About Bishop Anderson

Bishop Craig Anderson, rector Emmanuel Episcopal Parish Orcas Island, Washington

Bishop Craig B. Anderson

The Right Reverend Craig B. Anderson, Ph.D.

Born and reared in Los Angeles, Craig Anderson graduated from Valparaiso University in 1963.  Following college, he served for two years on active duty as an infantry officer and then was employed by the Procter and Gamble Company in advertising and marketing management from 1966 to 1972.  As a postulant from the Diocese of Colorado, he attended seminary at The School of Theology, The University of the South, Sewanee, Tennessee and received his M.Div. with honors.  During his seminary education he was awarded the Woods Leadership Award and served as Editor of the St. Luke’s Journal of Theology.  He was ordained to the diaconate in 1974 and the priesthood in 1975.  He went on to receive his M.A. and Ph.D. in Theology from Vanderbilt University where he was a Hartmann Graduate Fellow and teaching assistant.

Dr. Anderson taught at The School of Theology of the University of the South and held the C.K. Benedict Chair of Theology from 1977 through 1984.  During his tenure there, he also served as Priest-in-Charge at Christ Episcopal Church in Alto, Tennessee part-time on a non-stipendiary basis.

In March 1984 the Diocese of South Dakota elected him to be the eighth Diocesan Bishop.  He was consecrated at Our Lady of Perpetual Help in Rapid City by the Most Reverend John Allin.  Bishop Anderson was adopted by the Oglala Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation and given the name “Wanbli Tokaheya” (Leading Eagle) at the 112th Niobrara Convocation, a gathering of the 88 Episcopal Indian churches on the eight reservations in the Diocese.  During his nine years in South Dakota, he focused on ecumenical concerns and issues related to American Indian ministry and women in ministry.

He served on the Presiding Bishop’s Committee for Full Participation of Women in the Church in the 1986-1989 Triennium and chaired the Presiding Bishop’s Committee on Indian Ministry. He chaired the Program, Budget and Finance Committee, served on the Theology Committee, co-chaired the Committee on Continuing the Dialogue on Human Sexuality, chaired the Joint Standing Committee on Nominations of General Convention, board member of the Episcopal Church Building Fund, Education Committee of the House of Bishops, Communications Committee of the House of Bishops, Planning Committee of the House of Bishops, National Chaplain for the Daughters of the King, Visiting Bishop for the Order of the Sisters of St. Helena,  and Associate of the Sisters of St. Mary.

In recognition of his work combating institutional racism in the South Dakota, Bishop Anderson received the Governor’s Award for Reconciliation in 1990 and 1991 and was awarded the Sacred Hoop Peace Medal in 1991 by the Great Sioux Nation.  Valparaiso University awarded him the honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters for his work in the area of human rights and ecumenism, and he received an honorary Doctorate of Divinity from the University of the South.  He was awarded a Mershon post-doctoral fellowship at The Ohio State University for research and teaching in the area of public policy and theology for the academic year 1992-1993.  He was Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Southern Ohio.

From 1993 to 1997 Bishop Anderson served as the eleventh President, Dean and Professor of Theology at The General Theological Seminary in New York City where he founded the College for Bishops and served as Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of New York.  He was a Fjellstedt Fellow at Uppsala University in Sweden for the spring semester of 1997.

Bishop Anderson was President of the National Council of Churches from 1997-1999 and provided leadership in linking the NCCC with the Conference of Catholic Bishops and leaders from Reformed and Conservative Judaism.  He was also the Episcopal Church’s representative to the World Council of Churches’ Ecumenical Decade.

In the fall of 1997 he was installed as the eleventh Head of St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire.  During that time he continued his Episcopal ministry and served as Interim Bishop in the Diocese of Vermont.

Following his retirement in 2005, he served for a year as an Assisting Bishop in The Diocese of Idaho and interim Rector of St. Thomas Church in Sun Valley, Idaho.  He served six years as part-time, non-stipendiary Rector of Emmanuel Episcopal Parish on Orcas Island and was an Assisting Bishop in the Diocese of Olympia and is currently serving as a retired Bishop in the Diocese of the Rio Grande.

Throughout his ministry, Bishop Anderson served in a variety of positions as an officer in the United States Army.  He branch transferred from the Infantry to the Chaplaincy following his ordination to the priesthood in 1975.  He is a graduate of the United States Army War College and his last assignment was as a reservist faculty member for the United States Army Chaplains’ School.  He was promoted to the rank of Colonel in 1991 and retired in 1997.

Bishop Anderson has been an active member of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York City since 1994. Under President Clinton, he was a member of the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships and served on a Presidential delegation to Haiti.  For several years he served on the Harvard Business School’s Board for Social Enterprise.  He is currently involved in various environmental advocacy groups in Minnesota, Washington State and New Mexico and recently received the San Juan Islands environmental Stewardship Award.

He is married to Lizbeth Johnston Anderson, a native of Colorado who graduated from the University of Denver and holds a Master of Science degree in Urban Planning from the School of Architecture, Historic Preservation and Planning at Columbia University.  She has taught school, served as editor of a weekly newspaper, practiced interior design, and served on several boards.  The Andersons love to play golf, hike, tennis, kayak, ski and travel.  They have three children and five grandchildren.



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