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Who We Are as United Methodists

The people of The United Methodist Church are a worldwide connection of more than 12 million members in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States.

The United Methodist Church was formed when the Methodist Church and the Evangelical United Brethren Church merged in 1968. But we trace our heritage back to the movement begun in 1729 in England by John and Charles Wesley. Learn more about our history.

Below, you will find a brief list of some of the characteristics and emphases of our denomination.

The United Methodist Church is:

  • Global: We speak many languages and live in many countries. We come with different cultures, ethnic traditions, national histories and understandings of Christian faith and practice.
  • Connectional: Every United Methodist congregation is connected to all other United Methodist churches around the world. This allows us to minister locally, regionally, nationally and globally. Learn more about our structure.
  • Inclusive: All persons are welcome to attend our churches, receive Holy Communion, and are eligible to be baptized and become members.
  • Grounded in Scripture: Our faith is guided by Scripture, and informed by centuries of Christian tradition, experience and reason.
  • Wesleyan: The United Methodist Church has a Wesleyan heritage, and as such, places emphases on what we believe and how we live out and grow in our faith every day. Learn more about our Wesleyan heritage.
  • Concerned about social justice: Throughout our history, The United Methodist Church and its predecessor bodies have expressed concern for God's children everywhere — the poor, the orphaned, the aging, the sick, the oppressed and the imprisoned. Learn more about our mission and ministry.
  • Mission-oriented: Our mission is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world. In uncomplicated terms, this means we strive to nurture followers of Christ who then reach out and teach others about the love of Jesus. Learn more about our mission around the world.
  • Ecumenical: United Methodists consider dialogue and cooperation between United Methodists and other Christians as a valid witness to the unity of the body of Christ. Learn more about our ecumenical and interreligious relationships.