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.

Latest News

Local Church
The Rev. Paige Swaim-Presley (center) imposes ashes on the forehead of a student at Millsaps College in Jackson, Miss., during Ash Wednesday services in 2018. A grant from the Lilly Endowment to the United Methodist-related college will help women clergy in the South with mentoring and networking. File photo courtesy of Millsaps College.

Lilly grants help with clergy mentoring, networking

Nearly $70 million in grants support programs aimed at helping pastors thrive — including five grants to United Methodist organizations.
Mission and Ministry
The Rev. Gaston Warner and Reegan Kaberia of the nonprofit ZOE, which works with orphans and other vulnerable children in Africa and India, lead a workshop at the Beyond These Walls mission conference at Chapelwood United Methodist Church in Houston. Photo by Sam Hodges, UMNS.

Making a statement about missions

Conference stresses empowerment, sustainability in United Methodist mission work.
The Rev. Katy Thomas (rear) presides over a "Tiddly Nativity" activity for young children at St. Mary's Methodist Church in Handforth, England. The church is one of three Thomas serves in the Greater Manchester area. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Ministering to 3 churches brings challenges, joys

A British Methodist minister tends to three very different congregations in Cheshire, including one at a chapel owned by the National Trust.

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