What is a United Methodist?

What is a spiritual practice?

The United Methodist Church is a global denomination that opens hearts, opens minds and opens doors through active engagement with our world. The mission of The United Methodist Church is to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.

A United Methodist is someone who joins in that mission by putting faith and love into action. We believe that God loves all people, and that we share in expressing that love. So the United Methodist tradition emphasizes God's grace and in serving others. We believe that Jesus Christ is the fullest expression of God's love--showing us the fullness of God's care through Jesus' teachings, death and resurrection.

John Wesley started the Methodist movement in 18th century England. His teachings on practical divinity (living out our faith) and appeals to reason and experience form important aspects of United Methodist practice today.

We invite you to learn more about our rich theological heritage in the pages below.

Find out more.

United Methodists at a Glance

Who we are

The United Methodist Church is a worldwide connection of more than 12 million members in Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States. We are the person next door, the church on the other side of the country, and the worshiping community across the globe. Together, we share a legacy of living as disciples of Jesus Christ, sharing God's love both in what we say and how we serve our neighbors. 

What we believe

The United Methodist Church shares a great deal with other Christian denominations. We believe God's grace is open to all, and therefore practice "open Communion"--meaning that anyone may participate in receiving Communion. We believe salvation is an open gift from God, accepted by individuals according to their own free will. The United Methodist denomination is a "big tent" theologically, providing space for theological discourse and, at times, disagreement.

What we do

John Wesley, the founder of the Methodist movement, taught that we pursue our faith in community and action with others. We practice a social holiness. We insist that personal salvation always involves Christian mission and service to the world. The United Methodist Church has a long history of action and advocacy for social justice.

Learn more