The Rt. Rev. Shannon S. Johnston has appointed the Rt. Rev. Robert Wilkes Ihloff to serve as Bishop Associate in the Diocese of Virginia, beginning in March 2018. Bishop Ihloff will provide key support to the Diocese during the transition time leading to the election of a second Bishop Suffragan. He previously served as the Bishop of Maryland from 1995 until his retirement in 2007.
Born and raised in central Connecticut, Bishop Ihloff was ordained a deacon in 1967 and priest in 1968. Before becoming Bishop of Maryland, he served parishes in Connecticut, Massachusetts and New Jersey.
During his 12 years as Bishop of Maryland, Bishop Ihloff worked extensively on congregational renewal, sharing of resources within the Diocese, issues of social justice, Christian formation, and the development of the diocesan camp and conference center. He was an active leader in ecumenical and interfaith work as well as being actively involved in a number of social ministries in Baltimore.
From 2002 to 2009, Bishop Ihloff served as president of Province III (13 dioceses in the mid-Atlantic area including Virginia). In that capacity, he served as a member of the Presiding Bishop’s Council of Advice, advising two consecutively serving Presiding Bishops. From 1996 to 2009, he was a member of the Theology Committee of the House of Bishops.
He was a trustee of Virginia Theological Seminary, serving as chair of the Academic Affairs Committee for 11 years. He is also a former board member of the National Association of Episcopal Schools.
Bishop Ihloff served as co-chair of the Urban and Social Concerns Committee for three General Conventions of The Episcopal Church.
After retiring as Bishop of Maryland in 2007, he remained active on several committees and boards within the House of Bishops.
In 2014, he came out of retirement for 14 months to be full-time Interim rector at Church of the Redeemer, Baltimore’s largest Episcopal parish.
Bishop Ihloff earned a B.A. with departmental honors in history from Ursinus College in 1964; an M.A. in modern European history from Central Connecticut University in 1973; an M.Div. from Episcopal Theological School (later Episcopal Divinity School) in 1967; a D.Min from Episcopal Divinity School in 1985. His thesis/project was in the area Group Spiritual Direction. He is the recipient of three honorary Doctor of Divinity degrees.
Bishop Ihloff and his wife Nancy have two married children and six grandchildren. He is a voracious reader and an opera lover. A life-long gardener, he has, over the years, cultivated more than 150 varieties of 19th century English roses.