By Erin Kane Director of Research and Monitoring
GCSRW is happy to report that in 2011, the year of the most recent available data (from the
General Council on Finance and Administration), The United Methodist Church in the United
States has experienced a 13% growth in the number of women clergy, to 11,368 from 10,128 in
2006. The growth comes despite a net decline in overall clergy (men and women) of 53 people
in the same time frame, a 0.1 percent decline.
By Felicia Howell LaBoy
The good news is that the number of women and racial-ethnic clergy in the U.S. United Methodist church
nearly doubled between 1997 and 2008.
The challenge: Women are far less likely to lead churches in the U.S. Southeastern Jurisdiction than in the
Western and Northeastern Jurisdictions. Meanwhile, racial-ethnic clergy—women and men—are more likely to
spend their careers in small congregations or multi-congregation charges.
Former board member of GCSRW Cynthia Bond Hopson has written
a book celebrating her women mentors and role models from her
hometown in Tennessee.
The Women of Haywood, Their Lives, Our Legacy is about four
professional African American women in Haywood County and is the
seventh book by Hopson, a Haywood County native.
Recently, United Methodists in the United States elected eleven (11) new bishops to fill episcopal seats vacated
by retirements. In the United States, the five jurisdictional conferences elect bishops every four years.
For the 2013-2016 quadrennium, there are 140 active and retired U.S. bishops. Out of the 46 active bishops,
11 are women (24%). Of the 11 women bishops, nine are white and two are Latina. No other U.S. racial-ethnic
group is represented among active women bishops. This will be the first quadrennium since 1984 that there
will be no black U.S. woman among the active United Methodist bishops. The denomination has yet to elect a
Native American or Pacific Islander—male or female—to the episcopacy.
By Elaine Moy
Making your church or workplace more “women welcoming” may benefit all people, according to a recent
article in Crain’s Chicago Business. The article recounted the results of a study of more than 100 successful
teams in 21 major companies.
By Julie Kathleen Schubring
While there are few surprises in a recently released study on the status and career paths of U.S. United
Methodist clergy, the findings still offer a blueprint for how the denomination can better address institutional
sexism and racism in our clergy recruitment, compensation and deployment systems.
Of the 1,017 delegates elected to the 2012 General Conference, 63% are male and 37% are female, according
to the data supplied by the General Council on Finance and Administration1 (see Table 1). In comparison
to the delegates elected to the 2008 General Conference, 60% were male and 40% were female. Women’s
representation to General Conference is down by 3%.
There are 988 delegates who have voice and vote; 29 additional delegates—mainly from affiliated Methodist
bodies—have voice. These additional delegates may speak and influence legislative committees as well as
plenary sessions. This article and the statistics used herein include all 1,017 delegates because they all have the
ability to speak at General Conference. (The next issue of The Flyer will examine the 988 voting.)
By Craig This
Fifty-seven persons (57) were elected chairs of U.S. annual conference delegations to the 2012 General
Conference of The United Methodist Church, according to delegate data supplied by General Conference.
Leading a delegation is considered an honor, which some conferences reserve for one person (often alternating
between a clergyperson and layperson every four years). Others, name a layperson and a clergyperson as coheads.
The U.S. jurisdictions will have fewer delegates
to the General Conference of The United
Methodist Church than they did in 2008. This
has affected the representation of women and
U.S. people of color as delegates. That’s because
the denomination’s membership is growing
in Africa, the Philippines and Europe, while
membership continues to decline in much of the
A total of 602 U.S. delegates were elected to the 2012 General
Conference of The United Methodist Church. As legislated by
2008 The Book of Discipline, half of the delegates are laity
and half are clergy. Furthermore, the number of delegates
representing each jurisdiction and each annual conference
is proportional to the jurisdiction and annual conference’s
membership (See Table 1 and Table 2). The Southeastern
Jurisdiction has the most delegates with 220 and the Western
Jurisdiction the least with 32.