Apportionment Series: What are apportionments?

One of the ways the connection of The United Methodist Church is exemplified is through apportionment giving. 

Apportionments are defined as a vital expression of faithful stewardship; a way local churches can connect with annual conferences to be in mission together and add to that mission in a way that is stronger through interconnectedness. 

A history of giving 

This form of Methodist giving started with founder John Wesley. Wesley noticed that classes of people rather than individuals could assist each other in sharing responsibilities for projects such as the construction of buildings and supporting preachers. 

This format has continued today with what we know as apportionments. 

According to Virginia Conference Treasurer David Dommisse, “All giving happens at the local church level, to fund the entire connection.” 

It is the support of each local church that supplies an impact on a local, national and global level. 

For director of Connectional Ministries, the Rev. Marc Brown, “Apportionments allow individuals and congregations to fiscally and physically participate in transformational ministries in over 130 nations in the name of Jesus.  Within the Virginia Conference, the stated purpose of the annual conference is to equip local churches for ministry and provide a connection for ministry beyond the local church.” 

   2017 Virginia Conference team to Cambodia.

Ministries and efforts of United Methodists are supported by these funds affording outreach to young people, global mission and support for the growing churches and new churches in the conference. Example of these ministries that equip local churches include 5 Talent Academy, livestreamed semi-annually; How to Reach  New People workshops, these have included over 350 congregations; infrastructure support for recruitment, certification and clergy relationship process; conference youth retreats; small, mid and large church training events; online and in-person lay servant training; All God’s Children Camp, camps for children with incarcerated parents; 22 higher education campus ministries; disaster response; Volunteers in Mission (VIM) training; and partnerships in Mozambique, Brazil and Cambodia. 

How are apportionments calculated?

Using church information from the Equipping Vital Congregations (EVC) website, apportionments are calculated using the prior year’s statistics for each local church. This is why it is integral that information entered into the EVC website is accurate as this information affects the apportionment calculations for the entire conference.  

The equation:

Learn more about Virginia Conference apportionments

In the August issue of the Advocate, the Mission Opportunities booklet is inserted each year to share opportunities for mission and giving for the next annual conference year. 

At the 234th Annual Conference session, the 2017 budget decreased 0.91 percent. See the 2017 budget (pdf)

Do you have questions about apportionments? Email Communications Director Madeline Pillow at to have your questions answered in an upcoming article in this series. Upcoming articles will share information about the last decade of apportionment-giving as well as information on apportionments from the Pensions office. 


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Background photos courtesy of VDOT.

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