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
  • 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
  • Awaiting resurrection (3/5/2024) - Looking toward Easter, Bishop David Bard says evil causes us to yearn for a new world where hunger is a memory and war is ancient history... “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here but has risen” (Luke 24:5b, NRSVue). Among the bands whose music I enjoy is the group Drive-By Truckers. The group released an album just before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic entitled The Unraveling, whose final song is “Awaiting Resurrection.” The song begins with these lines: “Is there an evil in this world? / Yes, there’s an evil in this world.”… ...Read More
  • Learning and then loving rightly (2/6/2024) - Reflecting on Black History Month, Bishop David Bard encourages us to do our part in cultivating hearts and souls that love more deeply and intelligently... It seems as if we just turned the calendar to a new year, and the first month of that new year has already passed. January is always a busy month. Projects that slow for the holidays pick up speed again. Appointment-making for the coming year begins. The North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops meets. As January becomes February, we enter Black History Month, and on the fourteenth, we have Valentine’s Day. Black History Month is… ...Read More
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