2015 Distinguished Alumni Recipient
BA 1971, History
MA, Duke Divinity School
PhD, Drew Theological School
Bishop, Indiana Conference, United Methodist Church, Indianapolis, IN
“Bishop Mike” as most people call him, is originally from Anderson, Indiana. He served churches of various sizes, served as a District Superintendent of the former Lafayette District, and was also the Executive Assistant to Bishop Woodie W. White for the Indiana Area. He was elected a bishop of the United Methodist Church in 1996 and was assigned to the Dakotas Area where he served two terms as resident bishop. In 2004 he was assigned to serve the Indiana Area, and in 2012 he was assigned to a third term.
Bishop Mike and his wife, Marsha, live in the Indianapolis area where the Bishop’s Office is located. He oversees the life and ministry of over 1,200 United Methodist congregations in Indiana, including over 200,000 members organized into10 districts. Under Bishop Coyner’s leadership, the former North and South Indiana Conference voted in 2008 to create a new Indiana Conference which was launched in 2010.
Bishop Mike received his B.A. degree from Purdue, his M. Div. Degree from Duke Divinity School, and his Doctor of Ministry degree from Drew Theological School. Bishop Mike also has received honorary doctorates from Dakota Wesleyan University, the University of Evansville and the University of Indianapolis. He is the author of several articles and five books: Making a Good Move (Abingdon Press, 1999), Prairie Wisdom (Abingdon Press, 2000), The Race to Reach Out (Abingdon Press, 2004), A Year With John Wesley and Our Methodist Values (Discipleship Resources, 2008) and The Andrew Paradigm: How to Be a Lead Follower of Jesus (2012 Abington Press). In addition to serving as a Trustee or Board member of various United Methodist agencies and institutions here in Indiana, Bishop Coyner also serves on the General Council on Finance and Administration for the denomination.
Marsha Coyner is a special education teacher by training, and she also loves music and gardening. She has often played and directed handbell choirs at various churches where Mike has served, and she also has volunteered many hours of her time with UMCOR and related activities. Bishop Mike and Marsha have two adult children and four grandchildren. Laura and her husband, Adrian Peace, are both engineers in Louisville and the parents of Brianna and Austin. Steve, a pharmaceutical salesman, and his wife, Jessica, live in Fishers and are the parents of Ashlee and Leah.
Bishop Coyner currently resides in Indianapolis.