Robert Schnase serves as bishop of the Missouri Area of The United Methodist Church.
Based in Columbia, Mo., he is the leader of nearly 900 congregations with 175,000 members across the state, offering ministry through local churches, colleges, campus ministries, social services and mission projects throughout the world.
Bishop Schnase was elected bishop in 2004 in The United Methodist Church’s Southcentral Jurisdiction, an area that covers nine states in the southcentral United States.
A native of south Texas, he was ordained Deacon in 1981 and Elder in 1986 in the Southwest Texas Conference. He is a graduate of Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas with a master’s degree in theology, and a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a B.A. in psychology. He has also studied Spanish for several summers in Central America.
From 1989 to 2004, he served as Senior Pastor of First United Methodist Church of McAllen, Texas. First Church was recognized for congregational growth, bi-cultural ministry, young adult ministry and commitment to mission as the congregation relocated and built new facilities to serve the Rio Grande Valley. From 1984 to 1989, Rev. Schnase served as pastor of Wesley United Methodist Church in Harlingen, receiving the Circuit Rider Award for Church Growth and the Denman Evangelism Award. From 1982-1983, he served the Farnham and Alton Circuit of five churches with the British Methodist Conference.
He’s the author of several books published by Abingdon Press, including Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations (2007), Five Practices of Fruitful Living (2010), Ambition in Ministry (1993), and Testing and Reclaiming Your Call to Ministry (1991). He has also written several daily devotional books for congregations, including Practicing Extravagant Generosity (2011), Forty Days of Fruitful Living (2010), The Balancing Act (2009), and Cultivating Fruitfulness (2008). He worked as editorial consultant to the New Interpreters Bible, and has contributed chapters to The Future of the United Methodist Church (2008) and to Weaver and Stapleton’s Reflections on Marriage and Spiritual Growth and Grand-Parenting and the Spiritual Journey.
Bishop Schnase has served as delegate to The United Methodist Church’s highest legislative conference, the General and its regional Jurisdictional Conferences. He has served on a number of agencies, including the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, the Conference Board of Ordained Ministry, the Board of Directors of Texas Methodist Foundation, the UTPA Campus Ministries Board and many other conference, district and ecumenical projects. From 1998 to 2004, he served as chair of the Order of Elders of the Southwest Texas Conference.
Bishop Schnase’s wife, Esther, is a high school English teacher. They have two college-age sons, Karl and Paul. Bishop Schnase is an avid runner, completing several marathons, and enjoys canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, studying Spanish and traveling in Latin America.