70 scholars gathered for a document on holiness of heart and life

A document on holiness of heart and life

Click to join the conversation with over 500,000 Pentecostal believers and scholars

Click to get our FREE MOBILE APP and stay connected

| PentecostalTheology.com



The Next Methodism Summit II: Holiness

January 2024
Alexandria, VA

Over 70 scholars from across the Wesleyan world gathered in Alexandria, VA by the John Wesley Institute to write a document on holiness of heart and life.

Founded in 2021, the John Wesley Institute exists to make faithful scholarship accessible to the Christian faithful. Leading scholars from the broad Wesleyan tradition – Methodist, Anglican, Holiness, and Pentecostal – are committed to equipping the Wesleyan movement with the riches of its heritage and the scriptural witness of its founders. Now more than ever the message of Scriptural Christianity, the universal offer of salvation, and the promise of wholeness in Christ needs to be proclaimed with clarity.

With its in-person events, scholarly Summits, documents, videos, and teaching fellows program, the John Wesley Institute is here to equip the churches to carry out this mission with faithfulness and integrity.

The work of the John Wesley Institute can be seen in resources such as The Faith Once Delivered: A Wesleyan Witness and The Next Methodism: Theological, Social, and Missional Foundations for Global Methodism, among other documents, videos, and conferences.

Theologians Craft Wesleyan Agreement for a Divided Methodist Era

Sixty-four scholars and theologians have signed on to a “Wesleyan witness,” a six-part, 62-page document they hope will shape the future of Methodism, define orthodox Wesleyanism, and ground more Christians in the story of sanctification and restoration through grace.

Two Methodisms: A Comparison Chart

So far, there are two competing visions for the future of the post-separation UMC. The first is an effort on the part of Progressives to shape the remaining institution around the concepts of intersectional justice. This is the “Out of Chaos… Creation Group.” The other vision is captured in a working document shared by a group of bishops that calls for a regionalized, theological “big tent.” This more recent proposal seems to be aimed at keeping Centrists and Traditionalists in the UMC.

The post-separation United Methodist Church will go through an undetermined period of adjustment following separation. We can anticipate a decided shift in the Progressive direction. This will show up initially in terms of theological emphasis, marriage and sexuality standards, and advocacy for abortion rights. A proposed re-write of UM Social Principles provides a preview. District, annual conference and jurisdictional maps will eventually need to be adjusted in light of the new demographic realities. There will also likely need to be further attempts to right-size the general agencies in light of separation and decline.

The Wesleyan Covenant Association and GMC Transitional Leadership Council have prepared both a draft Book of Doctrines and Discipline AND a transitional Discipline that will be in place until a Convening General Conference can be held in late 2023 or early 2024. Walter Fenton estimates that 3,000-5,000 congregations in the U.S. will join the new denomination initially, with perhaps another 1,000 joining a bit later. These numbers include handful or two of U.S. annual conferences that will likely take a 57%+ vote to opt into the new denomination. There will likely be significant numbers of Methodists overseas joining the new connection, but these numbers are impossible to calculate. It is fair to say the new denomination will be distinctly global in nature.

Here is a simple chart I put together that seeks to compare the two primary branches that will flow from approval of the Separation Protocol (should that happen at General Conference in August/September 2022.) Information about the Global Methodist Church is based on the draft Book of Doctrines and Discipline and these provisions will not be enacted unless and until adopted by a convening conference. In the meantime, the Global Methodist Church will be governed by the Transitional BOD which is much closer to what we have today.


1 Comment

  • Reply January 21, 2024


    our own Dale M. Coulter was there and could give us the actual text of this Wesleyan document Joseph D. Absher

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.