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Challenging the UMC for the full and equal participation of women in the total life and mission of the Church
The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women advocates for full participation of women in the total life of The United Methodist Church. We’re helping the church recognize every person – clergy and lay, women and men, adults and children - as full and equal parts of God’s human family. We believe that a fully engaged and empowered membership is vital to The United Methodist Church’s mission "to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world."
Our role is to provide resources for how to respond to and prevent sexual misconduct in The United Methodist Church. We do this by educating church leaders and seminarians on sexual ethics and policies and by supporting victims/survivors of sexual harassment or abuse.
We monitor annual conferences, jurisdictional conferences, and the General Conference for inclusiveness. We continue to look at United Methodist Church statistics and data for women’s representation across the denomination. Monitoring reports and our research findings, found in our Women by the Numbers segment, are posted on our blog and website.
We provide education through different trainings and free curriculum. We developed guidelines for inclusive and expansive language in our God of the Bible curriculum. We helped cultivate and support women’s calls into ministry in our Women Called to Ministry curriculum translated into French, Portuguese, and Spanish. We also educate by raising the Church’s awareness to women’s issues and opportunities in both the Church and the world.
We train and support women from our local Annual Conference COSROW chairs to women in the Central Conferences. We strive to nurture clergy and lay leaders in the church, both women and men, to recognize every person – clergy and lay, women and men, adults and children -- as full and equal parts of God’s human family. Upcoming leadership training events and webinars can be found on the events page.
Go to the UM Sexual Ethics website
Learn More About GCSRW
is one of 13 general agencies of The United Methodist Church and is financed through the World Service Fund (apportioned giving from local congregations). The commission is accountable to the General Conference, the church's chief law-making body, and is a member of the Connectional Table, which coordinates the program and administrative life of churchwide agencies.
The commission is governed by a 19-member board of directors representing annual conferences across the United States and in the Philippines, Norway, Liberia and Mozambique. Commission bylaws stipulate that the board president must be a woman, and clergy and lay persons must be equally represented in agency leadership. The 2016-20 officers are Bishop Tracy Smith Malone, president and Rev. Cathy Mitchell, vice-president.
General Secretary Dawn Wiggins Hare and commission staff work from offices in the historic Chicago Temple, the skyscraper home of First United Methodist Church of Chicago, the oldest church in the city.
Key moments in GCSRW history
1944 - “Women in the Church” study by Grace Bragg, president of Women’s Division, finds widespread discrimination and lack of opportunity for women throughout The United Methodist Church
1956 - Full clergy rights for women granted
1972 - General Conference approves establishing GCSRW
1980 - Marjorie Swank Mathews becomes first woman elected bishop in The United Methodist Church
1984 - Leontine T.C. Kelly becomes the first woman of color elected bishop in The United Methodist Church
2012 - GCSRW celebrates its 40th anniversary
For more about our history, visit our History page
Dawn Wiggins Hare
Asst. General Secretary
Becky Posey Williams
Senior Director for Sexual Ethics and Advocacy
Director of Leadership Development and Accountability
Sexual Ethics Administrative Specialist
Director of Communications
Get in Touch
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Copyright 2019 GCSRW
Copyright 2019 GCSRW