History

History

The College of Bishops evolved over a period of years with several important organizations contributing to its birth, evolution and current success. This timeline outlines the journey.

1970's
The Rt Rev’d David Richards, former Office of Pastoral Development Director, introduced “Bishop to Bishop” mentoring program.                                 

1993
The College for Bishops was formed at General Theological Seminary, offering three courses annually for new bishops. This initiative was funded with grants from The Church Pension Fund, The Episcopal Church Foundation, General Theological Seminary and The Lilly Foundation.  

1998
A fourth annual course for new bishops was added at General Theological Seminary and the College began offering courses to all bishops in various locations. 

1999
The Episcopal Bishops and Spouses Wellbeing Survey (co-sponsored by the College for Bishops) was conducted to address key areas of wellness and health.  

2001
A three-year research project was launched to identify and develop the resources and educational needs of bishops in the early years of their new positions.

2003
Program offerings were expanded to include:  
  • The New Bishops' and Spouses' Conference
  • Annual Core Courses
  • Annual Short Courses
  • Semi Annual CREDO For Bishops 
  • Annual Conference on Orderly Transitions  

2004
The Episcopal Identity Project, a collaborative research initiative sponsored by the College for Bishops and CREDO Institute, Inc. began to study the Church’s identity.  

2005
The first “class” of newly-elected bishops entered into the three-year Living Our Vows Program, a formational resource consisting of peer coaching and five-day residency components.  

2006
The College for Bishops became a collaborative partner with CREDO Institute, Inc. and received essential funding for the development of programs and administration.  

The College for Bishops took on responsibility for coordinating and supporting all continuing education sessions for the House of Bishops.

2007
The newly-formed Advisory Committee and Board of Directors met in New York City to begin new directions, structure and leadership for the College.     
              
The College for Bishops website was restructured and included a password-protected Bishops’ Area to make documents and resources easily available to the House of Bishops.

The 90-Day Companion Program was launched in a pilot phase, assigning active bishops as companions to newly-elected bishops to assist with transition issues.   

The Episcopal Transitions and Elections Project and Emotional Health and Wellness of Bishops and Bishop Spouses Study were initiated to begin researching and reviewing the Episcopal election process and the well-being of bishops and their spouses. 

2008
All programs continued to be refined and improved to better serve bishops at all stages of their careers.

A password-protected area for the Community of the Spouses of Bishops was made available on the College for Bishops website to provide general information, a calendar of events, photos, etc. pertinent to the spouse community.                                 
  
Emphasis continued on the following collaborative research initiatives: Bishop Spouse Project; Episcopal Transitions and Elections Project; Episcopal Identity Project; Clergy/Family Wellness Study.