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.

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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.


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 fiance Aaron White and Julie Bard.
  • A Joyful Journey (12/3/2018) - On this month's Joyful Journey, Bishop David Alan Bard considers the true focus of Advent. He encourages each person to "let your soul rest in the amazing Love of God." ... Advent is a unique time in the church calendar, a time when the calendar of the church and the calendar of the society seem uniquely mismatched. When the world is rushing about – lining up for early sales, logging on early for cyber sales – Advent asks for waiting and patience. When the surrounding society has us watching for bargains, counting down the days until we can unwrap what ...Read More
  • A Joyful Journey (11/5/2018) - In his November blog, Bishop David Bard remains profoundly grateful even though the "difficulties before us as a country, as a world, and as a United Methodist Church, are real" ...   I am sitting down to write this essay in a time when I am anticipating with joy my upcoming trip to Israel. I look forward to sharing these days with a number of you. I am also anticipating, with a mixture of emotion, the United Methodist Council of Bishops meeting. It will be a joy to see colleague bishops from around the world, and we meet in anticipation ...Read More
  • A Joyful Journey (10/1/2018) - Bishop David A. Bard talks about the kind of generosity that begins with the lavish love of God, not with our wallets, check books or credit cards … If you have not already heard, The United Methodist Church, at its last General Conference in 2016, added a continuing education and evaluation requirement for clergy. “Every clergyperson shall also engage in a six-month process of personal and professional assessment and development every eight years…. The process shall include both a formal review and an in-depth renewal opportunity.” (The Book of Discipline, ¶349.3). The Book of Discipline leaves design of the process ...Read More