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. Joel Hortiales (left) prays with Carlos Ivan Baran Hidalgo; his wife, Danelly Mazariegos Morales; and their 3-year-old daughter, Scarlett Juliette, at the Camino de Salvación shelter in Tijuana, Mexico. The family fled violence in Guatemala and is hoping to pursue a claim for asylum in the U.S. Hortiales is a United Methodist missionary and serves as director of Hispanic/Latino ministries and border concerns for the California-Pacific Conference. Photo by Mike DuBose, UM News.

Photo essay: ‘I was a stranger…’

In September, a UM News team accompanied faith leaders from the United Methodist Church and the Methodist Church of Mexico on visits to migrant communities along the U.S.-Mexico border. See how the church is ministering to those in need through the eyes of photojournalist Mike DuBose.
Local Church
The Rev. Godknows Risinamhodzi, Chitungwiza Marondera District superintendent, unlocks a new vehicle that will be given to Learnmore Rungwandi, pastor in charge of the Hwedza United Methodist Circuit near Wedza, Zimbabwe. Rungwandi had been walking long distances to minister to her four local churches spread over a 37-mile radius. Photo by Kudzai Chingwe, UM News.

Circuit-to-circuit partnership enhances mobility for pastor

At Hwedza United Methodist Circuit, spread within a radius of 37 miles, the pastor traveled to four local churches monthly without a vehicle.
General Church
Larry R. Hygh Jr., Ed.D.      Photo by K. Neubauer.

Leadership lessons from Bishop Beverly J. Shamana

Bishop Shamana believed in and expressed a collegial form of leadership. She said, “I don’t have to have all of the answers myself, and I believe that wisdom resides in the body, and that the holy spirit gives wisdom to all of us.”