Bruce Ough

Bishop Bruce Ough


United States

North Central Jurisdiction

Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area


Bruce Robert Ough was born in Williston, North Dakota, the oldest of four children. He attended North Dakota State University (B.A.), followed by two years as a school counselor on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Dakotas. Bruce attended Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary, receiving an M.Div. degree. During his seminary years, Bruce served one year as an associate pastor at Grace United Methodist Church in Chicago and interned one year with the Dakotas Area Program Staff. In addition, he has done graduate work at Northwestern University and completed the Upper Room's two-year Academy for Spiritual Formation.

Bruce R. Ough served as Council Director of the Dakotas Area), followed by three years as Director of the Oakwood Spiritual Life Center in the North Indiana Conference. From 1985 to 1992, Bruce served as the Council Director for the Iowa Conference, followed by five years as district superintendent of the Cedar Rapids District of the Iowa Conference. In 1997, Bruce was appointed as senior pastor of the 2,800 member St. Paul's United Methodist Church in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. He was in this position when elected to the episcopacy by the North Central Jurisdictional Conference in 2000 and assigned to the Ohio West Area. After 12 years in West Ohio, he was assigned to the Dakotas-Minnesota Episcopal Area in July 2012.

Bishop Ough was a delegate to the 1988, 1996, and 2000 General Conferences of The United Methodist Church and to the 1988 - 2000 North Central Jurisdiction Conferences. He has served as a member of several jurisdictional and general church agencies, most notably the North Central Jurisdiction Committee on Episcopacy, the General Commission on Christian Unity and Interreligious Concerns and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. In October 2008 he was elected to serve as President of the General Board of Global Ministries. He has served as the President of the Ohio Council of Churches and the North Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops and also chaired the Council of Bishops' Plan Team on Missional Focus. He led the denomination as chair of the Connectional Table, 2012 - 2016 and as President of the Council of Bishops, 2016 – 2018.

Bishop Ough has published a number of professional and devotional articles, including a study of the small membership church, Independent, Courageous, Stubborn and a contribution to The Spiritual Formation Bible. He is a noted leader in the areas of spiritual formation, leadership development and new church development.

Charlene Feldner and Bruce were married on August 14, 1976. They have three sons: Lance (Cathie), Stuart (Christine) and Matthew and seven grandchildren.