by Elaine May*
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).
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.)
By Craig This and Elaine Moy
The 2008 U.S. Jurisdictional Conferences elected
eight clergypersons (six men and two women)
to replace the seven retiring (and one resigning)
bishops (five men and three women). As a result,
the total number of active U.S. women bishops
dropped by one, from 15 in 2005-08 to 14 currently.
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?