Calvin McConnell

Bishop Calvin McConnell


United States

Western Jurisdiction

hs_mcconnellc-150x225.jpg Bishop Calvin McConnell is a Retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 1980-1996.

Cal McConnell was born in Monte Vista, Colorado. His academic preparation for ministry included the University of Denver and the Iliff School of Theology, with a post-graduate Master of Sacred Theology degree from Andover Newton Theological School. Bishop Glen R. Phillips ordained him deacon and elder in the Rocky Mountain Annual Conference. He later transferred to the California-Nevada Conference and served in Williams, CA, and later as minister to youth at First United Methodist Church in Palo Alto and as Director of the Wesley Foundation at Stanford University.

Subsequently, he transferred to the Oregon-Idaho Conference, serving as University Chaplain and Assistant Professor of Religion at Willamette University, before returning to his home conference and serving churches in Denver, Boulder, and Colorado Springs. He was a General Conference delegate in 1976 and 1980. For 34 years Cal McConnell was married to Dr. Mary McConnell who died in 1986; their family includes two sons, their two spouses and three grandchildren. Cal and Velma Duell were married in December of 1988.

The Western Jurisdiction elected Calvin McConnell to the episcopacy in 1980 and assigned him to the Portland Area. In 1988 he was assigned to the Seattle Area. In his active episcopacy he served as President of The Upper Room, and was on the organizing Advisory Board of the Academy for Spiritual Formation, and a member of the editorial board of WEAVINGS: A Journal of the Christian Spiritual Life. He is past President of the General Commission on Religion and Race, and of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry. He served as a trustee of Willamette University, the University of Puget Sound and the Iliff School of Theology. In 1992 he was named by Iliff as its fifth Distinguished Alumnus. He also holds honorary degrees from Rust College and University of Puget Sound. In retirement he was a founding member of the ecumenical extension seminary, Northwest House of Theological Studies in Salem, Oregon, where he taught for two years in the area of the formation and practice of spirituality. He retired from the episcopacy in 1996.