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United Methodist Endorsing Agency Endowment Fund Set to Launch with $3 Million Goal

October 11, 2016

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) has established the United Methodist Endorsing Agency (UMEA) Endowment Fund to empower the endorsing agency and underwrite programs for their constituency, including chaplains and pastoral counselors. An initial goal for the endowment fund is $3 million to be raised over the next several years.

Since its inception, UMEA has provided the church with highly qualified and professionally trained clergy for ministry beyond its walls. In the UMEA process, each endorsed constituent becomes an heir of John Wesley, who “embraced the world as one’s parish.” Living in their call, endorsed clergy frequently use UMEA as a resource, not just an endorsement processing office. The office provides full support to its constituents, including advocacy, continuing education and pastoral care, while serving as a vital connectional link to the church.

UMEA’s rich heritage has fostered episcopal visitation of military chaplains and their families deployed in Europe and the Far East; spiritual retreats and continuing education opportunities both internationally and domestically; a pension grant fund for endorsed clergy not covered by an employer or church retirement program; and a constituent visitation program.

“The support rendered by the church through the endorsing agency has become a standard of care to our constituents,” said Bruce Fenner, director of endorsement at UMEA. “The support we offer is unique to the United Methodist tradition and of the highest level of quality and care.”

Without the UMEA Endowment Fund, the support that many chaplains and pastoral counselors receive from UMEA throughout their careers may not be available for those who follow in years to come. UMEA’s resources are directly tied to the church’s apportionment distribution, and therefore, with diminishing church contributions come reduced operating budgets.

The UMEA Endowment Fund will be overseen by GBHEM’s Board of Directors and managed by GBHEM’s Investment Committee. Interest generated from the endowment shall be used to:

  • Supplement program expenditures for the endorsed constituency (i.e., continuing education, colloquiums)

  • Create resources (e.g., books, articles, videos) related to ministry in the endorsed community

  • Supplement travel expenses for endorsed constituents on an identified need basis

There are two phases of the endowment campaign. In phase one, focus is placed on both active and inactive members of the endorsed community as UMEA seeks to underwrite $1.5 million (50 percent) of the goal. Phase two will focus on the church and members of the greater community who value the services rendered by the endorsed community.

“Working together, we can build a future of support for those who follow us,” added Fenner. “In the meantime, we ask that you please keep UMEA and the endowment fund drive in your thoughts and prayers.”

Visit for more information about the United Methodist Endorsing Agency

About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to prepare global leaders for a global church and the world. Every elder, deacon and licensed local pastor benefits from our training and candidacy programs. Many young adults find help in clarifying their vocation and God’s call on their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.