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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.


Deaconess Evana Lewis (front) of the New York Conference joins other United Methodist Women in a rally for a fair living wage on the steps of the Ohio Statehouse in Columbus during the United Methodist Women Assembly 2018. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

Women act on faith, ‘pass out grace’

United Methodist women from around the world kick off 2018 Assembly with day of work and advocacy. Read More

The Rev. Katy Thomas (rear) presides over a

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. Read More

Sisters Gerda Liermann (left) and Elfriede Harders are among a group of United Methodist deaconesses living in a retirement center in Hamburg, Germany. Each of the sisters has her own room. Photo by Mike DuBose, UMNS.

German deaconesses reflect on lives of service

United Methodist deaconesses in Germany recall full, happy lives in service to God. Read More