Bishop David Alan Bard

Bishop David Alan Bard is the presiding bishop of the Michigan Conference of The United Methodist Church.  Bishop Bard also served the Minnesota Annual Conference as interim bishop 2021-2022.

Before arriving in Michigan in September 2016, Bishop Bard had served 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 in Peoria, IL. He has been in ministry for more than 30 years and served in many roles within 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 was recently elected chairperson of the Committee on Faith and Order. He has served on the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Commission on General Conference, the Commission on Theological Education, the Study on Ministry Commission, and the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on the Episcopacy.

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, in 1984; and in 1994, he received a Ph.D. from Southern Methodist University focusing on Christian ethics.  He has taught college and seminary courses in United Methodist history, doctrine and polity; medical ethics, and religious perspectives on death and dying.

Bishop Bard has a wife, Julie, three adult children, and two grandchildren. He enjoys music, reading, movies, baseball, and walking in his free time.

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The Bard Family
The Bard Family
  • Conferencing as a means of grace (6/11/2024) - In this conferencing season, says Bishop David Bard, may we strive to become conduits of God’s grace for one another... John Wesley, the cofounder of the Methodist stream of the Christian tradition, identified “Christian conference” as a means of grace along with prayer, searching the Scriptures, the Lord’s Supper, and fasting. Inspired by Colossians 4:6, “let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt,” Wesley wrote this about “Christian conference”: “Are we convinced how important and how difficult it is to order our conversation right? Is it always in grace? Seasoned with salt? Meet to minister grace to the hearers?”… ...Read More
  • ‘May we not love alike?’ (5/8/2024) - We are finding new ways to live in the Wesleyan spirit, says Bishop David Bard as he reflects on a General Conference unlike any other he has attended... I write this one day following the adjournment of the postponed 2020 General Conference of The United Methodist Church. General Conference is the highest decision-making body for our denomination, whose work is to revise our Book of Discipline and offer other policy guidance and resolutions. Though it typically meets every four years, we have not had a regular session since 2016 due to COVID-19. A special session was held in 2019. I… ...Read More
  • Trust in the risen Christ (4/2/2024) - With the humanitarian crisis in Haiti in mind, Bishop David Bard asks us to live out our resurrection faith and labor for a more peaceful and just world... Just this past Sunday, many of us sang, “Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!” We shouted out, “Christ is risen.” We heard words like, “Death has been swallowed up in victory. Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54c-55, NRSVUE). Christ is risen, and the world is changed. Yet so much stubbornly remains the same. The Michigan Conference has a covenantal relationship with the… ...Read More
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