Elaine Stanovsky

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky


United States

Western Jurisdiction


Bishop Elaine JW Stanovsky was elected to the episcopacy in 2008.  She retired on January 1, 2023. 

Elaine JW Stanovsky was born in Vancouver, Washington, the fourth of five children of Edith and Robert Woodworth. She was baptized at First Methodist Church in Vancouver and made her profession of faith as a youth at First United Methodist Church in Bellevue, Washington.

Elaine earned her BA degree summa cum laude from the University of Puget Sound and her M.Div. degree from Harvard Divinity School. Elaine was ordained deacon and elder in the Pacific Northwest Annual Conference, where she served pastorates at Kennydale and Crown Hill United Methodist churches in the Seattle area. From 1990 to 1995 she served as President/Director of the ecumenical Church Council of Greater Seattle. In 1995 she began her service as the Puget Sound District Superintendent. In 2002 she became the Director of Connectional Ministries and Assistant to the Bishop, a position she held until 2005 when she began her service as dean of the cabinet and superintendent of the Seattle and Tacoma Districts.

Stanovsky was introduced to the global church in 1972, as a young adult observer for the Pacific Northwest Conference. She served as staff of the United Methodist Council on Youth Ministries in 1973-74, where she met Clint Stanovsky from the Central Texas Conference. She married Clinton in 1977, and together they have three sons: Walker Clinton Stanovsky, Micah Eli Stanovsky, and Carl Axel Stanovsky.

Elaine was elected lay head of delegation to the 1976 General Conference while still in college. Clergy colleagues elected her their first delegate to general conferences in 1996, 2000, and 2004. After graduating from college she worked as a summer intern at the General Board of Global Ministries. She has served as a member of the General Council on Ministries, the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, and the General Board of Education and Ministry, as well as the Plan of Organization and Rules Committee of the General Conference. Elaine maintains strong ecumenical and interfaith commitments, including the Renton Ecumenical Association of Churches, the Washington Association of Churches, the Seattle Holocaust Conference, the Consultation on Church Union, and the World Council of Churches. She traveled to Russia twice with the Seattle-St. Petersburg Sister Churches Program.

The Western Jurisdiction elected her to the episcopacy in 2008 and assigned her to the Mountain Sky (previously Denver) Area, comprising the Rocky Mountain and Yellowstone Annual Conferences. She is vice-chair of the General Board of Discipleship and chair of the Curriculum Resources Committee. In 2009 she represented The United Methodist Church on an interfaith peace mission to the Middle East with the National Interfaith Leadership Initiative.