Bishop Shawn McKnight, STD

The opening session for Assembly 2019 promises to get straight to the heart of the matter during a facilitated conversation on the mainstage about the clergy sex abuse scandal. Bishop Shawn McKnight is one of the prominent voices from our ministry who will share comments and insights into the issue and discuss ways Catholic health care and Church leadership can work together to protect human dignity, promote healing and advance the common good.

Bishop Shawn McKnight, STD

Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri

Bishop Shawn McKnight

Bishop W. Shawn McKnight was born on June 26, 1968. He grew up in a large Catholic family and attended Catholic schools. Bishop McKnight holds a Bachelor of Science degree in biochemistry from the University of Dallas (1990).

He was ordained a priest for the Diocese of Wichita on May 28, 1994. He earned a Master of Arts degree and a Master of Divinity degree from the Pontifical College Josephinum (1993-1994), and a Licentiate of Sacred Theology from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm in Rome in 1999.

Bishop McKnight served as chaplain at Newman University in Wichita from 2000 to 2001, where at the same time he was an adjunct professor of theology and visiting scholar at the university’s Bishop Gerber Institute of Catholic Studies. In 2001, he earned a Doctor of Sacred Theology degree, also from the Pontifical Athenaeum of St. Anselm, writing his dissertation on the permanent diaconate. He later taught liturgy and homiletics at the Pontifical College Josephinum seminary from 2003 to 2008, where he also served as director of liturgy, dean of students, director of formation in the school of theology and vice-president for development and alumni relations.

From 2010 to 2015, he served in Washington, D.C., as executive director of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ (USCCB) Secretariat for Clergy, Consecrated Life and Vocations.

After serving as pastor at the Church of the Magdalen in Wichita, Kansas from July 2015 to January 2018, he was ordained the fourth bishop of the Diocese of Jefferson City, Missouri on February 6, 2018.