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Free online study explores General Conference


"Exploring General Conference" is an online course from United Methodist Communications. This free resource explains make-up and work of the top legislative body of The United Methodist Church. Students can explore many of the aspects of once-every-four-years gathering in anticipation of the 2016 session May 10-20 in Portland, Oregon.

Each of the five modules in this course will take about 30 minutes to complete. Throughout the course, students can engage in interactive activities and dig deeper into understanding General Conference.

This course is available through June 30, 2016. Register at

"Exploring General Conference" offers students a basic working knowledge of the church's legislative process. Progressing through the five modules offers a basic understanding of:

  • The history of General Conference, its role and purpose
  • How delegates are elected, their role and responsibilities
  • How petitions, the general church budget and other important matters are decided
  • The various social issues facing The United Methodist Church and the denomination's stance on these issues
  • Highlights of the 2012 General Conference and what is ahead for the 2016 General Conference.

Polly House is a freelance writer and editor based in Nashville, Tennessee.