INDIANAPOLIS (e-HUM) – The Indiana Conference of The United Methodist Church at its June 2011 session in Muncie, endorsed a major emphasis to identify, encourage, engage, recruit, develop and retain the next generation of leadership, both lay and clergy, for Indiana congregations.

In consultation with Indiana Bishop Mike Coyner, the Rev. Dr. James Bushfield, Conference Director of Connectional Ministries, announces the assignment of the Rev. Brian Durand to the position of Associate Director for Leadership Development effective August 1.

Durand currently serves as Associate Director for Youth, Young Adult and Campus Ministry. In that role, he was instrumental in his work with the New Generation Task Force. He worked with Bishop Coyner, the Cabinet and the Indiana Conference Board of Ordained Ministry to develop a plan for leadership development with an emphasis on a new generation of leaders.

Bushfield told e-HUM, “Brian has already demonstrated a passion and great understanding of the dynamics of leadership development with a new generation. It’s a logical progression to narrow his portfolio to this new priority. The original Imagine Indiana Report prepared the new conference for a leadership development role, but the support structure is only now in place for that to happen.”

An associate director position will be filled later this summer to support the emphasis on youth ministry development in congregations. This position also will coordinate with United Methodist campus ministry settings across the state.

“The Associate Director for Student Ministry, will work with Durand to help build bridges of relationship for students in junior high, senior high and college age groups,” said Bushfield. “Indiana United Methodists have long supported and been actively engaged with youth and young adults through our camping programs, our campus ministry activities, our youth groups, scouting and civic ministry groups, not to mention local church Vacation Bible School, Church School, and youth activities.

“The Indiana Conference New Generation Task Force report outlines a direction for leadership development and the Conference Connectional Ministry staff is excited to work in supporting local congregations to provide ministry with our youth and young adults throughout their journeys of faith to help them grow into the leaders the church will need for the future.”

See Employment Opportunities at for application and information concerning the new position: Associate Director of Student Ministry.