The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) Board of Directors confirmed the agency’s strategic direction toward a center for leadership formation and development at its August board meeting. Through a new mission and vision, the board provided overwhelming support to move the agency forward by developing leaders equipped to fulfill the mission of The United Methodist Church — to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
A special taskforce, composed of board members and staff, was assembled in March 2017 to prayerfully and thoughtfully update the agency’s mission and vision.
- Mission: Build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation.
- Vision: Generations of thriving, diverse and passionate Christian leaders for The United Methodist Church and the world.
The new mission and vision underscores GBHEM’s work in the area of leadership formation and development around the world, now and in the future.
Rev. Dr. Kim Cape, general secretary at GBHEM, echoed the resounding efforts of the agency to develop lay and clergy leaders for the church in her State of the Board Address. “Everything we do is about contextual leadership formation and development, here and everywhere. If, as a board member, you are asked, ‘what is GBHEM doing?’ The answer is leadership development. I believe this direction will demonstrate the value of GBHEM to the future of the church in 2020 and beyond.” Click here to watch the General Secretary’s Address, or view a transcript of the address here.
Throughout her address, Cape outlined GBHEM’s work in the area of leadership as a part of the Four Areas of Focus for the church. With the ever-growing need for ministry around the world, developing leaders equipped to effectively minister is the primary focus for GBHEM this quadrennium. Cape ardently supported this focus on leadership, saying that, “our primary work is to connect and implement a clear roadmap for Christian leadership formation for the whole church. We can connect the resources that already exist in pockets all over the world. Because of the explosion of ministry needs across the world, it is clear that we need to equip and form leaders who can navigate rapid change, leaders who can unite true knowledge and vital piety, and have the courage to lead the church to faithfulness.”
Offering additional support of GBHEM’s leadership development focus, the board approved the expansion of the already existing global network of regional hubs, beginning in Latin America and the Caribbean. The regional hubs are:
- LEaD Hub: Asia Pacific: Manila, Philippines and Seoul, South Korea
- LEaD Hub: Africa: Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire; Maputo, Mozambique
- LEaD Hub: Europe: Reutlingen, Germany and Stockholm, Sweden
- LEaD Hub: Latin America & Caribbean: Buenos Aires, Argentina and São Paulo, Brazil
- LEaD Hub: North America: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Additional Board Actions and Notable Information
- The Board approved additional resourcing to further GBHEM’s leadership formation and development work.
- The agency will evaluate where there are gaps in leadership across the denomination to amass and/or create the necessary resources, potential partnerships and funding resources for leadership development and formation.
- Feasibility studies will be used to determine if and how a physical location can be constructed for a center for leadership formation and development operated by GBHEM in Nashville, Tennessee.
- Dr. Henry Tisdale was elected vice-president, and chair of the Division of Higher Education.
- The Rev. Dr. Heecheon Jeon was elected chair of the Racial Ethnic Concerns Committee.
- The Board elected Amy Novak, Ed.D., president of Dakota Wesleyan University, to serve on the University Senate for the 2017-2020 quadrennium.
Bishop Sandra Steiner Ball, West Virginia Episcopal Area, vice president of the board’s Division of Ordained Ministry, led the Service of Word and Table, reminding the board and staff that “we are called to proclaim God’s blessings and be messengers of hope to the world.” To view the complete sermon, click here.
In a pinning ceremony, James E. K. Hildreth, Ph.D., M.D., president and chief executive officer of Meharry Medical College, a United Methodist-related historically black institution, and Rev. Sun Hee Kim, pastor in the California-Nevada Annual Conference and intercultural competency and cross-cultural communication consultant and trainer, were officially welcomed to the board.
About GBHEM: As the leadership development agency of The United Methodist Church, the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry’s mission is to build capacity for United Methodist lay and clergy leaders to discover, claim and flourish in Christ’s calling in their lives, by creating connections and providing resources to aid in recruitment, education, professional development and spiritual formation. 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 in their lives through our leadership and discernment programs. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook: @GBHEM.