The Rt. Rev. Robert Skirving, Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina, was elected the 25th chancellor of the University of the South at a meeting today of the University’s Board of Trustees. Skirving succeeds the Rt. Rev. Samuel Johnson Howard, Bishop of Florida, who served as chancellor from October 2012 through October 2018.
Skirving, a native of Ontario, Canada, was ordained and consecrated as the eighth Bishop of the Diocese of East Carolina on November 8, 2014. He has been a member of Sewanee’s Board of Trustees since 2014 and the Board of Regents since 2017, and received an honorary degree from the University in 2015.
Prior to becoming Bishop of East Carolina in 2014, Skirving served as rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Midland, Michigan; rector of Bishop Cronyn Memorial Church in London, Ontario; rector of St. Mark’s Anglican Church in Brantford, Ontario; and rector of three small congregations in rural southeast Kent County, Ontario.
Skirving earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from the University of Waterloo, Ontario, in 1982. He then went on to earn an M.Div. from Huron University College, London, Ontario, in 1986. He was ordained to the diaconate on May 1, 1986, at St. Paul’s Cathedral, London, Ontario, and to the priesthood on December 17, 1986, at St. James Westminster Church, London, Ontario, by Bishop Derwyn Dixon Jones, Bishop of Huron. In 1998, Skirving earned a certificate in congregational development from Seabury Institute, Evanston, Illinois.
During Howard’s tenure as chancellor, Sewanee enjoyed increased recognition as a leading national liberal arts institution, as well as growth in the influence and reach of the School of Theology.
The chancellor is elected from the bishops of the University’s owning dioceses for a term of six years. The chancellor is president, ex officio, of the Board of Trustees and a member of the Board of Regents.