Skip Navigation

Archives: Leadership

Increasingly, United Methodist deacons such as the Rev. Kimberly Lewis-Davis, a Chicago Police Department chaplain, are serving their primary appointments outside the local church. Photo courtesy of Lewis-Davis; edited from original.

Deacons: Bridging the church and the world

Nearly half of all United Methodist deacons now have their primary appointment outside the church, where they serve as teachers, lawyers and more. Read More

The Rev. James Lawson talks about Black Lives Matter and the civil rights movement during a break from teaching at the Children Defense Fund’s Proctor Institute in Clinton, Tenn. UMNS photo by Mike DuBose

Lawson: Black Lives Matter shows need for change

The Rev. James Lawson says the movement is an extension of the social awakening that started with the civil rights movement. Read More

Women in the Southeastern Jurisdiction pray for Bishops-elect Sue Haupert-Johnson (in green-and-blue) and Sharma Lewis (in yellow-and-white) a day before their consecration. United Methodists already have elected a record number of women bishops this year. Photo by Jasmine Haynes, Mississippi Conference

New women bishops make history

U.S. delegates have elected more women bishops than in any previous class of United Methodist episcopal leaders. Four are African American. Read More

Joy is evident as the Rev. Sharma Lewis, center, of the North Georgia Conference is elected a United Methodist bishop on the first ballot July 13 by the denomination’s Southeastern Jurisdiction. Lewis is the first African-American woman to elected bishop by that jurisdiction. Photo by Ansley Brackin.

Southeastern elects first African-American woman as bishop

The Rev. Sharma Lewis of North Georgia is elected on first ballot of 2016 Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference. Read More

Kevin John “Kejo” Maddela stands with another youth leader at Christmas Institute 2012 in the Philippines. Photo courtesy of Kevin John Maddela.

Philippines’ Christmas Institute helps youth find gifts

Young people spend the days after Christmas in a retreat geared just for them. “It is a remake of the heart-warming experience of John Wesley.” More

A new study from Duke University shows a

How thick is the stained-glass ceiling?

A new National Congregations Study report from Duke University finds that only 11 percent of U.S. congregations are led by women. Read More

The Rev. Stefan Pfister mentors Cambodian pastors. Photo courtesy of the Rev. Stefan Pfister.

The five most difficult questions for pastors

People may expect pastors to always know what to say, but sometimes that’s not easy. Clergy talk about their most challenging conversations and their best counsel. More

Pastor Sherry Cothran Woolsey hugs Alison Lipschutz, age 5. Alison will take a red packpack to kindergarten this fall. Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS.

(More than) 10 ways to appreciate your pastor

From photos to prayers to food, learn what gifts — and actions — mean the most to preachers. Read More

Marilyn Spurrell and her daughter, Amy Atkins, are pastors at Faith United Methodist Church in Fargo. David Samson, courtesy of Forum News Service. Edited by

Mother/daughter pastors learn from each other

"Are you sure you want to work with your mom?!" asked Amy Atkins’ friends, but as she says, "I'm very grateful that it worked out that way." Read More

Street pastors on patrol in downtown Bangor, ME. Photo by Beth DiCocco, courtesy of New England Conference.

It’s 9 p.m. Do you know where your pastor is?

If you’re in Bangor, Maine, he or she may be “on patrol,” offering a listening ear, a ride home or a calm voice. Read More

Professors Sheryl Kujawa-Holbrook (left) and Najeeba Syeed-Miller teach a class on interreligious conflict resolution at Claremont Lincoln University in Claremont, Calif. A UMNS photo courtesy of Claremont School of Theology. Accompanies UMNS story #237. 8/8/12.; Claremont School of Theology

Claremont creates United Methodist leaders with ‘God-sized vision’

In one of the most religiously-diverse communities in the world, theology students say the school's focus on interreligious education is appealing. Read More

The Rev. Mel Kawakami, center, greets children after church. The pastor, church members say, is able to help ease difficult situations through his self-deprecating humor. Courtesy of Newtown United Methodist Church.

