2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

An Analysis of Shared Experiences of Clergywomen in the Missouri Conference of the United Methodist Church

 


Meredith E. Spargo
Dr. Victoria Mayer and Dr. Brian Ott, Faculty Mentors

In 1956, women were granted full clergy rights in the United Methodist Church. The number of women in leadership positions has continued to grow over the decades, yet women are continually facing resistance in the church. What experiences are clergywomen having in churches today, nearly sixty years later? Through interviews with clergywomen in the Methodist church, I find that women are reminded of their gender in their positions. The women describe situations they commonly experience they feel are not shared by their male colleagues. Women have difficulty gaining authority and respect, their appearance is too often the subject of conversation, they are often met with surprise, and sometimes hostility, in their communities, their competence in the field is questioned, their status is not fully recognized, and they have to work twice as hard to prove themselves in their position. Still, overall, clergywomen feel supported and report satisfaction in their positions. 

 

Keywords: United Methodist Church, Clergywomen, Resistance to women in the church

Topic(s):Sociology

Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Oral Presentation

Session: 19-1
Location: https://flipgrid.com/4edd27c9
Time: 0:00

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