The former president of Sudbury's Thorneloe University — who's been the Bishop of Algoma with the Anglican Church of Canada over the past seven years — is returning to academia.
Stephen Andrews has announced that as of Aug. 1, he'll be the new principal of Wycliffe College, the largest Anglican theological college in the country, located on the campus of the University of Toronto.
“I'm thrilled by it and I'm a little bit nervous about it,” said Andrews, who was the president of Thorneloe, a federated university on Laurentian University's campus, for eight years before becoming bishop.
“It's an important responsibility in the life of the church.”
Andrews is an American who was born in Colorado and grew up in Minnesota. He moved to Vancouver, B.C. in 1979 to study theology, and stayed in Canada after marrying his Canadian wife, Fawna.
He actually did some of his studies at Wycliffe after deciding to become an Anglican priest.
Throughout his career, Andrews — who has a PhD in philosophy in the faculty of divinity at Cambridge University — has served in postings in both the ministry and academia.
Before coming to Sudbury, he was Rector of The Cathedral Church of St. Alban the Martyr and dean of the Diocese of Saskachewan in Prince Albert, where he was also principal of the James Settee College for the Ministry.
Even after becoming Bishop of Algoma — he's based out of Sault Ste. Marie for that posting — he continued to teach in Thorneloe's department of religious studies.
When asked if he's excited to return to academia, Andrews said he's tried to use his educational background to benefit the diocese, but adds “there's nothing quite like the classroom and rubbing shoulders with academics.
“There's a sense in which I am looking forward to getting back into that,” he said. “But what I'll really miss is the pastoral dimension, which has been a significant part of my ministry here in Algoma.”
Andrews said he's had many great experiences as Bishop of Algoma, but some of the best have involved visiting parishes, which usually put on a party when the bishop visits.
“I'm slightly envious of my successor,” he said, adding he hopes a new bishop will be in place by the new year.
Although Andrews will no longer be Bishop of Algoma, he'll remain an Anglican bishop — it's kind of a life sentence, he jokes. He'll be a bishop without jurisdiction.