Katharine Jefferts Schori
Katharine Jefferts Schori, Former Presiding Bishop and Primate (Archbishop) of the Episcopal Church of the United States. She was the first woman elected as a primate in the Anglican Communion. She also holds a Masters and a PhD in Oceanography and is a certified instrument-rated pilot.
"Some of my colleagues, the other bishops in the Church, and there are about 150 active bishops, by the time I'd been in Nevada three years or so, a couple of them started to ask me if I would think about letting my name go forward for that election process. It happens every nine years, and we knew we were looking toward that in 2006. And again, I thought it was absurd, that it was totally ridiculous. Not only was I a woman, and relatively young, I was not the bishop of a big, historic or numerically large diocese. I was from the west; all of the other presiding bishops have come from the east, from the historic centers of the Episcopal Church. And I'd been ordained a relatively short period of time. I had not spent my adult career, if you will, as an ordained leader in the Church. And so again, I thought it was totally ridiculous. The process of election is a little different. The bishops do the electing. The rest of the clergy and lay delegates—they're called deputies—to the General Convention consent to that, or don't consent, but they confirm the election basically.”
"I think that all education, and particularly higher education, is an act of formation in being a learner, that it's an opportunity to expand both one's mind, but also one's ability to learn, one's curiosity. And you never know that what you've learned here may be put to work in a way that you never imagined. If you're open to the future, and open to learning, you may be doing very surprising things ten years from now, or twenty years from now, that will draw on all of those gifts and learnings all through your life. It's a gift; it's a particular gift to be able to focus on one thing that does not often come again in one's life."
Oregon State, Photograph via Episcopal Digital Network