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From the Standing Committee:

Candidates for the Tenth Bishop of Southern Ohio

June 29, 2023

Greetings in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

With thanks to God, and with gratitude for the exceptional service of the Bishop Nominating Committee, we are pleased to present to you the committee's slate of nominees to be the Tenth Bishop of Southern Ohio: the Rev. Canon Whitney Rice, the Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers, the Rev. Dr. Elaine Ellis Thomas, and the Rev. Canon Kristin Uffelman White. Read more from the candidates.

The election for the Tenth Bishop of Southern Ohio will take place at a special in-person electing convention on September 30 at Christ Church Cathedral.

Petition Process

The petition process is now open, and will remain so through 11:59 pm EDT on Thursday, July 13, 2023. This process allows members of the diocese to submit to the Standing Committee additional nominees for bishop, and replaces the previous practice of accepting nominations from the floor at the nominating convention. Read more about the petition process.


From September 11 through 15, the Bishop Transition Committee will hold seven meet-and-greet sessions for the people of the diocese to meet our bishop candidates. During each session, each candidate will have a 20-to-30 minute period to answer questions presented by a moderator. Everyone is invited to submit questions for the nominees online by August 21. Read more about the Meet-and-Greets.


The Rev. Canon Whitney Rice

"What I love most about the gospel accounts of call is that healing and evangelism are always intimately connected. Jesus heals someone and then immediately calls them to follow him on The Way so that they too may spread the Good News he has just awakened within them. This is a pattern I have experienced over and over in my own life, and I sense it is a journey the Diocese of Southern Ohio is walking as well." Read more.

The Rev. Canon Stephanie Spellers

"Throughout the antebellum South, my enslaved ancestors dreamt and sang of a place where they would at last know dignity and liberation. 'Lord Jesus,' they prayed, 'deliver us across the river to Freedom Land.' While they surely pictured the Israelites crossing the River Jordan to enter the Promised Land, their prayers were also deeply practical and earthy. Freedom was not an abstract; it was a destination. Racism didn’t magically evaporate as they crossed over the Ohio River, but they knew new life was possible on the other side. This was Freedom Land." Read more.

The Rev. Dr. Elaine Ellis Thomas

"The state of Ohio holds a special place in my heart: it is where my spouse, my partner in life, was born and grew up and went to college. We have made countless trips over the course of our relationship and marriage to visit family in northeast Ohio, to witness the pageantry that is a Buckeyes game at The Shoe, and to enjoy an afternoon of baseball at Great American Ballpark. Our deep roots in Ohio led me to participate in the bishop search in the Diocese of Ohio, an experience that continues to draw me into further exploration of where my gifts might best serve God and God’s people." Read more.

The Rev. Canon Kristin Uffelman White

"I give thanks for this opportunity to enter into discernment with you, as you search for the person who will serve as the Tenth Bishop of Southern Ohio.

"Your profile details a clear-eyed hope for your future as a diocese, as well as an honesty and a sense of longing that took my breath away. You recognize disparate accomplishments in the diocese, as well as the challenges you face, while seeking a coherent mission to frame who you are called to be as the Body of Christ throughout Southern Ohio. You name the desire for a bishop who will be present with you, particularly, in this time and place. These are the reasons – both in the work that you name and in the ways in which you articulate it – that I am compelled to explore this calling with you." Read more.

The Episcopal Diocese of Southern Ohio


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