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United Seminary announces the Bishop Ough Innovation Center

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Bishop Bruce R. Ough, file photo.

United Theological Seminary, in Dayton, Ohio, announces the establishment of the Bishop Bruce Ough Innovation Center, to launch in January 2021. The center honors Bishop Bruce Ough’s legacy of leading and supporting creative ministries and continues the Seminary’s commitment to providing innovative theological education.

The Bishop Bruce Ough Innovation Center will provide learning opportunities to equip church leaders and congregations with creative, practical, and effective tools for unleashing God’s Church as the spiritual movement of Jesus Christ. Such programs will include continuing education offerings and a new congregational renewal initiative.


Bishop Ough is the episcopal leader of the Dakotas-Minnesota Area of The United Methodist Church, where he has served since September 1, 2012. Prior to his assignment to the Dakotas-Minnesota Area, he served for 12 years as the resident bishop of the West Ohio Area. From 2016 to 2018, he was President of the United Methodist Council of Bishops, and he will become Executive Director of the Council of Bishops following his retirement at the end of 2020.

“I am the product of a mentoring culture,” Bishop Ough has said. “I was not born a leader; I was raised to be a leader by others who very intentionally invested in me…By the time I responded to God’s call and headed to seminary, I knew that a major portion of my ministry was to multiply myself as a leader. I have attempted to pay my leadership debt forward ever since.” 

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Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey leads Breakthrough Prayer training. Photo by Dave Stucke, Dakotas UMC.

Rev. Sue Nilson Kibbey has been named the center’s inaugural director. An ordained elder in The United Methodist Church, Rev. Nilson Kibbey shares her passions for breakthrough prayer, missional movements and spiritual renewal as a speaker, coach and congregational consultant. For the past 10 years, she has served as Director of the Office of Missional Church Development for the West Ohio Conference of The UMC. In the Dakotas Conference she has served as the lead consultant for the Missional Church Consultation Initiative (MCCI) and Breakthrough Prayer Initiative.
 

"Breakthrough Prayer Initiative will be at the core of everything that happens at the Innovation Center,"  says Nilson Kibbey. "I will be taking my latest revitalization/renewal church learnings, and creating a brand new revitalization initiative for the Innovation Center that gives congregations the option of participating for 18 months with training, coaching and implementation to jumpstart a new fresh, relevant and fruitful season.  United has decided to call it their “Floodgates” congregational renewal initiative."  Flood Gates: Holy Momentum for a Fearless Church, is the name of Nilson Kibbey's latest book.

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Rev. Kent Millard. Photo courtesy of United Seminary.

Rev. Kent Millard, who serves as the president of United Seminary and was ordained an elder in the Dakotas Conference, shared the announcement. He has connected with Ough throughout his 45 years in ministry.

“Bishop Bruce Ough has been an example of faithful and innovative Christian leadership during his career as a pastor, council director, district superintendent and bishop in The United Methodist Church,” says Millard. “United is honored to continue his legacy with the establishment of the Bishop Bruce Ough Innovation Center.”

UMC

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