by Amanda Mountain & Rev. Leigh Goodrich
A total of 865 delegates were elected to the 2016 General Conference, the top policy-making body of The United Methodist Church. This group of 505 US Delegates and 360 Central Conference delegates will meet from May 10-20th in Portland, Oregon to revise or adopt church laws and approve plans and budgets for church-wide programs. It is legislated by the 2008 Book of Discipline that half of the delegates be laity and half clergy, and that the number of delegates representing each jurisdiction and each annual conference be proportional to the jurisdiction and annual conference’s membership. For the next three months, Women by the Numbers will be taking a closer look at who will be at this decision-making table in May, especially regarding the representation of women at General Conference. This month we will provide a general overview of the delegates based on US and Central Conference membership, notably, the numbers of lay and clergy delegates and the numbers of male and female clergy and lay delegates.
by Craig This *
EDITOR'S NOTE: This article is Part 2 of a two-part series. It is a continuation of the Women By the Numbers article in the
October 2010 issue, which can be found HERE.
Clergy dominate the categories 1-3 positions (executives/directors, professionals, managers/administrators) in all three
jurisdictions with 98% of the positions for South Central Jurisdiction, 86% of the Western Jurisdiction, and 64%
for the Southeastern Jurisdiction. (Because of their education levels, clergy are usually not found in categories 4-6 positions.)
Nevertheless, clergy can be found occupying the leadership positions of most annual conferences in the
South Central, Southeastern, and Western Jurisdictions.
by Craig This*
Women make up 63% of the annual conference employees in the North Central (NCJ) and Northeastern (NEJ) Jurisdiction
in the United methodist Church. most of the women enployed in these regions of the denomination hold support positions.
Approximately 282 of the 481 or 59% of the women employed by the NCJ and NEJ are employed in categories 4-6
(technicians, administration/clerical support, service/maintenance workers) (see Table 2). Of the 199 women who
are employed in categories 1-3 (executives/directors, professionals, managers/administrator), only
19 or 10% of those women hold executive/director positions.
Women are increasingly represented on churchwide agencies. However,
more than half of churchwide agency members are also General Conference
delegates. Is our leadership table still more insular than truly inclusive?
By Lindsey Graham and Elaine Moy
By Craig This and Elaine May
The jurisdictional pool is the collection
of persons from which the jurisdictional
nominating committees select people to
serve as board members of the various
agencies of The United Methodist Church.
(The General Council on Finance and
Administration, General Commission
on United Methodist Men, and General
Commission on Archives and History select
their board members in a different manner
as prescribed by the Book of Discipline.)
In mid-July, delegates to the five U.S.
Jurisdictions are electing bishops and
assigning representatives to church
agencies. As the church reaches
out to geographical areas with
ministries and new church starts,
are the appropriate demographic
groups and voices represented
in the decision-making process
at jurisdictional conferences?