Theologian in Residence – Jim Winkler

On behalf of the Institutional Advancement Office, we would like to extend an invitation to the entire Ferrum College community to join our us for our Theologian-in-Residence Speaker in April as part of our Wright Christian Ministry Lecture Series.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014  |  11:15am  |  Vaughn Chapel  |  LiveStream


James E. Winkler  |  President & General Secretary, National Council of Churches

Jim Wade EIR

Winkler, formerly the General Secretary of the United Methodist General Board of Church and Society, was recently elected General Secretary/President of the National Council of Churches, the leading staff position in the NCC. In this position he will serve as the executive leader of the Council with overall responsibility for personnel, deploying resources to achieve the priorities of the NCC, organizational and board development, fund-raising, vision-setting, long-range planning, financial management, external relationships and thought leadership.

Winkler is a member of the Justice and Advocacy Commission of the National Council of Churches of the United States of America, a member of the steering committee of the Campaign for Health Care Now, a board member of several organizations including the Faith and Politics Institute, Churches for the Middle East Peace, and Africa Action.

He served as general secretary of the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS), the international public policy and social justice agency of The United Methodist Church since November, 2000. As the chief executive of the board, Jim led a staff of 22 who sought the implementation of the Church’s Social Principles through education, witness, and advocacy. The board carries out a wide-ranging ministry of peace and justice throughout the world with offices in Washington and New York.

Winkler re-energized the work of the board around a three-part vision: to help United Methodists link mercy and justice; to connect the work of the board with local churches and annual conferences around the globe; and to be the premier denominational advocacy agency on Capitol Hill. He has led delegations to the Middle East, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq and Germany seeking peaceful solutions to global conflict and traveled throughout the world to support the justice work of the United Methodist in Africa, Asia and Europe. He has preached and led workshops and training events in Russia, Nigeria, and the Philippines, and is a frequent spokesperson for the justice work of The United Methodist Church to the national and international media. 

Winkler is the son, brother, nephew and great grandson of United Methodist preachers and United Methodist Women. He studied history at the University of Illinois and George Mason University and after graduation served as a short-term missionary with the Pacific Conference of Churches in Suva, Fiji. At the Board of Church and Society he held the position of Seminar Designer, Director of Annual Conference Relations and Assistant General Secretary of Resourcing Congregational Life before his nomination as General Secretary of the General Board of Church and Society and President and General Secretary of the NCC.