Our Bishop

Bishop Susan W. Hassinger began serving the Albany Episcopal Area effective September 1, 2006. She will continue in that position on an interim basis until June 30, 2010. She is the fourth Bishop to serve the Albany Area, her predecessors being Bishop James K. Mathews, Bishop William Boyd Grove and Bishop Susan M. Morrison.

The Northeastern Jurisdictional Conference elected Bishop Hassinger to the episcopacy in July 1996, and from 1996 until 2004 she served as the episcopal leader of the Boston Area. Since retiring in 2004, she has been bishop-in-residence and adjunct faculty at Boston University School of Theology, Boston, Massachusetts.  Prior to being elected to the episcopacy, she served as the pastor of several churches, as a district superintendent and in various staff positions in the Eastern Pennsylvania Annual Conference.

Born in Hanover, Pennsylvania, Bishop Hassinger grew up in the Evangelical United Brethren Tradition, which merged with the Methodist-Episcopal Church in 1968 to form The United Methodist Church. She is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Lebanon Valley College, Annville, Pennsylvania and Lancaster Theological Seminary, Lancaster, Pennsylvania. In 2005, she received certification in Spiritual Direction and Retreat Leading from the Center for Religious Development, Cambridge, MA, spring 2005. (Center is associated with Weston Jesuit School of Theology.)

Her interests include a commitment to dismantling racism and helping Christian communities communicate more articulately about their faith. She advocates a weekly celebration of Holy Communion in local United Methodist churches because 'it is at the center of our worship ... It is as we gather at the Table and receive the Eucharistic elements that we are fed with a sense of Christ's presence and are strengthened to feed others."

Bishop Hassinger has also served as a director for the General Board of Global Ministries (1980-1988), the General Board of Discipleship (1992-1996 and 2000-2004) and Liaison between Council of Bishops of the United Methodist Church and the 13 United Methodist schools of theology in the United States (September 2005 to present). Elected to Jurisdictional Conferences from 1976-1996, she was also a delegate to General Conferences from 1980-1996.  She served as president of  JUSTPEACE (2000-2004) and vice-chairperson of Anna Howard Shaw Center Board, Boston University School of Theology (2005-present).

Aside from her professional interests, she enjoys knitting, reading, travel, and listening to and making music.