Bishop Mathes

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The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes is the chief pastor of our diocese. He's the apostolic leader in mission, evangelism and spiritual formation. He represents the diocese to the wider church and the wider church to the diocese.


Official Portrait (JPEG)


Bishop Mathes' blog:
Under the San Diego Sun: the Wanderings and Words of a Bishop on the Move



Bishop Mathes brings to the diocese an uncommon mix of pastoral ministry and nonprofit administration experience. Before entering seminary, he worked in educational development where he helped raise more than $10 million for The Webb School, his alma mater, and directed a successful $4.2 million campaign for St. Andrew's-Sewanee, an Episcopal school in Sewanee, Tennessee.

His passion for education and personal growth transferred to a passion for parish life when he became rector of The Episcopal Church of St. James-the-Less in Northfield, Illinois. During his seven years there, church attendance doubled, school participation tripled and the congregation founded a community outreach program for the elderly and disabled.

In 2001, Bishop Mathes was named canon to the ordinary for the Diocese of Chicago, where he directed the Department of Deployment and Congregational Development. He secured a $1.6 million grant from the Lilly Endowment to establish a clergy mentoring program. He also helped guide 130 congregations through a strategic planning process.

On November 13, 2004, Jim was elected to serve as the fourth bishop of San Diego and was consecrated in March of 2005.

Personal Statistics

1959 Born in Dallas Texas, where he was raised. Attended The Webb School in Tennessee

1981 Married Teresa Yvette Sutton at St. Andrew's Episcopal Church in Greensboro, North Carolina.

1982 Graduated from the University of The South in Sewanee with a BS in Mathematics, Magna cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa.

1991 Graduated from Virginia Theological Seminary and ordained to the deaconate at St. Andrews-Sewanee School Chapel, Tennessee.

1991-1994 Assistant Minister at All Saints' Church in Belmont, Massachusetts. Protestant Chaplain at McLean Hospital in Belmont.

1994 - 2001 Rector of The Episcopal Church of St. James-the-Less in Northfield, Illinois.

2001 - 2004 Canon to the Ordinary, Diocese of Chicago.

2005 Ordained and Consecrated as the Fourth Bishop of San Diego.


Bishop Mathes and his wife, Terri, have two adult children.