Tim Bias out as Discipleship Ministries General Secretary

Timothy BiasNASHVILLE, Tenn.  – The board of Discipleship Ministries of the United Methodist Church and Dr. Tim Bias jointly announced today that Dr. Bias is no longer employed as the General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries, effective Dec. 31, 2015.

Bishop Elaine Stanovsky, president of the board, praised Dr. Bias for his innovative leadership and ministry accomplishments during his time as General Secretary.

“Tim’s efforts to equip United Methodists for deeper discipleship and his heart for ministry have brought many closer to God, and we are grateful for his work,” she said.

The board has named MaryJane Pierce Norton, recently retired Associate General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries, as Interim General Secretary pending a search for Dr. Bias’ replacement.

“Our mission remains the same and we are confident in our Interim General Secretary and outstanding staff during this time of transition,” the Bishop said.

Norton retired from her position as Associate General Secretary of the Leadership Ministries unit at Discipleship Ministries on Oct. 31, 2015. She had previously served as Associate General Secretary since 2008, and worked at the agency since 1981.

Norton holds a Master of Arts in Christian Education from Scarritt College, a Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling from The University of Memphis and a Bachelor of Arts from Lyon College.

She is the author of several books, including: The Ministry of Christian Education and Formation: A Practical Guide for Your Congregation, and, Making God Real for a New Generation, co-edited with Craig Miller.

Prior to coming to Discipleship Ministries, Norton was Director of Christian Education at University United Methodist Church in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She lives in Nashville with her husband.

Stanovsky said the board expects to have a new General Secretary elected and in place by July 1, 2016.\

This post taken from the press release issued by Discipleship Ministries. 

UMReporter Staff

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The blunt use of the word “out” describing Dr. Bias’ departure connotes that he has been “shown the door.” But after reading the article several times, I can find nothing confirming that reinforces that idea other than the slightly ominous “Dr. Bias is no longer employed as the General Secretary of Discipleship Ministries.” There isn’t even the classic out, “…is leaving to spend more time with his family,” that is usually the euphemism used when someone has been forced to resign from a high profile position. Is there more to the story than we can see here, or is it… Read more »

Richard Hicks
Richard Hicks

“When you’re being run out of town try to get ahead of the mob. It will look like you’re leading the parade.” – Twain

Peg Peary
Peg Peary

I agree with Gary Shockley. The word “Out” leads a reader to believe Dr. Bias had done something so wrong it warranted him being “fired”. I hope a new announcement will be published with an apology for this unfortunate mistake.


I take it that he was fired but since I have no real idea what this organization does whoever is in charge does not matter to me. Am I typical of the Methodists out there or am I supposed to know more about Discipleship Ministries? With 170 people on staff they must be doing some good stuff.

Gary Shockley
Gary Shockley

Seriously, you used such an insensitive word as “out” to announce his departure? Come on folks! Isn’t this the church we all work for? This kind of crassness is ridiculous!

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