GBHEM Welcomes a New Director of Endorsement

Published On: November 8, 2017

The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM) today announced the appointment of Rev. Mitchell Lewis as the director of endorsement and endorsing agent in the Division of Ordained Ministry’s United Methodist Endorsing Agency (UMEA). Replacing Bruce Fenner, who retired in September, Lewis’ appointment is effective November 13, 2017. 

In this role, Lewis will direct ecclesiastical approval and endorsement operations, lead continuing education programs and oversee the work of the endorsement committee. Additionally, he will relate to the endorser networks to ensure standards for professional requirements and certifications align with ministry settings (military, government, healthcare, correctional systems, etc.) for the United Methodist endorsed community. Lewis will also manage the Chaplain Pension Grant Fund and UMEA Endowment Fund as well as coordinate with GBHEM’s Office of Loans and Scholarships on four scholarship programs for chaplains and chaplain candidates.  

Prior to GBHEM, Lewis served as a colonel in the U.S. Army, with more than 26 years as an army chaplain. Lewis has both implemented and managed programs and resourcing for the endorsed military community around the world, including Central and South America, Caribbean, Korea, Middle East and Europe. He retired from the army on September 1, 2017. Lewis was ordained as an elder in the North Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church and has 10 years of service in the local church.  

Lewis received his Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and Master of Divinity from Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.  

“Our endorsed community plays an invaluable role in service to our church, here and abroad. As director of endorsement, Mitch will employ many of his gifts, talents and experiences to help guide the office for continued success in the future,” said Rev. Greg Bergquist, associate general secretary, Division of Ordained Ministry at GBHEM. “I am confident that Mitchell will contribute much to this role and support of our endorsed extension ministries.” 

For more information about endorsement or GBHEM, visit

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.

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