Director of Community Discipleship and Development
Dr. Bernice Williams Kirkland is an ordained elder in the North Georgia Conference of the United Methodist Church. She is a lifelong learner and servant-leader who has been blessed to serve in a variety of settings such as hospital chaplaincy, cross-racial leadership, executive pastor, pastor and now superintendency. Serving the North Georgia Conference in various committees has strengthened her ministry. She is an effective change agent whose deepest passion is making and shaping disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.
Her journey has equipped her to serve others while leading well. She received the Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Dillard University (1982), the Masters of Divinity degree from the Interdenominational Theological Center (Valedictorian, 1999). Bernice has also engaged intensely the transforming mystery of human suffering through two years of Chaplain Residency: Emory University (2000) and the University of Tennessee Medical Center (2001). She received the Doctor of Ministry degree in Christian Spirituality from Columbia Theological Seminary (2009). Her doctoral project was “Spiritual Leadership as Essential for Church Renewal.”
Bernice has been married to Darryl Edgar Kirkland for 34 years. Darryl holds a Bachelors in Accounting and a Masters degree in Business Administration and works as a finance manager at the Coca Cola Company. They are proud parents of two strong and adventurous young adults: Jasmine Darniece (28) is a critical-care nurse at Emory University Hospital. Derek Eugene (25) is a teacher in Beijing, China. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. and Chi Eta Phi Nursing Sorority. She is a member of the Gammon Board Trustees, Georgia Tech Wesley Foundation Board, Georgia State University Wesley Foundation Board and Clark Atlanta University Board of Trustees. Her hobbies include gardening and decorating. Her theme song for living is “To God be the Glory.”