Metropolitan District Superintendent

NYAC Metropolitan District Superintendent

Reverend Dr. Denise Smartt Sears


Reverend Dr. Denise Smartt Sears

For nearly a decade, Reverend Dr. Denise Smartt Sears has provided leadership, strategic direction and spiritual formation for the churches located within the Metropolitan District of the New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church.

As the appointed Superintendent of one of the most diverse districts
within the Conference, Rev. Dr. Sears fulfills her calling by building
bridges with clergy and laity throughout the Bronx, Manhattan, Staten Island, and Westchester County.

Among other things, Rev. Dr. Sears is tasked to:

  • Function as an extension of the Office of the Bishop by overseeing the ministries of clergy and laity in the Metropolitan District.
  • Engage and regularly visit local churches to foster relationships with clergy for pastoral guidance, personnel, administrative, and
    identification of leadership needs.
  • Establish and grow ministries that connect the church to the community.
  • Offer creative insight on best use of resources to areas where the Holy Spirit is active, vibrant, and driving innovation to challenge the status quo.
  • Serve as a missional strategist, partnering with clergy to cast a vision for the Metropolitan District churches that encourages discipleship, community-focused engagement, strategically impactful outreach, and bridge-building.

Rev. Dr. Sears’ missional pursuit seeks to unite people from divergent racial, socio-economic, and cultural backgrounds to lead them into spirit-led, thoughtful, open, inclusive, and faith-filled relationships with Jesus Christ.  In pursuit of this mission, she has:

  • Served as a Lead Pastor for more than two decades and spearheaded the effort that successfully united two congregations to the New Rochelle United Methodist Church.
  • Led various initiatives as a clergy coach, and a congregational growth facilitator.
  • Launched the pilot for the New York Annual Conference’s “Eight-Year Assessment Tool” that was rolled out to some 300 clergy within the Conference.
  • Sought and received Commission on Race and Religion grants that address cultural inclusion within the United Methodist Church.
  • Authored the 2019 United Methodist Women Spiritual Growth Leader’s and Participant’s Guide.

Rev. Dr. Sears is a graduate of Dillard University in  New Orleans, Louisiana where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science. She earned a Master of Science degree from New York’s Bank Street College of Education, and was awarded a Master of Divinity and a Doctor of Ministry degree in Congregational Growth and Development from Drew University.

Rev. Dr. Sears and her husband, Wendell T. Sears are the proud parents of two sons, Daniel and William.

In her “spare time,” Rev. Dr. Sears serves as a Chaplain for the New Rochelle Police Department, enjoys family focused activities, community outreach within Westchester County, local politics, and travel.