12.1 - General Conference Apportioned Funds

by Scott Selman

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith…
Hebrews 12:1-2

One of the most effective ways we are connectional is through our support of the seven General Conference apportioned funds:  Episcopal, World Service, General Administration, Interdenominational Cooperation, Ministerial Education, Black College, and Africa University.  The General Conference apportioned funds enable our local churches to join hands and make a significance difference in the lives of all God’s people.
 

Episcopal Fund

Our bishops oversee and promote the spiritual interests of the church. The Episcopal Fund supports the global ministry of the Council of Bishops by providing economic support for the salaries and pension, disability, and health benefits of our bishops; our Conference’s episcopal office expenses; our Conference’s episcopal residence expenses; and the costs of episcopal travel and moving expenses. 


World Service Fund

The World Service Fund is the largest General Conference apportioned fund. It provides the basic financial resources for our denomination’s global mission and ministry, and is allocated to the program agencies and certain other ministries of The United Methodist Church.  According to ¶812 in The Book of Discipline of the United Methodist Church, full payment of the World Service Fund apportionment is the first benevolent responsibility of the Church. World Service supports a network of United Methodist mission personnel who serve in the name of Christ locally and around the world. 

Other ways that the World Service Fund makes a difference in our expression of the Christian faith include:

  • Strengthens evangelism efforts, stimulates church growth, expands Bible studies, and nurtures spiritual development;
  • Supports specific local church work with children, youth, singles, students, adults, older persons, and persons who are mentally and physically challenged;
  • Encourages youth advocacy, empowerment, and outreach;
  • Enriches congregational life with worship resources, leader training, and stewardship development;
  • Continues a tradition of commitment to quality higher education in partnership with United Methodist schools, colleges, universities, and campus ministries;
  • Helps strengthen the black church;
  • Helps United Methodists work toward a more ethical, just, and humane world;
  • Promotes a Church and society that are truly inclusive;
  • Gives our denomination an important media presence by funding the Igniting Ministry Media Campaign, a campaign designed to proclaim the gospel by communicating the basic beliefs of The United Methodist Church.


General Administration Fund

This fund finances general church activities that are administrative in nature, rather than programmatic, missional, or ecumenical. The General Administrative Fund enables us to:

  • Maintain a trustworthy system of administrative oversight and fiscal accountability;
  • Provide for the basic costs of General Conference;
  • Fund the work of the Judicial Council to decide questions of church law;
  • Pay for the administrative functions of the General Council on Finance and Administration and provide for the operating costs of General Commission on Archives and History; and
  • Maintain official United Methodist documents, artifacts, and historical shrines and landmarks.


Interdenominational Cooperation Fund

This fund provides financial support for God’s mission by recognizing that  United Methodists are a small part of the worldwide Christian church – the living body of Christ. The Interdenominational Cooperation Fund supports various ecumenical agencies through which the United Methodist Church participates in cooperation with other Christian communions. 


Ministerial Education Fund

The Ministerial Education Fund (MEF) is our denomination’s way of financially helping our men and women who answer God’s call to the ministry. Seventy-five percent of MEF dollars goes to support our 13 United Methodist seminaries. Twenty-five percent of MEF dollars remain in the North Alabama Conference to provide scholarships to students who will one day serve in our conference. 

The North Alabama Conference awards scholarships to students attending Asbury Theological Seminary, Candler School of Theology, Memphis Theological School, Vanderbilt University, Duke University, and Gammon Theological Seminary.


Black College Fund

The Black College Fund provides support for the 11 historically black United Methodist-related colleges.   Our mission through the Black College Fund is to offer deserving students incomparable opportunities for education, leadership, and personal development in a nurturing, Christian environment.  Through the Black College Fund, our churches support leadership for life! 


Africa University Fund

This fund supports the only United Methodist degree-granting university on the continent of Africa – serving young men and women from all over Africa.  Its mission is “to provide a higher education of excellent quality, to nurture students in Christian values, and to help the nations of Africa develop the leaders of the future.” 

Discover, Develop and Deploy Spiritual Leaders to Make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the Transformation of the World.