Conference Affiliation: California Nevada

2020, Ph.D., Graduate Theological Union, Berkeley, CA
Dissertation Title: A Multifaith Pedagogy for Peace: Experiential Learning in Multifaith Residential Communities through Comparative Theology and Nonviolence

2010, Fellow, The Pluralism Project, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

1995, M.Div., Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Evanston, IL

1990, BA, English, Rice University, Houston, TX

Ministry Experience:
Associate Professor of United Methodist Studies and Leadership, Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, California 2024-Present
Director of Ministry Innovation and Congregational Development, California-Nevada Annual Conference, 2023-2024
District Superintendent–Bay, California-Nevada Annual Conference, 2023
Pastor, Epworth United Methodist Church, Berkeley, California 2017-2023
Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation, New York, 2013-2017
Campus Pastor and Director, University of California at Davis, 1999-2013
Pastor, Centenary United Methodist Church, Lawrence, Kansas, 1995-1998
Student Pastor, Joyce United Methodist Church, Chicago, Illinois, 1993-1994

Conference Service
Chair, Cal-Nevada Conference Council on Finance and Administration, 2017-2023
Cal-Nevada Conference Core Team, 2017-2024
Cal-Nevada Conference Committee on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns, 2004-2011
Cal-Nevada Conference Board of Higher Education, 1999-2013, 2015-2017
Convener, California-Nevada Conference, Compassion and Justice Area, Core Team, 2012-2013
Cal-Nevada United Methodist Student Movement Advisor
Cal-Nevada Board of Ordained Ministry Mentor, Ongoing

Western Jurisdiction Service
Chair, Western Jurisdiction Council on Finance and Administration, 2022-Present
Western Jurisdiction Leadership Team, 2022-Present
Delegate, Western Jurisdictional Conference, 2019-Present

General Church Service
General Board of Global Ministries External Audit Committee, 2022-Present
Reserve Delegate, General Conference, 2019-Present
Contributor, Disciplines: Daily Devotions, Upper Room Books, 2024
Co-Convener, United Methodist Queer Delegates Caucus, 2020-2023
Co-Founder and Member, United Methodist Queer Clergy Caucus, 2016-Present
Presenter and Consultant, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, various service between 2006-2013
Contributor, Theological Explorations, General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, 2010

Other Service
Adjunct Faculty in United Methodist Studies, Claremont School of Theology
Advisor, Pluralism Project, Harvard University, 2016-Present
Wesleyan Impact Partners Board of Directors (formerly United Methodist Development Fund), 2018-Present
Co-Chair, Committee on Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, Graduate Theological Union, 2020-2021
Graduate Theological Union Board of Directors, 2013-2015
Delegate, Interfaith Peacebuilders delegation to Israel-Palestine, 2016
President and Coordinating Committee, National Campus Ministry Association, 1999-2005

Age/Number of Quadrennia Eligible to Serve: 4

What would you identify as the top 5 essential leadership qualities for a bishop in the West?
1. Deep spirituality
A bishop must bear witness to the power of the gospel through their own leadership, preaching, commitments, and devotional life. The gospel tells us that in community, there is life, and in the gathered body, there is Christ. Though we are a people who rejoice, life also includes suffering. To be able to testify that even in the low places, “God is working all things together for good” (Romans 8:28), is to offer a saving word to a world in need.

2. Collaborative leadership style and cultural competency
Church and society are in transition. Bishops are called to work collaboratively to strengthen and revitalize our congregations and ministries, while also supporting the development of new models. The West is diverse in language, race, ethnicity, culture, gender and sexual identity, and faith tradition; this is a gift. Collaborating with humility, prioritizing the gifts of historically excluded groups and persons, is leadership that allows us to respond to the movement of the Holy Spirit.

3. Prophetic voice and action
Speaking and acting with compassionate courage is part of the West’s DNA. We need bishops to demonstrate that wherever there is suffering, the United Methodist Church will not be silent and will not rest as long as oppressive structures wield destructive power. This includes a commitment to power sharing and an understanding that power arises out of right relationship, in which an anti-racist, decolonizing lens and approach is key.

4. Love for the United Methodist Church and accountable for fruitfulness
A love for the people and places, the practices and even peculiarities of Methodism is an essential part of being a bishop! Love is demonstrated through trust and empowerment and in the way that one shepherds, never giving up on people or the church. Love is shown in striving for the church to be healthy. In their love for the church, bishops are accountable to the church’s vitality, and the liberative and life-giving impact of our ministries.

5. Administrative skill and experience that embraces abundance and adaptability
Administration is a supportive and leadership function that can seem almost invisible when done well. Transparent financial administration, clear structure and accountabilities, as well a thoughtful and compassionate policies, free people to do good, creative and fruitful ministry. This is true in everything from appointment making to stewardship of resources to staff leadership. We are rich with lay leadership, significant property assets, and an inclusive message that persons are yearning for. An essential quality of a bishop is believing, with God’s help, we have everything we need to thrive.

Describe an impactful experience you have had with a bishop.
There are many experiences that come to mind but the one I will lift up was at the 2019 special general conference in St. Louis. The Traditional Plan had passed and there was a brokenness in the body. The word went out that our Western Jurisdiction bishops were gathering us that evening.

