Does United Methodism have a teaching office? Yes, and General Conference is a primary part of this office, according to several noted Methodist theologians and historians: Frank Baker, Thomas Langford, Mary Elizabeth Moore, and Russell Richey. However, the fruit of United Methodist theological discourse at General Conference is dispersed and not readily available as a coherent tradition of thought. This article explores the teaching office of General Conference, identifying a few of the most significant teaching documents emerging from this legislative body, addressing topics of theological method, missiology, social witness, ecclesiology, and sacraments. The article also identifies gaps in this church’s store of collective wisdom and suggests further avenues of exploration in the history of teachings of General Conference. As The United Methodist Church struggles to define itself amidst divided caucuses, regions, and theological perspectives, the task of retrieving what General Conferences teaches, and deliberates about teaching, takes on renewed urgency.

You do not currently have access to this content.