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Bishop David Alan Bard

Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church.  Bishop Bard also shepherds the Minnesota Annual Conference as interim bishop until 2022, and serves as President of the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops.

Prior to arriving in Michigan in September 2016, Bishop Bard was serving at First United Methodist Church in Duluth, Minnesota since 2005. He was elected to the episcopacy on July 13, 2016 at the North Central Jurisdictional Conference held in Peoria, IL. He has been in ministry for more than 30 years and served in many roles within both the Minnesota Annual Conference and the General Church.

Bishop Bard was a General and Jurisdictional Conference delegate in 2000, 2004, 2008, and 2012. He was an episcopal nominee in both 2004 and 2008.

Within the Minnesota Conference, Bishop Bard was chair of the Episcopacy Committee and the Higher Education Ministry Team, and he served on the Board of Ordained Ministry and the Congregational Response Team. He was also the conference parliamentarian. He was a district superintendent from 1998 to 2005 and spent three years on the Commission on Religion and Race.

Within the General Church, Bishop Bard serves on the Study on Ministry Commission, the Committee on Faith and Order, and the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy. He has also previously served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Commission on General Conference, and the Commission on Theological Education.

Bishop Bard received a BA from the University of Minnesota, Duluth in 1981; his Master of Divinity was earned at United Theological Seminary, Twin Cities 1984; and in 1994 he received a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University with a focus on Christian ethics

Bishop Bard has a wife, Julie, and three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside.

bishop@michiganumc.org

David and Julie Bard have three children: (L to R) daughter Beth with husband Michael, son David with wife Kristina, Bishop David, daughter Sarah with husband and Julie Bard.
David and Julie Bard have three children: (L to R) daughter Beth Bard-Henke with husband Michael; son David Bard with wife Cristina Diaz; Bishop David, daughter Sarah Bard with husband Aaron White and Julie Bard.
  • Addressing denominational tensions (9/9/2022) - In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard addresses denominational tensions by correcting misinformation that is spreading about the Michigan Conference’s disaffiliation process and what theology he believes will guide the future UMC... We are not yet through the COVID-19 pandemic. People are still getting sick, and some are dying, but we seem to be doing much better. Vaccines for the Omicron variant are coming online. We have learned that taking precautions allows us to participate in many of our regular routines. Some events that had been postponed or canceled for the past two years are back. In 2020, I… ...Read More
  • It’s complicated (8/4/2022) - In this month’s Joyful Journey, Bishop David Bard challenges us to appreciate complexity as a spiritual practice for maturing Christians ... Unless I am specifically asked to do so, I never preach the same sermon twice. The major exception to that was when I served as a district superintendent and shared the same message at each church conference. That does not mean I do not reuse stories or quotes. This happens not only in sermons but also in conversations. But there is a shelf life to these. You don’t want to repeat yourself too often. My line, “I look taller… ...Read More
  • Take a moment or two for joy (7/22/2022) - Bishop David Bard, in this month’s Joyful Journey, encourages us to carve out time for joy-filled moments, so that we may have the capacity to care for the world’s pain and suffering ... In college I double-majored in philosophy and psychology. Here is a question I never ask a young person in college: “What are you going to do with that?” I rather tired of answering it years ago. There are even jokes associated with being a philosophy major. How do you get a philosophy major off your front porch? Pay him for the pizza. What kind of car do… ...Read More