The New Unified Conference: Director of Diversity and Cultural Engagement

Date Posted: 2/28/2024

The New Unified Conference, Plano, TX

Job Description

The Central Texas, North Texas and Northwest Texas Conferences, pending approval of the Southcentral Jurisdictional Conference in July, will become one Annual Conference of The United Methodist Church. The Joint Personnel Committee for these three conferences announces a search for the Director of Diversity and Cultural Engagement for the yet to be named NEW UNIFIED CONFERENCE and invites inquiries and resumes for the position. The conference is committed to fostering inclusion, understanding, and respect for diversity within our churches and community. Rooted in our faith-based values, we aim to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, celebrated, and valued.

The Central Texas, North Texas and Northwest Texas Conferences have been in conversations since early 2023 to explore the process of unification. Throughout the spring and summer of 2023, Bishop Saenz, along with clergy and lay leaders from all three conferences, worked together on a plan to unify the three conferences. The NEW CONFERENCE aims to create a diverse and inclusive workplace where everyone feels valued, respected, and empowered to reach their full potential.

The Joint Personnel Committee seeks a passionate leader, committed to driving positive change and making a difference as the Director of Diversity and Cultural Engagement. This key role will be responsible for fostering a diverse, inclusive and equitable environment within the conference. This position involves developing, implementing, and promoting initiatives that celebrate diversity and address issues related to equity and inclusion within the conference organization and context. This position will work collaboratively with the Bishop, Cabinet, Conference Directors, clergy, laity, congregations and community organizations to ensure that diversity, equity, and inclusion are woven into the fabric of the Conference’s identity and practices, both in the Church and engagements with the world.

Primary Roles

  • Develop and implement strategies to attract and retain a diverse pool of conference staff, volunteers, and leadership.
  • Cast a vision, expand and strengthen the conference’s missional mindset for the pursuit of diversity and informed/sensitive cultural engagement.
  • Provide guidance on integrating diversity initiatives into all aspects of the conference's life.
  • Work to create an inclusive and welcoming environment that encourages the retention and advancement of individuals from diverse backgrounds.
  • Develop and conduct training programs to increase awareness and understanding of diversity, equity, and inclusion issues.
  • Lead the conference in establishing relationships with diverse religious and cultural groups, fostering interfaith dialogue and understanding.
  • Promote cultural competence and sensitivity by providing resources, training, and support.
  • Collaborate with Conference leadership to review and revise policies to ensure they reflect a commitment to diversity, inclusion, and equity.
  • Collect and analyze data related to diversity and equity metrics within the organization.
  • Ensure the success of Conference and department team goals, objectives, and key results for diversity, equity, inclusion, and effective cultural engagement.
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships with key stakeholders in the conference to meet goals and objectives that support diversity, equity, inclusion, and cultural engagement efforts.
  • Oversee the success of department objectives, in collaboration with the Directors/Team leads, to develop and implement a comprehensive diversity and inclusion strategy that aligns with biblical and United Methodist values and principles.
  • Leverage the connection by facilitating the sharing of local churches' ideas, best practices, and resources across the conference.
  • Develop tools, templates, resources, forms, and implementation strategies and make them accessible to clergy, laity, and congregations to enhance their ministry.
  • Procure and allocate resources to ensure the success of Conference and department team goals, objectives, and key results regarding diversity and cultural engagement.
  • Enter into partnerships and collaborative efforts to enhance capabilities and achieve shared objectives.
  • Work closely with conference leadership and staff, clergy, laity, and congregations to incorporate teachings and practices that promote tolerance, understanding, and acceptance of underrepresented and diverse racial, ethnic, and cultural communities.
  • Organize events that celebrate the cultural richness and religious diversity in our communities.
  • Work with the Board of Ordained Ministry to increase cultural competency among ministry candidates.
  • Address and mediate conflicts related to diversity, equity, and inclusion providing guidance on respectful communication and understanding that aligns with the conference's values and principles.
  • Prepare regular reports for leadership, highlighting progress, areas for improvement, and recommendations for further action.
  • Supervise staff/team members within the department.


  • Bachelor’s Degree in a relevant field is required (e.g., Diversity and Inclusion, Culture Studies, Organizational Development, Social Sciences, Diversity Studies, etc.). Advanced degree preferred.
  • Five plus years proven experience working in diversity and inclusion roles (Leading diversity initiatives within an organization, implementing equity programs, conducting training on cultural competence and bias awareness, managing employee resource groups).
  • Deep understanding and respect for diverse cultures, ethnicities, religious beliefs and practices.
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to engage with individuals from different cultural and religious backgrounds.
  • In-depth knowledge of diversity principles, equity frameworks, inclusion best practices, relevant laws and regulations related to diversity and inclusion.
  • A strong understanding of social justice issues, intersectionality, and cultural competency are important.
  • Ability to drive change, influence stakeholders at all levels of the organization, and build consensus around diversity and inclusion initiatives.
  • Demonstrated experience in long-term strategic planning, including the ability to set goals, develop actionable plans, and measure performance against objectives for advancing diversity goals.
  • Ability to build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills to effectively engage with diverse stakeholders.
  • Ability to develop and deliver presentations and facilitate discussions on sensitive topics related to diversity, inclusion, and cultural engagement.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office Applications.
  • Knowledge of The United Methodist Church and its structure and polity is strongly preferred.
  • Ability to fluently speak and understand more than one language is preferred.

Additional Considerations

  • Hybrid work environment
  • Generous health and welfare benefits
  • 22 Vacation Days
  • 12 Holidays

Closing Date: March 29, 2024

No Staffing Agencies or Recruitment Firms

How to Apply

Please visit the following link to apply:
Contact Email: [email protected]
Contact Phone: 615-369-2313


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