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Kenneth Lee Carder Edit Profile

bishop , educator

Kenneth Lee Carder, American bishop, educator. Certified clergy, elder United Methodist Church, 1965. Recipient Distinguished Professor award, Duke University, since 2008.


Born in Washington County, Tennessee, Kenneth is one of five children of Allen and Edith Carder. Ken married Linda Miller 30 June 1961. She is a graduate of Emory and Henry College.

They are the parents of two daughters, Sheri Carder Hood and Sandra Carder Nash, and they have five grandchildren: Katelyn, Emily, Megan, Julia Rose, and Michael.


Bachelor of Science, East Tennessee State University, Johnson City, 1962. Master of Divinity, Wesley Theological Seminary, Washington, 1965. Doctor of Philosophy in Ministry, Vanderbilt Division School, Nashville, 1980.

Doctor of Divinity (honorary), Millsaps College, Jackson, Mississippi, 2004.


Ken was ordained Deacon in 1963 by Bishop Roy H. Short. He was ordained Elder in 1965 by Bishop H. Ellis Finger, Jr. Prior to his election to the Episcopacy, Ken pastored churches in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

Bristol, Tennessee; Abingdon, Virginia. And Oak Ridge and Knoxville, Tennessee. While in Oak Ridge he helped to initiate an ongoing dialogue between scientists and theologians.

He continues an interest in science/technology and theology/ethics. He chaired the Task Force on Genetic Science, which presented its report to the 1992 U.M. General Conference. In addition to dialogue between science and theology, Ken has special concern for prison ministries, racial justice, and ministry with the poor and marginalized.

Ken Carder was a delegate to the South Eastern Jurisdictional Conference of the U.M. Church in 1980. He was elected General Conference delegate, 1984-92. He has served in several Annual and General Conference positions, including Chair of the Conference Council on Finance and Administration, a Director of the General Board of Church and Society, and president of the General Board of Discipleship.

Bishop Carder was elected to the Episcopacy in 1992 by the Southeastern Jurisdictional Conference of the U.M. Church. At the time he was the Pastor of the Church Street U.M.C. in Knoxville. He was assigned to the Nashville Episcopal Area, effective 1 September 1992.

He was assigned to the Mississippi Area in 2000 where he served until retiring in 2004 and joining the faculty of Duke University Divinity School. Currently, Bishop Carder serves as the Ruth W. and A. Morris Williams, Jr. Distinguished Professor of the Practice of Christian Ministry Duke Divinity School, Durham, North Carolina.

He is the author of five books and numerous articles.


  • Certified clergy, elder United Methodist Church, 1965.


  • Other Work

    • Author: (book) Sermons on United Methodist Beliefs, A Bishop's Reflections, Living Our Beliefs, Grace to Lead.


The Covenant is the means of grace by which the relationship with God is accepted and then sustained. It is therefore not so much about getting in to a relationship with God as it is about staying in it.


Working in partnership with different Christian denominations allows influencing public policy more effectively.


The demands of modern life may leave someone stressed and overloaded, or isolated and feeling useless. Be persistent, and success will be definitely achieved.


Carder distinguished himself as a Pastor, a member of Annual Conference and General U.M. agencies, a Bishop and an author. He was also a trustee of Emory University, and Henry College, Martin Methodist College, Lambuth University, and Millsaps College, and a member of the Board of Governors of Wesley Seminary.


  • Other Interests

    Reading, hiking.


Married Linda Faye Miller, June 30, 1961. Children: Sheri Lynn Hood, Sandra Lee Nash.

Allen Hobart

Edith Walker Carder

Linda Faye Miller

Sheri Lynn Hood Carder

Sandra Lee Nash Carder