Woodie W. White

Woodie W. White
Phone: 404.727.0734
    • MDiv, Boston University, 1961
    • BA, Paine College, 1958

    As Bishop-in-Residence at Candler since 2004, Bishop Woodie W. White not only provides the closing prayer for major events at the school, including convocation and commencement ceremonies, he teaches students about The United Methodist Church and race. Each year, White takes his students to Selma, Alabama to participate in the annual march across Edmund Pettus Bridge in commemoration of “Bloody Sunday.”

    An active leader in the Civil Rights Movement, every January he writes a “birthday letter” to Martin Luther King, Jr. chronicling the strides and missteps in matters of race during the previous year. White has also written extensively for both popular and scholarly publications, and is the co-author of Racial Transition in the Church (Abingdon, 1980), Confessions of a Prairie Pilgrim (Abingdon, 1988), and the author of Conversations of the Heart (Abingdon, 1991) and Our Time Under God Is Now: Reflections On Black Methodists For Church Renewal (Abingdon, 1993). He also wrote a column for the United Methodist Reporter for more than eight years.

    White has spent much of his life in service to The United Methodist Church. In 1969, he was elected the first General Secretary of the General Commission on Religion and Race of The United Methodist Church, a position he held until 1984 when he was elected bishop to the North Central Jurisdictional Conference. He served as bishop in the Illinois and Indiana areas until his retirement in 2004. White was also president of the General Board of Discipleship from 1988-1992 and president of the Council of Bishops in 1996-1997. He has participated in preaching missions in Chile, Argentina and Brazil.

    White has held numerous positions outside of the church as well, including his appointment to the Committee to Combat Racism of the World Council of Churches and as a part-time faculty member at Wesley Theological Seminary, Howard University School of Religion and Christian Theological Seminary. 

    White received honorary doctorates from Adrian College, Rust College, McKendree University, Illinois Wesleyan University, McMurry College and the University of Evansville, and has received numerous other honors for his service to the academy. He was elected to the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Board of Preachers at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. 

    Selected publications

      Our Time Under God Is Now: Reflections on Black Methodists for Church Renewal Abingdon Press1993

      Conversations of the Heart Abingdon Press1991

      Confessions of a Prairie Pilgrim Abingdon Press1988

      Co-author, Racial Transition in the Church Abingdon Press1980

      Selected awards

      Honorary Doctorates, Paine College, Adrian College, Rust College, McKendree College, Illinois Wesleyan College, University of Indianapolis, Martin University

      Distinguished Alumni Award, Boston University

      Distinguished Service Award, United Committee on Negro History

      Urban Award, U.S. Office of Economic Opportunity, Washington, D.C.

      Distinguished Member: Morehouse College, Martin Luther King, Jr. International Board of Preachers

      Service of Word, Cannon Chapel, January 21, 2016

      Fall Convocation, Cannon Chapel, August 27, 2015

      Service of Word and Table, Cannon Chapel, January 20, 2015

      Selected Courses

      The Methodist Church and Race

      Polity of The United Methodist Church