Facebook fans tell traits they appreciate most in pastors

United Methodists reveal what they like most about their leaders. See what tops the list. Read More

A 10th anniversary celebration of the Hispanic Youth Leadership Academy was held at Boston University School of Theology. The program has trained 980 youth and young adults in its first decade.

Academy marks 10 years of shaping young Hispanic/Latino leaders

Nearly 10 years ago, a group of United Methodist Hispanic pastors started helping students in pursuit of higher education opportunities. Read More

Bishop Cynthia Fierro Harvey prays with young adults who were attending Exploration 2013, an event for those considering God’s call to ordained ministry in The United Methodist Church. Photo by Vicki Brown for the General Board of Higher Education

Church continues to see clergy aging trend

Report finds young elders slightly up in percentage, though big shift is toward local pastors. Read More

Gail Ford Smith

How Texas Conference has developed young clergy

The Rev. Gail Ford Smith, director of the Texas Annual Conference’s Center for Clergy Excellence, answers questions about strategy for developing young clergy. Read More

Ilda Massuanganhe Guambe, a graduate of United Methodist-related Africa University, spoke before the 2014 U.S. Africa Summit in Washington.

AU grad addresses U.S. Africa Summit

Ilda Massuanganhe Guambe, a 2011 graduate of United Methodist-related Africa University, has a passion to promote education for girls. Read More

Project Transformation is an eight-week summer camp held in churches creating bonds between the interns and the children they serve. Challye Hays laughs with children as they play corn hole in the gym at Antioch United Methodist Church.

Summer camp changes interns as much as children

Project Transformation, a United Methodist program, improves literacy skills for at-risk children, revitalizes churches, and is nurturing future clergy. Read More

Dorothy Smith, dean of the college of general studies at Dillard University in New Orleans.

Freedom School leads to fulfillment of dream

A youthful Freedom School experience introduced a Dillard dean to Black History, a foreign language and photography. Read More

Methodist pastors from Mexico and Colombia attending this summer’s Course of Study School at Perkins School of Theology are (from left) Iris Zamorano, Rosendo Garcia Jaimes, Denis Marquez Anguila, Ricardo Aldana Mogollon, Eunice Cano Ojeda and Danilo Diaz Rivas. Photo by Kevin Gaddis, Southern Methodist University

Seminary welcomes Mexican, Colombian pastors

Month-long training at Perkins School of Theology equips Hispanic Methodist clergy with new knowledge and skills. Read More

Women’s colleges cultivate leadership

Women from United Methodist-related schools describe the long-term value of being ‘surrounded by so many successful female students and leaders.’ Read More

Kevin Kosh graduation

McCord Scholar finds purpose in ministry

Rust College helped shape Kevin Kosh Jr.'s faith and put him on course for a career of empowering others. Read More

Mercy Nyirongo treats a child in a clinic in her home country of Malawi. A 2010 graduate of Africa University with a bachelor's degree in nursing, Nyirongo is project manager for the ZOE orphan-empowerment program of The United Methodist Church in Malawi.Photo Courtesy Mercy Nyironga.

AU grad influences change in Malawi

‘I love my country,’ says Mercy Chikhosi Nyirongo. ‘It's my vision to be the minister of health one day in Malawi.’ Read More

First Lady urges Dillard graduates to ‘think big’

May 12, 2014

First Lady Michelle Obama addressed the 2014 graduating class of Dillard University, one of the denomination’s historically black colleges. Read More

Christy Oxendine, Native American seminary scholar, is a student at Candler School of Theology, Emory University. Photo courtesy Emory University.

Native American Seminary Scholar hopes to mentor others

"It's important to me to encourage more Native Americans to enter [ordained] ministry,” says scholarship recipient Christy Oxendine. Read More

(From left) Theology student Murray Crooks speaks with the Rt. Rev. Stephen Charleston on the campus of Saint Paul School of Theology at Oklahoma City University. Crooks is a Native American student from Alaska.

School’s leadership program nurtures Native Americans

A new program at Saint Paul School of Theology seeks to raise the visibility of Native Americans in the church. Read More

McCord Scholar prepares to give in return

Program at 11 Historically Black United Methodist Colleges and Universities guides student toward deeper meaning in life. Read More