Curry was born in Chicago and attended public schools in Buffalo, New York, and graduated with high honors from Hobart College in Geneva, New York, in 1975. He received the Master of Divinity degree in 1978 from the Yale Divinity School. He has also done continued study at The College of Preachers, Princeton Theological Seminary, Wake Forest University, the Ecumenical Institute at St. Mary's Seminary, and the Institute of Christian Jewish Studies. He has received honorary degrees from the School of Theology-Sewanee, Virginia Theological Seminary, Yale University and the Episcopal Theological School.
Curry was ordained deacon in June 1978 and priest in December 1978. He served initially as deacon-in-charge and subsequently as rector of St. Stephen's Episcopal Church (1978–1982) in Winston-Salem, North Carolina; then as rector of St. Simon of Cyrene Episcopal Church in Lincoln Heights, Ohio (1982–1988). He served as rector of St. James' Episcopal Church in Baltimore, Maryland (1988–2000). In his three parish ministries, Curry participated in crisis response pastoral care, the founding of ecumenical summer day camps for children, preaching missions, creation of networks of family day care providers, and the brokering of investment in inner city neighborhoods. He inspired a $2.5 million restoration of the St. James' church building after a fire.
Curry was elected eleventh bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of North Carolina on February 11, 2000, and consecrated bishop on June 17, 2000, at Duke Chapel on the campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. Curry serves on the board of directors of the Alliance for Christian and chairs the board of Episcopal Relief and Development. Curry has a national preaching and teaching ministry, having been featured on The Protestant Hour and as a frequent speaker at services of worship and conferences around the country. He is the author of Crazy Christians: A Call to Follow Jesus and Songs My Grandma Sang. He resides in Raleigh, North Carolina with his wife, the former Sharon Clement, and two daughters.
On May 1, 2015, the Joint Nominating Committee for the Election of the Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church nominated Curry and three other bishops for election as the 27th Presiding Bishop of The Episcopal Church. The election of the next Presiding Bishop took place on June 27, 2015, at the church's 78th General Convention in Salt Lake City. He was elected as presiding bishop on June 27, 2015, on the first ballot with 121 of 174 votes cast in his favor. He is due to formally takes office on November 1, 2015.
Video from Diocese of Diocese of NC YouTube Channel.