John Crawford Bauerschmidt was elected the eleventh Bishop of the Diocese of Tennessee on October 28, 2006, and was consecrated in Nashville at the non-denominational Christ Church on January 27, 2007.
The Diocese of Tennessee covers the Middle Tennessee region of the state, with Nashville as the see city. In addition to his service as Diocesan and as a member of the House of Bishops, Bishop Bauerschmidt serves (since 2010) as Episcopal co-chair of the Anglican-Roman Catholic Ecumenical Dialogue in the United States, and has served since 2015 as part of the International Anglican-Roman Catholic Commission on Unity and Mission (IARCCUM). He is a Trustee of the University of the South. He also serves on the Board of Directors of The Living Church magazine and on its Foundation, and on the Board of Trustees of The Anglican Digest.
Bishop Bauerschmidt was born in 1959, and was brought up and attended school in Columbia, South Carolina. He received an A.B. degree from Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio in 1981, and then attended the General Theological Seminary in New York, from which he graduated in 1984 as Master of Divinity. In 1984 he was also ordained deacon by Bishop William Beckham of Upper South Carolina, and began serving as Curate of All Saints’ Church, Worcester, in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts. In 1985 Bishop Beckham came to All Saints’ to ordain him priest, and he continued to serve there until 1987. During this time, he served on the Board of the Piedmont Neighborhood Center, and also on the Board of the Inter-faith Coalition for the Homeless.
In 1986 Bauerschmidt married Caroline Barnard Pearce of New York, New York. They have three adult children: William, Henry, and Caroline.
In 1987 Bauerschmidt matriculated at Oxford University, England, from which he received the D.Phil. degree in 1996. From 1987 until 1991 he and his family were resident in England; his doctoral work was supervised by the Rev. Canon Oliver O’Donovan, the Regius Professor of Moral and Pastoral Theology. His doctoral thesis was entitled, Sexual Difference and the Relationship of the Sexes in the Theology of St. Augustine. While a doctoral student, Bauerschmidt was also a Priest Librarian of Pusey House, an Anglican chaplaincy to the University community.
In 1992 he was called as Rector of Christ Church, Albemarle, in the Diocese of North Carolina. During his time in North Carolina, he also served on the Ecumenical Commission of the diocese, for several years as Chair. In 1997 he was called as Rector of Christ Church, Covington, in the Diocese of Louisiana. While there he served on the Board of Trustees of Christ Episcopal School, the parish’s parochial school, and also on the Board of Directors of Christwood, an affiliated Continuing Care Retirement Community. From 2003 to 2005 he was President of the Christwood Board. He served on the Executive Board of the Diocese of Louisiana, and for two years was the President of the Standing Committee of the diocese. Bauerschmidt also taught in the Diocesan School for Ministry, and was a clerical deputy to the 2006 General Convention.
Bishop Bauerschmidt has a professional interest in theology, and an amateur love of history, in particular the history of ideas. In addition to these areas, he reads widely, especially fiction, reportage, and travel literature. He has written a number of articles and book reviews, and blogs at livingchurch.org/covenant/. He is a dedicated scale modeler.