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Bishops lead the processional for opening worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore.

Photo by Kathleen Barry, UMNS

Bishops lead the processional for opening worship at the 2016 United Methodist General Conference in Portland, Ore.

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Council of Bishops


Bishops of The United Methodist Church provide spiritual leadership to almost 12 million persons in a broad range of settings on four continents, including North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. In the United Methodist tradition, bishops are not “ordained” as bishops, but are clergy elected and consecrated to the office of bishop.

Historically, bishops play an important leadership role in ordering the life of the church and helping set the direction to fulfill its mission in the world. All bishops share in teaching, equipping, and encouraging mission and service. They serve as shepherds of the entire church, providing a prophetic witness for justice and unity. All bishops are members of the Council of Bishops, which collectively is charged with the general oversight and promotion of the temporal and spiritual interests of the entire Church. Bishops are specifically assigned to preside over the work of a regional area.

On this site you can meet your bishop and learn about the many ways United Methodists are in ministry in your community and around the world.

About The Council of Bishops

All active and retired bishops of The United Methodist Church make up the Council of Bishops.


Four Areas of Ministry Focus

The Council of Bishops supports the church in living out the Four Areas of Focus:

  • Combating the diseases of poverty by improving health globally.
  • Engaging in ministry with the poor.
  • Creating new places for new people and renewal of existing local churches.
  • Developing principled Christian leaders for the church and the world.

Learn more about the four areas


Meet the Bishops

This resource will allow you to locate key contact information, biographies, and more for Bishops of The United Methodist Church.

Search for a bishop


News and Statements

Read the latest headlines concerning the Council of Bishops of The United Methodist Church.




God's Renewed Creation: Call to Hope and Action
"We cannot help the world until we change our way of being in it."
Learn More

Imagine No Malaria
Join the United Methodist Church's efforts to overcome malaria.
Learn More


Ecumenical and Interreligious Ministries

The United Methodist Church, through the Council of Bishops, calls all Christians to strive toward unity and relationships with churches of Methodist and other traditions. Staff for this ecumenical and interreligious work are based in Washington, D.C.

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