History of the Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry

Established in 1978 at Drew University School of Theology, in Madison, NJ, the Multi-Ethnic Center for Ministry arose from the Civil Rights Movement as a vanguard in addressing historic racism in the church and in society. Its mission has been to help develop critically needed multi-racial/ethnic leaders, resources and ministries throughout United Methodism’s Northeastern Jurisdiction.


The Center was created to remove barriers and build bridges of progressive, prophetic ministry among races and cultures. For three decades it has forged vital partnerships with seminaries, church agencies, conferences, caucuses and the NEJ College of Bishops to help enlist, educate and equip diverse clergy and lay leaders to serve the needs of an evolving church in a changing culture.


In sponsoring dialogues and ministry events, nurturing leaders and collaborating with partners, the Center itself has evolved in its strategies, relationships and leadership. The Revs. William B. McClain and William James were among the first in a procession of transformational leaders who have labored in locations around the jurisdiction, working alongside dedicated board members. 


Today we strive to become a 21st century Center for Excellence working toward reconciliation among many diverse peoples and renewing our Wesleyan mission to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of God’s multiethnic, multicultural world.