Meet Bishop Knisely

Bishop Knisely was elected to be the 13th Bishop of Rhode Island in June of 2012, and was ordained Bishop on November 17th, 2012.

meetbishop (1)Bishop Knisely was born and raised in Pennsylvania and met his wife Karen while they were both students at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster. Later, as a graduate student at the University of Delaware, he decided to leave behind his studies of Physics and Astronomy and was sent to Yale/Berkeley Divinity School to study for the priesthood. He completed his Masters of Divinity and was ordained to the diaconate in Delaware in 1991, then to the priesthood in 1992. In 2013 he received an Honorary Doctorate of Divinity, also from Berkeley Divinity School at Yale.

Bishop Knisely previously served as a priest in Delaware, Western and Eastern Pennsylvania, and as Dean of the Cathedral in Phoenix Arizona. He has been active in a number of ministries with particular focus in the areas of homelessness, communications, college and youth, finance, and ecumenical relations. He taught Physics and Astronomy for nearly seven years at Lehigh University while he was serving in Bethlehem PA. He was the first chair of the General Convention Standing Commission on Communications and Technology and was part of the Moravian-Episcopal Dialog that drew up the full communion agreement between the two denominations. Karen and Nicholas Knisely have been married for 30 years and have an adult daughter named Kenney.

Connect with Bishop Knisely

Twitter: @wnknisely
Instagram: @wnknisely

The Bishop in the News:

From the Bishop

Bishop Knisely’s Easter Message 2017

Bishop Knisely has shared some thoughts about Easter in this video. Bishop’s Easter Message 2017 (4/11) from Episcopal Diocese of RI on Vimeo.      

Bishop Knisely joins with interfaith leaders in letter against refugee ban

Bishop W. Nicholas Knisely and numerous diocesan clergy have joined thousands of interfaith leaders in signing a letter to the White House and Congress opposing President Trump’s refugee ban.  The letter is described in this article in Episcopal News Service.  The Bishop also attended the protest against the ban at the Rhode Island State House […]

From Bishop Knisely in response to the 2016 elections

A Divided Community: Responding with Hope and Action The results of the elections this week have confirmed what we already knew. Our country is deeply divided along regional, racial, gender and economic lines. The divisions are real and painful. The divisions are ending friendships and threatening family relationships. There are people in our communities and […]

A Great Sadness – The Passing of Peggy Amatore

Dear sisters and brothers; It is with great sadness that I share the news of the death of our colleague and friend, Peggy Amatore. Peggy has been battling a rare and incurable disease for the last year. I was informed Sunday morning that she died peacefully in her sleep. On behalf of the Diocese I […]

An invitation to the Office: a resolution for the New Year

When I was newly ordained, I struggled for sometime trying to construct a prayer life that was as satisfying as the one I had while I was a seminarian. Being part of an organized community that read the Daily Office daily made it easy to look after my prayer life. But when I was out […]

RI Deacons to Celebrate 30 Years of Ordained Ministry

On July 13, 1985, Bishop George Hunt ordained the first class of Deacons. This was the beginning of the revival and resurrection of the vocational Diaconate in our Diocese. Since that time, there have been 42 people ordained to this order and several others who have transferred their orders to our diocese for a total […]

To not be provoked by evil

I’m waking to the news that there’s been a mass execution of Coptic Christians in Libya this morning by masked men who claim affiliation with the Islamic State movement. The victims died with the words “Jesus is Lord” on their lips. Violent actions like these, shared widely in an intentional media campaign, are carefully calculated […]

A Journey to Easter; a lenten discipline

The series of blog posts that I wrote for the Diocese of Rhode Island during Lent of 2013 is now edited, tightened up and in print from Leader Resources. (Some folks in congregations said that they would prefer to use them in a book form rather than online.) From the book’s page on the publisher’s […]