INDIANAPOLIS – Bishop Michael J. Coyner is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. R. Michael Warner to lead as the new Indiana Conference Clergy Care Services Director effective January 1, 2015. Warner is an ordained Elder who comes with a wealth of experience in counseling as a military chaplain holding the rank of retired Lt. Colonel in the U.S. Air Force. Warner also has an extensive background in local church leadership having served Bradley UMC, Greenfield, Ind.; Old Bethel UMC, Indianapolis; and Arlington UMC, Bloomington, Ind.

Over the course of the past 20 years, Warner has served our country in various levels of the Air Force as a pastor/chaplain to our troops in more than 30 countries with his most recent assignment as the Deputy Command Chaplain at Headquarters Air Force Material Command at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio.

“I am delighted that Rev. Mike Warner has agreed to serve as our first Director of Clergy Care Services,” said Bishop Coyner. “As a clergy member of the Indiana Conference and as a retired Air Force Chaplain, he has wonderful knowledge of Indiana and has the experience to help us develop this new ministry to assist our clergy and their families.”

In his role as Clergy Care Services Director, Warner will support the mission of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world by providing confidential pastoral care for clergy (both active and retired) and their families. He will provide a space for short-term confidential conversations regarding personal issues, concerns and stresses in life. Warner will serve as the initial contact for clergy and families, as well as discern together if needed, next steps for pastoral care that may include referral to additional “care” resources.

“Mike has a very caring and pastoral style, as well as knowledge of resources and services, so he will provide confidential support to our clergy and families who reach out to him,” said Coyner. 

Warner remarks, “The opportunity to engage our clergy, to hear their stories, to be a listening colleague and friend that can support, as well as encourage during challenging times excites me about this ministry. Our primary goal over the next months will be availability to meet and listen to our clergy, while developing further resources for ongoing pastoral care for both our clergy and their families.”

Warner holds a Bachelor of Science in Operations Management from The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; Master of Divinity in Pastoral Care/Counseling from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Ky.; Master of Sacred Theology in Pastoral Care/Counseling from Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis; and Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership/Strategic Planning from George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

He is an outdoorsman at heart and enjoys skiing, hiking and nature. He spends his free time coaching youth sports and is active in ministry with the homeless. He and his wife, Jo, have two grown children, Sarah Warner, a social worker in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and David (Grace) Warner, a medic for the U.S. Air Force in West, Texas. Warner and his wife have two grandchildren, Riley and Norah, who also live in West, Texas.

Rev. Warner will work remotely via a virtual office and may be contacted at michael.warner@inumc.org or at 317/550-5406.

For more information on the newly created office of Clergy Care Services, please click here.