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General Secretary – Discipleship Ministries
Nashville, Tennessee

Discipleship Ministries of The United Methodist Church equips the church in its mission of making world-changing disciples by resourcing leaders in local churches, districts and annual conferences.

Discipleship Ministries’ offices are located at 1908 Grand Avenue in Nashville, Tennessee. There are approximately 180 full time staff in the agency and an annual operating budget of $32 million.

Discipleship Ministries is comprised of several program units, including Leadership Ministries, Young People’s Ministries, New Church Starts (Path1), Upper Room Ministries, and the Sustainable Resources Initiative in the central conferences and three administrative units including the General Secretary’s office which includes development and operations.

Discipleship Ministries provides training, consultation and skill development workshops as well as written and web-based resources in the areas of Christian education, worship, music, evangelism, new church development, stewardship, funding and financial management, lay leadership development, age-level (children, youth, adult) and family ministries, small-group ministries, ethnic local church concerns, devotional life, spiritual formation, and other areas related to the lives of people and the ministries of congregations.

Discipleship Ministries conducts over 50 major events each year and trains thousands of annual conference church leaders in the U.S., and internationally. Discipleship Ministries helps give theological guidance to the denomination’s Sunday School and develops other types of curriculum. The agency publishes several magazines and more than 50 books annually through Upper Room Ministries. The Upper Room daily devotional guide is published in over 40 languages and more than 80 editions reaching 2.5 million people daily in 100 countries. It is the most widely read devotional in the world.

The Position

The General Secretary serves as the chief executive officer of the agency, serving dual roles of leading the administration and program of the agency, and representing the agency to the whole church and world.  The General Secretary engages the Board of Directors in setting common vision based upon the duties outlined in the Book of Discipline, and overseeing the staff to accomplish the functions of the Agency. The General Secretary selects executive and program staff, supervises all staff, implements policy, plans, and provides overall financial management and administration for Discipleship Ministries. He/she represents the agency in national and international forums, including other General Boards and Agencies, Bishops, Annual Conferences, and Local Church leaders.  The General Secretary travels at least 50% of the time.

The position will be elected by a 24-member representative Board of Directors. Compensation for employees of the general agencies of The United Methodist Church is established by the denomination. The hiring salary range is expected to be approximately $150,000 – 170,000 depending on qualifications. The position is located in Nashville, TN.

The Ideal Candidate

The ideal candidate will be a true disciple and committed Christian, either lay or clergy, with experience with the local and general church and working knowledge of the Book of Discipline, as well as understanding the needs of local churches throughout the connection. He/she will be theologically educated and spiritually grounded.  The General Secretary will be an articulate, results-oriented leader with a vision for equipping the church for fresh missional engagement with the world. The General Secretary will be open to new technologies and eager to find ways to use them to improve global communication and make resources more easily available to church leaders. The ideal candidate will have demonstrated effectiveness working with vital congregations, new church starts, racial and ethnic congregations, program and project management, and have executive level experience in organizations. He/she will be able to take individual goals and connect them to a broader vision and then translate this into a plan for action. The ideal candidate will be experienced at raising resources and developing partnerships to meet the agency’s needs now and for the future of UMC.

Requirements include:

  • Active membership in a United Methodist Church
  • Experience leading organizational change
  • Senior executive management experience
  • A master’s degree or higher


The expected hiring range is $150,000 – $170,000, depending on experience and qualifications.

How to Apply

This position has been filled and is no longer available.

Thank you for your interest.

Apply Online

Applications will be accepted electronically by The Novak Consulting Group. Apply online at and include a single document with cover letter, resume with salary history, and list of 3-5 professional references (submit one Word or PDF document please). Applicant information will be kept confidential. Open until filled with first review of applications February 8, 2016.


Questions should be directed to Catherine Tuck Parrish at or 240-832-1778. For more information about Discipleship Ministries, please visit

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