The World Methodist Council (WMC), founded in 1881, is a consultative body and association of churches in the Methodist tradition. It comprises 80 member denominations in 138 countries which together represent an estimated 80 million people; this includes approximately 60 million committed members (of Methodist and united and uniting churches) and a further 20 million adherents.
Affiliated organizations are the World Fellowship of Methodist and Uniting Churches, the Oxford-Institute of Methodist Theological Studies, the World Methodist Historical Society, World Council of Confederation of Methodist Youth, the World Council of Methodist Men, World Methodist Council of Teens, the World Federation of Methodist and Uniting Church Women.
The highest organ of the World Methodist Council is the World Methodist Conference meeting every five years. The next Conference will be in Sweden in 2021.
The 2011 conference, gathered under the theme "Jesus Christ - for the Healing of the Nations", was held in August 2011 in Durban, South Africa. On 24 July 2006, Sunday Mbang stepped down as chairperson of the council and John Barrett took over his position as well as elected president for the council.
In 2006, it formally approved the Joint Declaration on the Doctrine of Justification.
Current officers are:
The World Methodist Council has eight standing committees:
The World Methodist Peace Award is the highest honor bestowed by Methodists around the world. Since 1977, it is given annually by the World Methodist Council.
This award is given to individuals or groups "who have made significant contributions to peace, reconciliation and justice", considering courage, creativity and consistency in awarding it.
Recipients of the World Methodist Peace Award include: Habitat for Humanity International, Nelson Mandela, Jimmy Carter, Boris Trajkovski, former President of Macedonia; the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome, and the Grandmothers of the Plaza de Mayo in Argentina.
One ministry of the World Methodist Council is the World Methodist Evangelism Institute in Atlanta, Georgia. It is an educational institution committed to the task of world evangelization and connected to a major university, Candler School of Theology, Emory University.
In the 1950s, area residents and Methodists from the Southeastern United States raised money for the construction of a building in Lake Junaluska, North Carolina to attract the World Methodist Council headquarters. Until the 1970s, the museum building was to go to the Lake Junaluska Assembly if no longer needed, although that plan was changed. The Royce and Jane Reynolds Headquarters building, intended to resemble the house where John Wesley lived when he was young, was added in the 1990s after a donation from the Reynolds family. The museum housed letters written by Wesley, a pulpit Wesley used, and a 1594 Geneva Bible, as well as ancient items from the Holy Land. Starting in 2013, with the museum having problems, the sale of the building was considered but the assembly made no formal offer. The COVID-19 pandemic finally made closing the museum necessary, and its contents went to Bridwell Library of Perkins School of Theology, Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas. In Spring 2021, the World Methodist Council sold its headquarters building, including a museum, to the assembly for $1.25 million. The World Methodist Council moved to offices in nearby Waynesville, North Carolina.