By Kirk Petersen
The Episcopal Church in Minnesota on January 25 elected the Very Rev. Craig Loya to be the X Bishop of Minnesota. He was elected on the second ballot from a field of five candidates in a special convention at St. Mark’s Cathedral in Minneapolis.
Loya has served as dean and rector of Trinity Cathedral in Omaha, Nebraska, since 2013. (In the Episcopal Church, “the Very Reverend” usually denotes a priest who serves or has served as dean of a cathedral.) He previously was canon to the ordinary in the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas, from 2009-2013. He has also served as campus missioner for the Diocese of Kansas, and has served congregations in South Dakota and Massachusetts.
“Among diverse people and across diverse contexts, Minnesota Episcopalians have always borne vibrant witness to God’s reconciling love, and it’s an extraordinary privilege to be called to join that work in this new season,” Loya said in a statement issued after his election.
Loya was one of two candidates identified by the bishop search committee, the other being the Rev. Canon Abbott Bailey, canon to the ordinary of the Diocese of California.
Three other candidates subsequently were nominated by petition:
- The Rev. Kara Wagner Sherer, rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church, Chicago, Illinois;
- The Rev. Canon Robert Two Bulls, vicar, All Saints Indian Mission, and missioner for Indian work and multicultural ministries for the Minnesota diocese; and
- The Rev. Erika von Haaren, vicar/COO, Saint Barnabas on the Desert, Scottsdale, Arizona.
Loya received his M.Div. from Yale University and a diploma in Anglican studies from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale in 2002. He currently lives in Omaha with his wife, Melissa Tubbs Loya, a Hebrew Bible scholar, and their two children, Mari and Asa.