Friday, January 23, 2009

Methodist "Glass Ceiling"

From USA Today:

"The United Methodist Church, which boasts a history of ordaining women clergy, is seeking to shatter the so-called "stained-glass ceiling" blocking female pastors from its largest pulpits. The nation's second largest Protestant denomination has launched a new initiative, the Lead Women Pastor Project, to examine barriers to women being appointed pastors to Methodist churches with more than 1,000 members.

In 2006, women accounted for 34.4% of enrollment at U.S. seminaries that are open to female students — a headcount of nearly 28,000, according to the Yearbook of American and Canadian Churches.

The National Council of Churches notes, however, that it's difficult to know how many of those women go on to be pastors. Similar organizations that monitor church activities either don't track or have current data on female pastors in the U.S. About 15 Protestant denominations allow for women to be pastors.

Women and men pastors who lead large United Methodist churches are being asked to complete a survey, which includes questions about leadership styles, pastors' salaries, demographics of their church and community and what kind of challenges and conflicts they face. The results of the survey are slated to be released sometime in the spring."

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