Topic: Women in Leadership

As preachers, leaders, teachers, missionaries, organizers, women have shaped the history of the Methodist Church. In their work with the poor, vulnerable and disenfranchised, church women have initiated important social and political reform.

In the Methodist tradition, women were ordained as ministers as early as the late 19th century, and in 1956 the Methodist Church, a predecessor body of The United Methodist Church, granted women full clergy rights. Women now make up approximately 25% of clergy in The United Methodist Church.

We invite you to explore the inspiring stories of women who have made important contributions to the life of the church both past and present as well as resources to help nurture your own participation and witness as a church leader.

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Social Concerns
The Rev. James T. Laney, recipient of the 2019 World Methodist Peace Award, speaks during the Roundtable for Peace on the Korean Peninsula in Atlanta in this 2018 file photo.  Laney is former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea and former dean of the Candler School of Theology. File photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Peace as a lifelong vocation

The two most recent recipients of the World Methodist Peace Award have very different backgrounds but share a commitment to peacemaking.
Evangelism
Laurence Fishburne stars as Warden Daniel Calvin in the film “Imprisoned,” about a clash between the warden and an ex-con who is tied to a tragedy in Calvin’s past. Photo courtesy of Equitas Entertainment Partners.

Edgier movies for mainstream Christians

The Rev. Kenny Dickson wants to promote films with biblical themes to moderate and progressive Christians, even if those films are too violent or sexual for evangelicals.
Social Concerns
Alfreda Hibbard (second from right), age 81, leads a prayer for participants of the Billy Hooton United Methodist Church food bank in Oklahoma City, Okla. The outreach ministry has helped to feed Oklahoma City residents for nearly 30 years. Photo by Ginny Underwood, UM News.

Native ministry provides three decades of food security

The women of Billy Hooton United Methodist Church refuse to give up on a food pantry that serves 60-80 families each month.