Bishop Karen P. Oliveto serves as the leader of the Mountain Sky Area of The United Methodist Church. It includes 400 congregations in Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, Utah, and a small section of Idaho.
Bishop Oliveto was elected to the area after serving as the first woman pastor of the 12,000-member Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco, Calif. She is the first woman to serve as senior pastor of one of The United Methodist Church’s 100 largest congregations. She served Glide from 2008 until her election as bishop.
Born on Good Friday in 1958, in the aptly named community of Babylon, N.Y., Bishop Oliveto earned her B.A. in Psychology, cum laude, from Drew University, Madison, N.J., in 1980. She earned her Master in Divinity from Pacific School of Religion, Berkeley, Calif., in 1983, a Master in Philosophy from Drew University in 1991, and a PhD in Sociology of Religion from Drew University in 2002.
Bishop Oliveto has served in rural and urban settings as well as parish and campus settings in NY and California. She has also served as the Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Pacific School of Religion and has been an adjunct professor of United Methodist Studies at the school from 2004 to 2016. She has also been an adjunct professor in Prophetic Leadership for the Doctor of Ministry program at Drew University and was adjunct professor in Evangelism and Mission at Brite Divinity School at Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, Texas.
In 2008, as the Rev. Cecil Williams, the long-serving senior pastor of Glide Memorial United Methodist Church was preparing to retire, Bishop Oliveto was named as his successor. A San Francisco institution, Glide has been on the cutting edge of urban ministry for decades, serving thousands of people every week. Under her leadership, congregational life flourished through empowered lay involvement. She served as vice chair of the San Francisco Interfaith Council and was active in speaking out and taking action on issues related to homelessness, economic justice, immigration, civil rights, and LGBTQ rights.
Bishop Oliveto is the co-author of Talking About Homosexuality: A Congregational Resource (Pilgrim Press: 2004), and the author of Our Strangely Warmed Hearts: Coming Out into God's Call (Abingdon, 2018) and the forthcoming Stay at the Table: Embracing Diversity without Division (Westminster John Knox: anticipated publication date fall 2018).
Karen Oliveto, Bishop
Nancy Cox, Executive Assistant, Mountain Sky Area
303-733-3736, ext. 167
Denver Office of the Mountain Sky Conference
6110 Greenwood Plaza Blvd.
Greenwood Village, CO 80111