Bishop David Alan Bard
Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Area. 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.
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, 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, 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
Bard has a wife, Julie, and three adult children. In his free time, he enjoys music, reading, baseball, and walking outside.
- Maturity of mind and heart (1/5/2021) - How do we grow in Christian maturity? Bishop David Bard notes that growth is difficult in the social media age. He encourages intellectual curiosity, complex thinking, and a generous spirit ... It was August 1998. I was appointed as a district superintendent in the Minnesota Conference and attended the training for new superintendents at Lake Junaluska Assembly Grounds in North Carolina. During my personal devotion time, this verse leaped off the page: “For this, I toil and struggle with all the energy that God in Christ powerfully inspires within me.” (Colossians 1: 29) I was grateful for the language as… ...Read More
- Grace upon grace for trauma upon trauma (11/30/2020) - 2020 has been marked by trauma -- polarization, racial reckoning, economic hardship, denominational division, and fragility in our democracy. Bishop David Bard shares the good news of God's gift of grace ... This is my final blog for 2020, and what a year this has been. As the calendar turned from 2019 to 2020 we United Methodists were preparing for a momentous General Conference, one that we anticipated would decide the very structure of our church moving into the future, one that would likely provide for a significant division within our denomination. Anxiety ran high in the face of uncertainty… ...Read More
- Redeeming the Season (11/2/2020) - Uncertain times present an opportunity for "redeeming the season," says Bishop David Bard. He adds, "Redeeming the season remembers that we are involved in a long work." ... A favorite Bible study method for me involves comparing various English translations and renditions of a passage of Scripture. Doing so reminds me that the Scriptures we read were not originally written in English, that language is complex and translation a creative activity, and that language is rich with nuance so that exploring various shades of meaning opens these texts to me in wonderfully new ways. A spiritual discipline I decided to… ...Read More