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Bishop William B. Oden

United States

3091 Mill Vista Road #1214
Highlands Ranch, CO 80129

Phone Number
(505) 629-7992/7993

Email Address
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William B. Oden was born in McAllen, Texas and earned degrees from Oklahoma State University (B.A., philosophy), Harvard University (M.Div.), and Boston University (Th. D.). He has received honorary doctorates from Oklahoma City University (D.D.) and Centenary College (Doctor of Humane Letters). He received the Distinguished Alumni Award from Oklahoma State University in 2002, and the Outstanding Alumni Award from Harvard Divinity School in 2005.

Bill served in Oklahoma as pastor of First UMC, Enid; Crown Heights UMC, Oklahoma City; St. Stephen's UMC, Norman; and Aldersgate UMC, Oklahoma City. He served as a delegate to four General Conferences and six Jurisdictional Conferences, leading the Oklahoma clergy delegation in 1984 and 1988. He chaired three Oklahoma Conference Boards: Ordained Ministry, Evangelism, and Higher Education. Other Conference leadership included chairing the Commission on Structure and the Task Force on Ministry to Ministers. He was a member of the Governors Blue Ribbon Commission on Government Reform, co-chairing the Committee on City-State Government Relations.

During his last ten years as a pastor, he was on the faculty of Phillips Graduate Seminary, where he taught courses in preaching, worship, and spiritual formation. He was named Merrill Fellow, Harvard Divinity School, Fall Term of 2003. He has been speaker for numerous conferences and lectureships, including Jurisdictional and Conference Schools of Christian Mission, Jackson Lecturer at Perkins School of Theology, and Visiting Preacher for Boston University School of Theology. He serves as trustee for numerous institutions, including Southern Methodist University (secretary of the Board of Trustees), Southwestern University, and Methodist Hospital of Dallas.

William B. Oden was elected to the episcopacy by the South Central Jurisdictional Conference in 1988; he served the Louisiana Area (1988 -1996), and the Dallas Area from 1996 until his retirement in 2004. He served as Ecumenical Officer of the Council of Bishops from 2004-2008 and during that same period was Bishop-in-Residence at Perkins School of Theology, SMU.

Bishop Oden was president of the Council of Bishops (2000-01). He served as president of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (1996-2000) and president of the United Methodist Commission on Communication (2000-2004). He is on the Executive Committee of the World Methodist Council. He co-chaired the International Methodist/Anglican Dialogue (1992-1996) and was an ecumenical delegate to Lambeth Conference in 1998. He co-chairs the United Methodist/Episcopal Church Dialogue. He led the UMC delegation to the World Council of Churches 9th Assembly in Porto Allegre, Brazil, in 2006.

He is the author Wordeed: Evangelism in Biblical/Wesleyan Perspective, Liturgy as Life Journey, and Oklahoma Methodism in the Twentieth Century, and co-authored Vision and Supervision. He contributed a chapter to Send Me: The Itineracy in Crisis, and has also contributed to devotional guides and theological journals, including Quarterly Review.