There was some confusion about where the gathering was taking place, but eventually people began finding the large room. We were demoralized and wondering what would happen next—it felt like an Upper Room moment, even though the room was on the lower level!

In a short time, the room was overflowing. There were folks from the West there, as well as others from across the connection just needing solace and community. Our Western Jurisdiction bishops hadn’t arrived yet, and so Dottie Escobedo-Frank, then not yet elected, held the space, facilitating the sharing of hearts and minds, sorrows and disillusionments. Even in that way, giving us a hint of what was to come.

Then our Western Jurisdiction college entered the room as one. They had been meeting together first to prepare. Their joint entrance into the full gathering was a powerful witness of presence, care and solidarity. The strong body of our active and retired bishops led us in song, offered words of comfort, invoked the scriptures of assurance that we know in our hearts to be true, and reminded us that we are people of hope and resurrection. In their collective outpouring of love and representative power, they aided in “righting” relationships with the church of those who were harmed by the body’s earlier action.

Our Western Jurisdiction bishops spoke pastorally, proclaiming that the West would continue to be a place where love lives and all are not just welcomed but an integral part of who we are. And they acted prophetically, leaning into the moment as one of possibility for us to witness to a God who has much more beauty and love in store for us than we can imagine. They brought us into a new place of knowing that joy does come with the dawn.

The role of bishop is about both leading and responding. That leadership and response considers the needs of the full body as well as what God is calling the body into in any given moment. Just as the Holy Spirit is constantly on the move–and the Spirit seems to be moving quite swiftly within the body of the United Methodist Church right now!–bishops must be constantly conscious of the way the Spirit is moving, and how the Spirit is moving us always toward wholeness even in moments of deep despair.

On that night in particular, I had immense pride in and gratitude for our Western Jurisdiction bishops and renewed hope in the future of the United Methodist Church.

Endorsement (First Endorsement)

As the WJC convenes for elections, I urge you to give every consideration to the candidacy of Dr. Kristin Stoneking. Kristin has provided leadership at every level of the UMC, and to each of her positions, she has brought a lively faith commitment, deep knowledge of the UMC, managerial and fiscal expertise, and a unique blend of compassion, integrity, and commitment.

I came to know Kristin personally when she served as our much-beloved senior pastor at Epworth UMC. During her six years, Kristin infused our congregation with new life and energy and recruited many new individuals and families. One of Kristin’s most meaningful contributions was a Truth and Racial Reckoning process, launched in the wake of the killings of George Floyd and other unarmed black and brown people. Working with a design team, Kristin skillfully guided the congregation through a very moving 10-week after-church process that deepened our understanding of racism and white supremacy and examined how our church may have benefited from these practices over the years. This process was instrumental in reshaping our identity as a congregation and was directly attributable to Kristin’s bold leadership and her commitment to equity and justice.

Dr. Randall Miller

Endorsement (Second Endorsement)

The Rev. Dr. Kristin Stoneking and I are kindred spirits. I had known about Rev. Stoneking for many years now, when she was serving in campus ministry at UC Davis because my seminary classmates at the Pacific School of Religion who knew her used to speak highly of her. When she joined the PSR adjunct faculty, I had already graduated, but I followed her ministry when she was appointed to Epworth UMC because I knew that Rev. Stoneking held an impressive resume in her cross-cultural work and pursuit of justice, which impressed me when I had the opportunities to get to know her better.

Having served on the Cal-Pac delegation, our work together became a reality. Dr. Stoneking’s ability to articulate the needs as a leader for her communities has been seen in her appointment to District Superintendent, within the support of her delegation and beyond, and in her familiarity with multi-faceted ministry settings, including both ecumenical and interfaith. It is a blessing to be able to both call Kristin a friend, and to also have the confidence in her abilities to serve in episcopal leadership.

Rev. Allison K. Mark
Faith United Methodist Church, California-Pacific Annual Conference
General Board of Church and Society Board of Directors

Endorsement (Third Endorsement)

I offer my unequivocal endorsement of Rev. Kristin Stoneking, with whom I have collaborated as colleague, and in her leadership of the Council on Finance and Administration and Racial Justice Taskforce.

Kristin’s possesses a remarkable ability to bridge diverse communities across multicultural and socioeconomic spectrums. This gift is not merely theoretical; it is a practiced, refined skill that has yielded tangible results in fostering unity, inclusion and understanding within our church body.

Leadership is demonstrated in times of challenge, and it is here that Kristin truly excels. Her leadership skills are characterized by the navigation of complex situations with grace, wisdom, and unwavering focus. Her problem-solving skills are matched only by her commitment to seeing tasks through to completion, ensuring that vision translates into actionable change.

Perhaps most compelling is Kristin’s character. She embodies the virtues we seek in our spiritual leaders: wisdom born of experience, humility in service, and commitment to justice and compassion. Answering the call of the Holy Spirit for this role is a continuation of her dedicated servant leadership.

Rev. Quentisha Davis Wiles, Senior Pastor, St. Mark’s UMC, Sacramento

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