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Alumni/ae serve as officers in council of bishops

Courtesy photo.
Courtesy photo.

United Theological Seminary seeks to prepare faithful and fruitful Christian leaders to make disciples of Jesus Christ.

We are pleased to recognize two United alumni/ae exemplifying this mission as they serve at the highest level of leadership in The United Methodist Church. Bishop Thomas Bickerton ’94, resident bishop of the New York Episcopal Area, and Bishop Tracy Smith Malone ’01, resident bishop of the Ohio East Episcopal Area, are serving in new roles in the Council of Bishops of The UMC. At the Spring 2022 meeting of the Council, Bishop Bickerton was welcomed as president and Bishop Malone as president designate.

United Theological Seminary is one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries supported by the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment of the United Methodist Church.

Both are graduates of United’s Doctor of Ministry program. In addition, Bishop Bickerton previously served as an adjunct faculty member at United, teaching United Methodist Doctrine and Polity to Master of Divinity students. Bishop Malone was awarded the honorary Doctor of Divinity from United in 2018 in recognition of her outstanding ministry of evangelism and social action and her powerful leadership in the Church.

In an address at the spring meeting, as reported by the Council, “Bishop Bickerton called on the United Methodists to commit to ‘spending most of our time positioning our church for the next chapter of our life together: talking about the movement of the spirit in our midst, the exciting days that lie ahead, and the joy we will have being able to live out our calling to preach the Good News of God’s love.’”

The Council of Bishops is comprised of all bishops in The United Methodist Church, with officers of the Council of Bishops elected by all members. Other officers of the 2022-24 of the Executive Committee are Bishop Sally Dyck (DMin, ’90), continuing in her role as ecumenical officer, Bishop Bruce Ough as executive secretary and Bishop L. Jonathan Holston of South Carolina Conference as secretary.

“We thank God for the gifts of these faithful leaders, and we pray that God will continue to guide them as they shepherd and lead the Church in witness to the Gospel,” said seminary president Kent Millard.

United Theological Seminary website, Dayton, Ohio

One of seven apportioned giving opportunities of The United Methodist Church, the Ministerial Education Fund is at the heart of preparing people for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. The 13 United Methodist seminaries help students to discover their calling through the challenging curriculum. The fund enables the church to increase financial support for recruiting and educating ordained and diaconal ministers and to equip annual conferences to meet increased demands. Please encourage your leaders and congregations to support the Ministerial Education Fund apportionment at 100 percent.