Joel Hortiales

Ethnic Background: Hispanic

Conference: California Pacific

Probationary Date: 07/01/2008

Full Membership Date: 06/18/2011

Number of Eligible Quadrenniums: 2

• 2 Years at Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, México. Transfer to University 1983
• 3 Years at Universidad Regiomontana major in Architecture, Mexico. Graduated in 1986
• Specific courses completed include:
o Psychology of building, Human Systems, Buildings Methods, Administration of building projects
Higher Education:
• Cliff College – Sheffield University Major in Biblical Studies and Evangelism, UK Graduated 1995
• Westminster College – Oxford University Certificate in Applied Theology, UK 1996
• CFA Leadership Course, Kilchimmer, Switzerland 1996
• Specific courses completed include: Urban Evangelism, Social Science and Religion, How to build leaders for children clubs
• MDiv. Program at Claremont School of Theology, USA Graduated in 2010
• DMin. Program Hispanic Cohort at Fuller Theological Seminary Graduated in June 2020. Thesis: “Dios en el Grafiti: El arte del graffiti como expresión de transformación misional desde la Iglesia Metodista Unida La Plaza”
Other Courses:
• Professional Coach Training by Coaching 4 Clergy April – September 2017
• Professional Advance Training by Coaching 4 Clergy July 2018 (pursuing certification by the American Coaching Association)
• Diplomado en Respuesta de la Iglesia a la Crisis Migratoria by Fuller Theological Seminary. June-November 2019

Ministry Experience:
Church Planting & Revitalization of Churches:
• Certifications:
o Module I, II and III of the Hispanic National Plan
o 2002, 2013 (Student) and 2018 (Teacher) School of Congregational Development
o School of Evangelism certified by Billy Graham Association
o Evangelism Explosion certified
o CFA Leadership Training (Kilchimmer, Switzerland)
• 4 years of experience in Church Planting in Mexico
• 27 years of experience in revitalization of churches in Mexico and USA

Managing & Evaluating Projects:
• 3 years as President of Strategic Hispanic Committee that crafted the Comprehensive Strategic Plan for Ministries with Hispanics in Cal-Pac Conference (CSPMH) approved by Annual Conference, June 2011
• 10 years executing and managing CSPMH, to mention some:
o Spanglish Mentorship Camp (youth and young adult program)
o God in the Graffiti (Outreach ministry of La Plaza UMC)
o Campamento Familiar (Discipleship program for families)
o Pastoral Retreat (Accompaniment and fellowship for candidate to pursue ordination)
o Encounters to start a successful Hispanic Ministry (Process to help a church to start a ministry among the Hispanic in its community)
• 7 years as member of the Western Jurisdiction Hispanic/Latino Ministry Council

Community and Ecumenical Involvement:

Other Relevant Experience:


Why are you being called to the episcopacy at this time? What is it that you especially bring to the role of bishop with the current challenges facing our denomination and the Western Jurisdiction right now?
I am being called to episcopacy at this time to lead the church and to reignite the missional movement that started our denomination. I have worked as a pastor for more than twenty years and including the perspective I gained as a missionary, I view the church in a different light. I bring to the role of bishop resilience to face the uncertainty in our denomination, and my creativity to overlook the volatility of the structure at the WJ. I want to work to have a missional church.

Describe how the last two years have affected your ministry.
The last two years, the Hispanic/Latino Ministries programs were greatly affected by the pandemic restriction to be in person, but this situation was creatively balanced by using another ways and forms to do ministry. In my work at the border, the participation of volunteers was diminished by the restrictions, but creatively, donations were coming and distributed regardless.

Endorser: Cathleen Coots

Relationship to Candidate: Colleague

I first met Joel Hortiales when he came to our conference from Mexico more than 20 years ago. I was on the Board of Ordained Ministry. Joel and several other candidates were trying to make it through our process, which we all know is difficult. Joel was diligent, timely, and gracious through the whole process. It was a sign of his commitment, even temperament and good work ethic. Later, I became his District Superintendent, and I found Joel to be a good team builder, who listened carefully, but kept moving his church forward. There was a certain point in our conference where some critical decisions needed to be made about Hispanic and Latino ministries. There were strong voices, with different points of view, and some conflict. Joel helped that group unite their vision, strengthening their ministry. He is strong in his faith, grounded in the grace of God, and confident the Holy Spirit is moving among us. He would serve as Bishop prayerfully and humbly, with personal discipline.

Endorser: Larry H. Dozier

Relationship to Candidate: Colleague

I’ve worked with Dr. Hortiales as a lay person, President of United Men for the Western Jurisdiction, and as a pastor of St. John’s United Methodist Church in Los Angeles. I have observed Dr. Hortiales in his role as Director of
Hispanic/Latino Ministries and Border Concerns. From my observations, he has the gifts of wisdom, knowledge, counsel, and patience. At St. Johns, he patiently guided our administrative council and me in the steps to obtain a grant to hire a Latino Pastor. Parishioners had many questions and he listened patiently and answered. There were heated discussions at times, but his knowledge and counsel kept us on track. As a leader, one needs to be firm, but fair and more importantly, exhibit Christlike gentleness. Again, I observed these characteristics in Dr. Hortiales as he guided us through the grant process at St. Johns. And while he has a, seeming, natural gentleness about him, he does not hesitate to display firmness when necessary. He has the ability to act decisively in times of turmoil. His demeanor brings about calmness in others as he presides over meetings. Dr. Hortiales has the skills and gifts, to serve at even higher levels within the UMC, including that as Bishop.
He’s academically astute, a great administrator, a team player and a gifted proclaimer of God’s word, which I’ve personally witnessed. Without reservation, I endorse and highly recommend that Dr. Hortiales be considered a candidate for a position as Bishop within the WJ

Endorser: Norma Betancourt

Relationship to Candidate: Lay Person

I have known Rev. Dr. Joel Hortiales for many years in our advocacy work with MARCHA, WJ MARCHA-WEST Caucuses for Hispanic Ministries in the UMC, and now as members of the WJ Inter-Ethnic Coordinating Committee. The constant growing of Ethnic population in the West justifying the need of having a bishop that can provide a vision and leadership for church development in the WJ. I think that Rev. Dr. Hortiales’ education, experience, commitment, leadership, and spirituality makes him a strong candidate to carry out the vision of the Western Jurisdiction for justice, inclusion, contextualization of our ministries, church develop to gain disciples for Jesus Christ, collaboration to address recent issues, and decolonization for the transformation of the church. He possesses a solid experience in pastoral care serving in multi-cultural appointments in the Methodist church of Mexico and California-Pacific Conference. He has demonstrated a strong commitment to accompany and empower young-adults. He so humble, good listener, wise to offer a good advice, passionate to pursuit his missional goals, visionary to foresee what the future holds, optimistic even in the worse circumstances, compassionate to understand someone’s suffering and injustices, friendly who likes to reach out to others, flexible in adapting to different contexts, good at the decision-making process. It’s without reservations that I recommend him to be considered to the candidacy of the position of bishop for the WJ

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