University Heights UMC

University Heights UMC


University Heights is a church that listens, loves and leads the community to Christ.


University Heights is a small membership church located next to Laurel Ridge Elementary School near North DeKalb Mall and Druid Hills Middle School. The neighborhood includes both original homeowners and families with young children. The Sunday morning congregation at worship has changed to reflect those new to the community alongside the long time members. The leaders continue to work on developing ministries of hospitality that invite and engage all to share and participate in worship, learning, service, witness and fellowship.

Unique Opportunities in Ministry

Serving in a small membership church creates many opportunities to be hands-on in all aspects of church life. It also allows the ministry intern the opportunity to connect with members of the congregation in a meaningful way. University Heights UMC has a long history of partnering with students at Candler School of Theology and values its role of teaching and learning alongside the ministry intern. The members of this congregation truly value the perspective of interns and seek to form relationships that will last beyond the scope of the Con Ed II program.

In 2013, University Heights UMC welcomed its second female pastor, Rev. Stacey Rushing, a 2008 graduate of Candler. Stacey brings to this experience the unique insights of a young clergywoman and her perspective as one part of a clergy couple (Stacey’s husband, Dalton, serves North Decatur UMC). In addition to engaging the contextual realities of this congregation, University Heights UMC provides the opportunity to explore the issues facing young clergy and clergy couples, as well as opportunities to partner with clergy, interns and congregants at a neighboring congregation.

Site NameUniversity Heights UMC
DenominationUnited Methodist Church
Location TypeUrban
Worship Attendance70-80
Worship Times

Sunday: 11 am

Distance from CandlerApproximately 4 miles
Accessible to persons with disabilities?Yes
Acessible via public transportation?Yes
Can women be ordained?Yes
What role do women play in leadership?Women hold leadership roles in all areas and aspects

Weekly Schedule

  • Sunday:
    • Worship service: 11 am

Outreach ministry includes a covenant relationship with a UM missionary in Laos; support of all UMC and North Georgia special offerings through gifts and educational programs; support of Decatur Cooperative Ministry; support of DeKalb County DFCS children before school and Christmas; monthly focus on a local project by bringing items needed; Box Tops for Laurel Ridge Elementary; pull tab rings for Ronald McDonald House; spring and fall clothing drives for residents of Branan Towers; local mission projects with Wesley Community Centers and Asbury Harris Epworth Towers seniors; and 5th Sunday for mission meal and educational program - to name a few. University Heights is host to a Cub Pack and four Girl Scout groups.

Meeting the Five Areas of Ministry

Administration: The student will observe and participate in the day-to-day activities of the church office, attend and participate in the work of the Administrative Council, engage in planning with leadership in the NOW (Nurture, Outreach, Witness & Worship) Ministry Committees, and observe the process of nomination and budgeting.

Liturgy (Worship and Preaching): The student will serve as a leader in worship, participating in various parts of Sunday morning liturgy, assist in preparing for and serving Holy Communion monthly, participate in planning worship that illuminates liturgical themes and engages participants in unique ways as well as prepare and deliver a sermon.

Mission and Outreach: The student will work with the Outreach Committee to plan and implement a mission opportunity for the church, participate in meetings with partner organizations such as Decatur Cooperative Ministries, and identify areas of need in the community and create a ministry proposal to meet the identified need.

Pastoral Calling and Congregational Care: The student will participate in pastoral hospital visits and care during pastoral emergencies (as needed).

Teaching: The student will plan and lead Advent and/or Lenten Devotional series, assist Sunday school classes in selecting curriculum, and participate in planning special programs of the Nurture Committee such as Advent events for families.

University Heights UMC
Pastor Stacey Rushing
1267 Balsam Dr
Decatur, GA 30033
Phone: 404.636.6602

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