Øystein Olsen

Bishop Øystein Olsen




Bishop Øystein Olsen is a Retired Bishop of The United Methodist Church, having served from 2001-2009.

Øystein Olsen was born in Narvik, Northern Norway. His parents were Methodists, and he grew up in and became a member of the United Methodist Church in a country with a 90% Lutheran population. He started singing in a boys' choir at the age of 7 and has liked singing since then.

Øystein earned a diploma from The UMC Nordic Theological Seminary in Gothenburg, Sweden, and was ordained deacon and elder by Bishop Ole Borgen. He obtained additional education in Pastoral Supervision (ABV). His has served as local church pastor in the southern part of Norway for the following congregations: Egersund; Bergen Central, as youth pastor (50%) and Bethany Hospital as hospital chaplain (50%); Halden; "pastor in charge" in Strömstad, Sweden; Skien; Kjølberg; Oslo Immanuel. He was elected to the episcopacy in March of 2001, and served the Nordic and Baltic Area until his retirement in 2009.

He has served on the General Council on Ministries 1996-2000, as member and officer, re-elected 2000-2004; Central Conference Executive Committee/Committee on Episcopacy since 1987; Delegate to NE Central Conference 1985-1997; the Norwegian Annual Conference Committee on Episcopacy from 1989, chair 1989-2001; Annual Conference Board of Ordained Ministry 1980-96, 7 years as chair; Annual Conference Church Board of UMC Norway 1981-1989 (1978-81 substitute); as well as other committees and task forces in the Annual Conference, districts and local churches. In addition, for four years he served as the Norway Annual Conference representative in Nordic Ecumenical Council.

After his election to the episcopacy, Bishop Olsen served as Chair of ECOM (European Commission on Mission), a joint coordinating commission between the European UMC episcopal Areas and the British Methodist Churches in Europe; as Chair of EMC (European Methodist Council), a European equivalent to WMC; The Bishops' Initiative: Children and Poverty Task Force and Vice President and Director of GBGM.

In 1967, he married Toril, who is a special education teacher. Their children are: daughter, Elisabeth and two sons, Geir Thomas and Trond Christian. All three are married and live in the Oslo region. The Olsens have three grandchildren: Nicolai, Hannah and Natascha.