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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Local Church
The Rev. Frances Helen Foley Guest speaks at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pa., after receiving a distinguished alumni award in June 2002. The three and a half years she spent in a Japanese prison camp with her missionary parents helped shape her ministry. File photo by Kenneth J. Guest.

For this pastor, storytelling became a ministry

The late Rev. Frances Helen Guest used her early experience in a Japanese prison camp to create a lifetime ministry promoting peace and justice.
Mission and Ministry
Eric Nyenow (left) and Emmanuel Gbuie, residents of the United Methodist New Life Recovery Center, review their notes during an addiction and substance abuse seminar in Monrovia, Liberia. The United Methodist Church in Liberia hosted the seminar to help local churches expand and strengthen their recovery ministries. Photo by E Julu Swen, UM News.

Church in Liberia focuses on addiction ministries

United Methodist seminar helps churches expand and strengthen programs for those struggling with substance abuse.
Evangelism
Josiane Bahi, 33, holds her 1-year-old granddaughter, Grâce Debra, at Ampain Ivorian Refugee Camp in Ampain, Ghana, where Bahi, a United Methodist, has resided since 2012. Her granddaughter was among more than 540 children who received a gift on Christmas Day from The United Methodist Church in Côte d'Ivoire. Photo by Isaac Broune, UM News.

Children at refugee camp get Christmas surprise

A delegation from The United Methodist Church in Côte d'Ivoire delivered more than 540 toys to a refugee camp in Ghana on Christmas Day.