General Boards and Agencies
of The United Methodist Church
Click on the name of the agency below to visit its website.
Council of Bishops
The Council of Bishops gives general oversight of the ministry and mission of the church and spiritual leadership to the entire church connection. Composed of all active and retired bishops, the council meets as a group at least once a year.
The denomination’s highest judicial body or "court," the Judicial Council interprets church law and determines constitutionality of proceedings at all levels of church life. Its nine members, made up of laity and clergy, are elected by the General Conference and normally meet twice a year to consider whether actions of various church bodies adhere to the constitution and follow the rules outlined in the Book of Discipline.
Discerns and articulates the vision and the stewardship of the mission, ministries and resources of The United Methodist Church as determined by General Conference and in consultation with the Council of Bishops.
General Commission on Archives and History
Gathers, preserves, and disseminates materials on the history of The United Methodist Church and its antecedents. It maintains archives and a library in which the historical records are kept.
General Commission on Communication (United Methodist Communications)
Provides leadership for the denomination in the fields of communication, public relations, and promotion of the general funds and programs of the denomination. It is the official news gathering and distribution agency of the denomination. It provides resources and services to local churches and annual conferences in the field of communications.
Office of Christian Unity & Interreligious Relationships
Through its Office of Christian Unity and Interreligious Relationships, the Council of Bishops builds and maintains ties with other Christian denominations as well as other faith groups..
United Methodist Publishing House
The United Methodist Publishing House distributes all the official publications, records and forms of the denomination, publishes books through Abingdon Press, and operates Cokesbury retail and online stores, mail order service. It also publishes and distributes church school materials and resources throughout the denomination.
General Commission on Religion and Race
Focused on bringing about full and equal participation of the racial and ethnic constituencies in The United Methodist Church. The commission carries out its work through advocacy of the issues and by reviewing and monitoring the practices of the denomination.
General Council on Finance and Administration
Administers the finances and operational needs of the denomination and serves as the general treasurer of the denomination.
General Board of Higher Education and Ministry
Prepares and assists people to fulfill their ordained ministries and to provide general oversight for campus ministries and institutions of higher education.
General Board of Discipleship
Provides leadership and resources in the areas of spiritual growth and development, devotional literature, curriculum resources, Christian education, evangelism, worship, stewardship, and ministry of the laity. The General Board of Discipleship oversees The Upper Room.
General Commission on United Methodist Men
Involves men in a growing relationship to Jesus Christ and his church and to provide resources and support for programs of evangelism, stewardship and the needs of men.
General Board of Global Ministries
Responsible to witness to Jesus Christ throughout the world, to recruit and send missionaries, to raise the awareness and support of persons in local churches for global mission, and to assist in the development of Christian churches and leadership.
General Board of Pension and Health Benefits
Supervises and administers the pension and benefits programs, plans, and funds of The United Methodist Church. It administers and disburses the retirement and benefit funds of the various annual conferences.
General Board of Church and Society
Challenges United Methodists to work in areas of important social concern and develops resources to inform, motivate, and train United Methodists on issues of social justice in the society.
General Commission on Status and Role of Women
Challenges The United Methodist Church to a commitment to the full participation of women in the complete life and mission of the church. The commission serves as an advocate for and on behalf of women, seeks to eliminate inequities in relation to women in the church, and monitors the general agencies, institutions, and connectional structures to ensure inclusiveness of women.