Twenty-seven percent (or 516 of the 1,942)
of individuals employed by the general
agencies of The United Methodist Church
are racial/ethnic women (see Table 1).
While racial/ethnic women do hold some of the
executive, professional, and managerial positions
in some of the general agencies, most of the positions
they hold are in the administrative and clerical
support area. In fact, 59% (or 303) of all the positions
held by racial/ethnic women in the church are
administrative and clerical positions (see Table 1).
By Craig This and Elaine Moy
Of the 1,944 individuals employed by the
general agencies of The United Methodist
Church, 68% (1,323) are women.
The findings for this report come from the 2006
Council, Board, or Commission Annual Members
Profile jointly conducted by the General Commission
on Religion and Race and the General Commission
on the Status and Role of Women.
By Craig this
Women, whether lay or clergy, bump into
a glass ceiling in their attempts to serve
as voting members of the various boards
and commissions of The United Methodist
Church, according to 2006 Council,
Board or Commission Annual Members
Profile jointly conducted by the General
Commission on Religion and Race (GCRR)
and the General Commission on the
Status and Role of Women (GCSRW).
Of those clergypersons serving local churches in the United States, 26% are clergywomen and 74% are clergymen (see Table
In other words, 1 in 4 churches is served by a clergywoman. Of the 7,619 clergywomen who serve in the local church, only
814, or 14%, are racial/ethnic women (see Table 2). That means 1 in 10 clergywomen serving a local church is
a racial/ethnic clergywoman. At first glance, that seems like a pretty good ratio. However, looking deeper, statistics
show that only 3 out of every 100 churches are served by a racial/ethnic clergywoman. At the same time, 3 out
of every 4 churches are served by a clergyman, regardless of race.
By Craig this
Previous “By the Numbers”
articles in The Flyer have focused
on the gains made by clergywomen
in serving The United
Methodist Church as local church
pastors, district superintendents,
bishops, and conference officers.
This article examines and
analyzes where and how clergywomen
serve the local church.
Women hold 22% of the chancellor (attorney),
director of connectional ministries (DCM), and
treasurer positions in the annual conferences
across the U.S. United Methodist Church (Table I).1
Twenty-three percent of the district
superintendents serving The United
Methodist Church in the United States
are women. This compares favorably to
the 21% of the clergy in denomination
who are women (see table on facing
page). From this vantage point,
clergywomen are represented in positions
of leadership across the denomination.
Craig This, formerly with the General
Council on Ministries, is a “numbers
guy.” His research for the denomination
has helped many groups see where they
are headed by looking at where they have
been. One of the numbers Craig has been
tracking relates to the ministry of the
General Commission on the Status and
Role of Women, and the “where we’re
headed” is looking better all the time.
According to Craig, the percentage of
clergywomen in The United Methodist
Church increased from 11% in 1992 to
19% in 2002, the most recent year for
which data are available. Thirty-four
conferences had 19% or more clergywomen
in 2002. This is good news as we move
toward a more representative future.
The number of females in the
United States as of July 1, 2003.
That exceeds the number of males
(143.0 million). Males outnumber
females in every five-year-age
group through the 35 to 39 age
group. Starting with the 40 to 44
age group, women outnumber
men. At 85 and over, there are
more than twice as many women