Amy Valdez Barker

Visiting Associate Professor of Religious Education and Mission Innovation
Amy Valdez Barker
    • PhD, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2015
    • MTS, Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, 2006
    • BA, Communications Studies, 1997

    The Rev. Dr. Amy Valdez Barker brings to Candler two decades of experience in religious education and church mission. As the former Executive Director of Global Mission Connections at The General Board of Global Ministries she was responsible for leading five regional offices and two global offices in leadership development and scholarships, as well as overseeing the placements and supervision of 200+ missionaries. Prior to that, Valdez Barker served as the Chief Connectional Ministries Officer for the Connectional Table of The United Methodist Church, responsible for coordinating the mission, ministries, and programs of The United Methodist Church.

    In addition to her executive leadership roles, she has been a practitioner in the area of youth ministry education, strategic visioning, and leadership development through church and conference positions. She has taught courses at Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, Drew Theological School and through BeADisciple, an online learning community.

    Her academic interests include understanding how churches cope with trust issues both internally and with their communities and wrote a book on the subject, Trust by Design: The Beautiful Behaviors of an Effective Church Culture (Abingdon Press, 2017). Her PhD concentration focused on the cross sections of psychology, sociology, and theology where she explored “Spiritual Generativity,” the organizational work of passing on the faith from generation to generation. She spent time working with experts in the field of adaptive leadership and has a passion for research in evangelism and mission.

    Currently, she is the lead researcher for the Foundation for Evangelism’s Impact Study, examining the impact of evangelism courses in everyday ministry settings. She has contributed to the Advent Study by Abingdon Press called “All the Good,” which will be coming out the fall of 2021.

    She is an ordained deacon in the North Georgia Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church.

    Selected Publications


      Trust By Design: The Beautiful Behaviors of an Effective Church Culture, Abingdon Press, 2017

      Chapters and Articles

      Contributor,Where do we go from here? Honest Responses from 24 UM Leaders, Market Square Books, 2019

      Contributor,Vital: Churches Changing Communities and the World by Jorge Acevedo

      “Spiritual Generativity: Nourishing Vital Families” Circuit Rider, May/June/July 2013

      Book Review: The Form and Power of Religion: John Wesley on Methodist Vitality by Laura Bartels Felleman, Methodist History Journal, October 2013

      Selected Awards

      John Wesley Fellowship, A Foundation for Theological Education, 2012

      Rosalie-Bentzinger Scholarship Recipient, 2012