James (Jim) E. Dorff graduated from Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University with a Masters degree in Theology. He received a B.A. degree from Oklahoma City University.
Prior to his election as a Bishop, he served for 36 years as a pastor in the North Texas Conference. He was ordained elder by W. McFerrin Stowe. His appointments and leadership roles included: Area Provost, superintendent - Dallas-Denton District, First UMC McKinney, and First UMC Gainesville, executive director - DFW Airport Chaplaincy, associate pastor/director - Pastoral Care & Counseling Ministry at Highland Park UMC, chair - Committee on Episcopacy & Executive Committee of the Board of Ordained Ministry, Division on Conference Relations, Division on Evangelism, Conference Nominating Committee, Council on Finance & Administration, and Clergy Effectiveness Team. He was elected to General and/or Jurisdictional Conference from 1996 - 2008. For the general church, Bishop Dorff served on the General Commission on Christian Unity & Interreligious Concerns and was a member of the Connectional Ministry Funding Patterns Task Force, 2004—2008.
Bishop Dorff was elected to the episcopacy in July 2008 and began his assignment in San Antonio on September 1. Since his election to the episcopacy, Bishop Dorff serves on the Board of Trustees of the Methodist Mission Home of San Antonio, Methodist Healthcare Ministries of South Texas, the Texas Methodist Foundation and the General Assembly of the National Council of Churches.
He serves on the Board of Trustees of several United Methodist related educational institutions, including Southern Methodist University, Southwestern University, Huston-Tillotson University, Lydia Patterson Institute, and the Executive Board of Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University.
Bishop Dorff serves the Council of Bishops and general church as a member of the Executive Committee and is Program Committee Chair of the Global Health Initiative, Imagine No Malaria.