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The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes, Bishop of San Diego and a 1991 graduate of Virginia Theological Seminary, will become its new associate dean of students. He will be responsible for community formation and admissions, and will serve as the chief chaplain to students. The seminary’s trustees approved his appointment at their Feb. 8 meeting.

The Very Rev. Ian S. Markham, dean and president, welcomed the news of Bishop Mathes and his wife, Terri, moving to VTS.

“As an alumnus, he is coming home,” Markham said. “We are looking forward to having Jim and Terri as a part of the seminary community.”

Before coming to VTS as a student, Mathes worked in educational development, raising money for his alma mater, the Webb School, and directing a campaign for St. Andrew’s-Sewanee.

He was ordained to the priesthood at All Saints’ Church in Belmont, Massachusetts, in 1992.

His passion for education and personal growth transferred to a passion for parish life when he became rector of the Church of St. James the Less in Northfield, Illinois.

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

Mathes was elected in November 2004 to serve as the fourth Bishop of San Diego and was consecrated in March 2005.

“Bishop Mathes is a man of deep wisdom and sensitivity,” Markham said. “Seminarians are looking forward to learning from his extensive experience of parish and diocesan service.”

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

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