 174 lay votes. A minimum of 57 clergy votes and 118 lay votes were necessary for election on that ballot.

“Thank you for your trust in calling me as your next bishop. For being the church, for loving the church, for sharing God is not elsewhere,” White said via Zoom in remarks made to the convention, in which she called her fellow nominees “a blessing and a gift to me and to our church.”

“I can’t wait to be with you, and until that time, please know that you are on my heart and in my prayers. God bless you all, and I will see you soon,” she said.

White is a lifelong Episcopalian who was born in Anchorage, Alaska, and raised in Prineville, Oregon. She served the Church of the Holy Spirit, Lake Forest and St. Augustine’s, Wilmette, both in the northern suburbs of Chicago, before joining the bishop’s staff in Indianapolis. She is a trainer and director in the College for Congregational Development, a church-based leadership training program, and had served in various diocesan roles during her time in the Diocese of Chicago.

Before earning a Master of Divinity degree at Seabury-Western Theological Seminary, White was a high school English teacher in Oregon. She also holds a bachelor’s degree from Western Oregon University and a Master of Arts in teaching from Willamette University. She and her husband, John, are parents of an adult daughter, Katherine Grace, who lives in Germany.

White will succeed Bishop George Wayne Smith, Southern Ohio’s bishop provisional since 2021, as bishop of a diocese that includes 71 congregations and more than 15,000 members in 40 counties across central and southern Ohio. Pending the consent of a majority of bishops and standing committees in The Episcopal Church, she will be ordained as bishop on Feb. 17, 2024, at the Greater Columbus Convention Center in Columbus.

The other nominees were:

• The Rev. Whitney Rice, canon for evangelism and discipleship development, Episcopal Diocese of Missouri;
• The Rev. José Rodríguez, rector and vicar of the Episcopal Churches of Christ the King and Jesús de Nazaret, Orlando, Florida;
• The Rev. Stephanie Spellers, canon to the presiding bishop for evangelism, reconciliation and creation care, The Episcopal Church; and
• The Rev. Elaine Ellis Thomas, rector of All Saints, Hoboken, Diocese of Newark, New Jersey.