The Reverend Canon Ruth M. Woodliff-Stanley was elected on May 1, 2021, to be the fifteenth bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of South Carolina during a Special Meeting of Convention held for the purposes of the election. Once consecrated in October, Bishop-elect Woodliff-Stanley will be the first female to serve as bishop in the more than 200-year history of the historic diocese.
Bishop-elect Woodliff-Stanley most recently served as Canon for Strategic Change for the Dioceses of Northwestern Pennsylvania & Western New York, and the Senior Vice President for Strategic Change with the Episcopal Church Building Fund. Raised and ordained in Mississippi, the bishop-elect has served as rector of a parish, as canon on the staffs of two bishops of The Episcopal Church, and also in church-wide ministry focused on stewardship of finances and property.
Though she has lived in Colorado for the past decade, the bishop-elect traces her roots in South Carolina through three generations. Her paternal grandmother grew up in Charleston, and her father immigrated to the state as a young man before meeting his future wife and beginning their family there. Throughout the search process, she expressed a longing to return to her roots in South Carolina.
Bishop-elect Woodliff-Stanley received her Master of Divinity from Yale Divinity School and Berkeley in 1991, the same year in which she was ordained to the priesthood in the Diocese of Mississippi. She is married to Nathan Woodliff-Stanley and they have two adult sons.
The consecration is scheduled for Saturday, October 2, 2021, at Grace Church Cathedral in Charleston, SC. Bishop-elect Woodliff-Stanley will be the first full-time diocesan bishop of the diocese since 2012. During that time, the diocese has been led by two part-time provisional bishops, with the second (the Rt. Rev. Gladstone B. "Skip" Adams) retiring in December 2019.