What is Global Ministries?

The General Board of Global Ministries is the global mission, relief and development agency of The United Methodist Church, its annual conferences, missionary conferences and local congregations. Founded in 1819, it is one of 13 denominational agencies created by the United Methodist General Conference to provide essential services, resources and ministries beyond the scope of individual local congregations and annual conferences.

Global Ministries prioritizes its work into four major ministries:

  • Sending missionaries – commissioning people from everywhere to serve everywhere, including young adults, and partnering and engaging with volunteers;
  • Providing humanitarian relief and recovery – responding to natural and civil disasters on behalf of and alongside the global church;
  • Evangelizing and church planting – helping faith communities grow and be a vital presence for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world;
  • Evangelizing and church planting – helping faith communities grow and be a vital presence for making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world;

What is UMCOR?

Founded in 1940, the United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR) is the global humanitarian relief agency of The United Methodist Church. A part of Global Ministries, UMCOR works in more than 70 countries worldwide, including the United States and its territories. The agency’s mission, grounded in the teachings of Jesus, is to alleviate human suffering for all people.

UMCOR prioritizes its ministries to include disaster response and recovery in the United States and internationally and global migration. UMCOR responds to natural or civil disasters that are interruptions of such magnitude that they overwhelm a community’s ability to recover on its own.

In the United States, UMCOR works in partnership with annual conferences, providing disaster-response assistance and support after catastrophic events as well as training to help conferences prepare for those events and respond to the needs of survivors. Contact the Disaster Response Coordinator in your annual conference to learn more about joining an Emergency Response Team (ERT).

Internationally, UMCOR serves as the primary channel for United Methodist assistance working in partnership with the central conferences of The United Methodist Church and other Methodist bodies, as well as local aid organizations and international relief agencies.

To learn more about the United Methodist Volunteers in Mission (UMVIM) program, which assists teams in responding to disasters and other mission opportunities around the world, click here.

UMCOR’s Global Migration program connects a number of missionaries and church organizations working along the routes that migrants take through Central America, within Mexico and across the U.S. border. Funding enables partner organizations to provide for basic needs of migrants and some services and resources to help them on the journey and afterwards, depending on where they find shelter and respite. Partnerships also extend internationally to respond to the needs of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants around the world. UMCOR works closely with and supports the work of Church World Service (CWS) to resettle refugees and other migrants. To learn more about the ways you or your congregation can work with CWS to resettle a refugee family in the United States, click here.

How does someone become a missionary?

When a person feels called to be a missionary, Global accompanies him or her in a discernment and preparation process. Missionaries are commissioned after satisfactorily completing a period of orientation and training. The commissioning service is a ceremony of celebration and sending forth, which acknowledges the missional intent and affirms the calling of the individuals being commissioned to engage in proclamation (by word and deed) of the Good News of Jesus Christ.

How can congregations connect with missionaries?

Congregations throughout the denomination can connect with a missionary by initiating a Covenant Partner Relationship with a particular missionary. Such a covenant allows both the church and missionary to be in prayer for one another and to deepen the experience of God’s mission. Along with giving financial support, Covenant Partner congregations receive newsletters, emails, social media posts and other forms of communication from the missionary, and in most cases, virtual meetings and shared worship can be arranged. When the COVID-19 pandemic eases, missionaries may once again visit supporting churches in person. Learn more about Covenant Partner Relationships.

What are mission initiatives and how can local churches be involved?

New churches are being planted in new places through Global Ministries mission initiatives in the Central African Republic, Honduras, Laos, Mongolia and Vietnam.

Mission initiatives are unique places where The United Methodist Church is new to the population. Local churches can be a part of this movement by supporting and learning from these vibrant congregations through a church-to-church partnership with the In Mission Together program.

In Mission Together facilitates church planting globally by developing partnerships with local congregations in the U.S. A 50/50 partnership covenant is created between the two churches, which fosters mutuality and respect for one another. This is important because both will be transformed and energized by this faith-building experience.

What is the Advance?

The Advance is the accountable, designated mission-giving arm of The United Methodist Church that ensures 100 percent of each gift is used for its intended mission or ministry.

For nearly 70 years, the Advance has been the official program of The United Methodist Church for voluntary, designated, second-mile giving. Gifts through the Advance allow local churches to extend their reach into the world.

There are hundreds of Advance partner projects in countries around the world doing transforming work in health care, education, livelihoods, food security and in many other areas. Each Advance project has carefully crafted a budget related to its program, has been approved by the bishop in its area and has been assigned an Advance project number that can be used in supporting the project. To see a list of current Advance partner projects, click here.

How can I make a gift to support the work of Global Ministries and UMCOR?

Missio Dei – God’s mission – is enriched through your participation and support.  To make a gift in support of a missionary, Advance partner project, disaster response, or to priority projects of Global Ministries and UMCOR, gifts may be made out to Advance GCFA, with the Advance # or name of the project written on the memo line and sent to Global Ministries/UMCOR, GPO, PO Box 9068, New York, NY 10087-9068.  Online gifts may be made at Advance UMC Mission. (If you know the name of your Advance project, you can find its number here: Search UMC Advance Projects) To learn about other ways to give to Global Ministries and UMCOR, including estate and other planned gifts, visit our Ways to Give page.