The Rt. Rev. Cathleen Chittenden Bascom
The Right Reverend Cathleen Chittenden Bascom, D.Min., was ordained and consecrated as the 10th bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Kansas on Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Grace Cathedral, Topeka. The chief consecrator was Episcopal Church Presiding Bishop Michael Curry. Bishop Alan Scarfe of Iowa was the preacher.
She is the first woman to serve as bishop of the diocese.
Bishop Cathleen grew up in Denver, Colo. She earned a B.A. in English with distinction from the University of Kansas in 1984 and an M.A. in Modern Literature from Exeter University (UK) in 1991. She earned her M.Div. at Seabury-Western in 1990 and a Doctor of Ministry in Preaching from Iliff School of Theology in Denver in 2005. In 2017 she completed an MFA in Creative Writing and Environment at Iowa State University.
She had a faith experience that was nurtured at the Canterbury House and Trinity Episcopal Church in Lawrence, where she explored a call to ordination. After seminary she served as curate for three years at St. Gregory’s in Deerfield, Ill. She then returned to Kansas to help replant campus ministry at K-State, Washburn and Wichita State from 1993-2001, where she initiated the purchase of the St. Francis Canterbury House in Manhattan.
She then served from 2001-2007 as rector of St. Stephen’s, Newton, Iowa. From 2007-2014 she was dean of the Cathedral Church of St. Paul in Des Moines. As well as healing internal divisions, she and the cathedral were named Urban Stewards of the Year by Polk County for the installation of an urban prairie green-space.
Bishop Cathleen served as Assistant Professor of Religion at Waldorf University, a liberal arts college with Lutheran roots, from 2014 through 2018. While there she also was supply priest and team coach at Trinity, Emmetsburg, and oversaw Iowa Creation Stewards, helping parishes plant postage stamp prairies and organize around environmental concerns.
In 2018 she was named to a three-year term on the Episcopal Church’s Task Force on Care of Creation and Environmental Racism.
She also is the author of a novel, Of Green Stuff Woven, produced by Light Messages Publishing.
She is married to Tim Bascom, and they have two adult sons, Conrad and Luke. Bishop Cathleen likes to garden, cross country ski, travel, and enjoy the blessings of family and friends.