Introduction to Unconscious Bias – for church councils, circuit meetings and other groups

The following video based training material has been produced for use in a range of settings including Church Council meetings, Circuit Meetings and Circuit Invitation Committees to introduce unconscious bias. Due to the restrictions in place as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic the video based material has been recorded on Zoom.

The material has been produced as a resource to be used

  • for training Circuit Invitation Committee members, as directed by Methodist Council (October 2019).

    The Methodist Council October 2019 Summary including the recommendation can be accessed here.

  • to support resolution 25/1a which was approved as part of the Oversight and Trusteeship report at the 2020 Methodist Conference.

    Resolution 25/1a:
    ‘The Conference directs Circuit Meetings and Church Councils to undertake Unconscious Bias related training in order to ensure equality and diversity within the appointments process of the new trustee bodies.’

    The full report can be accessed here.

Using the material

The material is intended to be used in a group/meeting setting with opportunity for small group conversation. It is anticipated that the training session will run for approximately 30 minutes, although there is scope to extend this time through extending the conversation time.

The material consists of the following three video clips (see links below):

  • Section 1 - Introduction and theology and Section 2 - unconscious bias explained
    • Followed by small group reflection/conversation
  • Section 3 - Types of unconscious bias
    • Followed by small group reflection/conversation
  • Section 4 - The impact of unconscious bias  and what we can do about it
    • Followed by small group reflection/conversation

Each video clip ends with some prompts for reflection and conversation. At the end of each clip the large group should split into smaller conversation groups (around 4-5 people in each) and spend some time sharing in conversation based on the prompts at the end of each clip.

Material to be circulated in advance of the training:

Material for use during the training session:

  • Video clips:
    • Sections 1 & 2 (Section 1 - Introduction and theology and Section 2 - unconscious bias explained)
    • Section 3 (Section 3 - Types of unconscious bias)
    • Section 4 (Section 4 - The impact of unconscious bias  and what we can do about it)
  • PowerPoint with video clips inserted and questions for reflection/conversation.

Each of these videos are available for download through the links. 

Material to be circulated following the session:

Any Further questions relating to this material can be directed to: