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Central Conferences

The denomination has seven central conferences: Africa, Central and Southern Europe, Congo, Germany, Northern Europe and Eurasia, Philippines and West Africa. The central conferences are composed of equal numbers of lay and clergy members.

Africa Central Conferences

Africa includes three central conferences: Africa Central, with five episcopal areas; Congo Central, with four; and West Africa, also with four. In Africa Central and Congo Central, bishops are elected for four years as “term bishops,” and with reelection, they are elected for life. In West Africa, bishops are elected for life upon their first election.

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Use our directory to find information about Central Conference episcopal offices:

Europe Central Conferences

Europe has three central conferences: Central and Southern Europe (one episcopal area), Germany (one episcopal area) and Northern Europe (two episcopal areas). In Central and Southern Europe, bishops are elected for four years as “term bishops.” In the second quadrennium, the central conference can reelect a bishop for another four years, elect him or her for life or elect a new bishop.

In Germany, bishops are elected for four years as “term bishops.” Each new quadrennium, they can be elected to serve another four years, with a maximum of 12 years of service. If a bishop qualifies for retirement at the end of 12 years of service, he or she retires and becomes a bishop for life. If a bishop is too young to retire, he or she returns to the annual conference as a pastor and surrenders the episcopal status. 

In Northern Europe, bishops are elected for eight years as “term bishops.” In the third quadrennium, a bishop can be elected for an additional four years, with a maximum of 12 years of service. If a bishop qualifies for retirement at the end of 12 years’ service, he or she retires and becomes a bishop for life. If a bishop is too young to retire, he or she returns to the annual conference as a pastor and surrenders the episcopal status.

Philippines Central Conference

The Philippines has one central conference — Philippines, with three episcopal areas. Bishops are elected as term bishops for four years at a time. They must be reelected every four years. If a bishop continues to be elected a bishop until he or she reaches retirement age, he or she becomes a bishop for life. If a bishop is too young to retire, he or she returns to the annual conference as a pastor and surrenders episcopal status.