by Craig This*
The U.S. annual conferences (54 reporting) of the United Methodist Church employed 3,231 individuals
in 2009, according to the 2009 annual conference desk audits conducted by the General Commission on Race and
Religion and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Of those employed, 75% or 2,432 are
employed in the categories 1-3 positions (executives/directors, professionnals, managers/administrators) and
25% or 799 are employed in the categories 4-6 positions (technicians, administration/clerical support,
service/maintenance workers) (see Table 1).
by Craig This*
United Methodist general agencies felt the impact of the 2008-2009 economic downturn in the United States,
according to audits by the General Commission on Religion and Race and the General Commission on the
Status and Role of Women.
The agencies dropped from 1,751 employees in 2008 to 1,557 in 2009, a loss of 194 jobs (11% of workforce).
Of the 194 job losses, 190 (98%) were laity and 4 (2%) were clergy (Table 1).
by Elaine May*
According to the denomination's most recent figures (2009), men hold 73% of the top staff
leadership positions in the U.S. annual conferences, women hold 27%.
"Top positions" in an annual conference include bishops, directors of connectional
ministries (DCM), district superintendents (DS) and treasurers. Women—who make up
more than 50% of total United Methodist membership in the United States—are least
represented as district superintendents (26% are women), while the highest number of women in top leadership
are treasurers and directors of connection ministry (33% in each category).
There are 61 U.S. annual conferences treasurers; 67% are men (41) and 33% are women (20); 77% are lay (47)
and 23% are clergy (14).
North Central Jurisdiction has the highest percentage of women treasurers (45%), followed by Northeast with
38%, then Western with 29%. In both the South Central and Southeastern 27% of the conference treasurers
are women. North Central and Northeastern jurisdiction tie for having the largest number of women treasurers - five each.
Of the 467 United Methodist district
superintendents appointed in the United
States, 346 (74%) are men and 121 (26%) are
Between 2004-2008 there has been
little change in the race/ethnicity of
the lay membership within the
United Methodist Church in the
The only growth was within the African
American/Black population, .80%. The other
categories stayed the same. (The "multiracial"
category has only been added within the last
The total number of clergy between 2004 and
2008 has decrease by 1.02%. The percentage
of White clergy has decreased by 1% (from
90% to 89%). Since 2004, the General
Council of Finance and Administration has
added a new category (Multiracial).
ethnic categories percentages have not
changed much since 2004.
According to the 2008 U.S. Census Bureau,
65% of the population is White, 15% is
Hispanic, 13% is Black, 4% is Asian, 2% is
Multi-Racial, 1% is Native American and .2%
is Pacific Islanders. If the United Methodist
Church in the United States wants to grow, the
church leadership and membership needs to
change with the changes in the population.
Although women have made progress since
2003, women only comprise 24% of clergy
members. Women are 57% of lay
membership and over 50% of the students at
theological schools. We need to ask where
these women are since they are not going into
ordination. And we need to ask why
women are not going into ordination.
Our society is comprised of 50% women in
the workforce, and many of the secular
businesses have altered policies and
procedures to be female and famil
friendly. We don’t live in a community or time
where the norm is just one person working
outside the home.
By Lindsey Graham and Craig This
Women, lay and clergy, comprise 44% of the
total membership of the general boards and
agencies from the United States jurisdictions.
Clergywomen represent 37% of the total elected
clergy and laywomen represent 52% of the
total elected laity (see Chart 1). These numbers
compare quite interestingly to the overall United
Six of 10 people who were delegates or reserve
delegates to the 2008 General Conference were
also named to the governing boards of United
Methodist churchwide agencies—including
the Connectional Table, which is not an agency
per se, but which has oversight functions
related to all other agencies (see Chart 1).