Why does the UMC ordain women?

Clergywomen have been part of Methodism since John Wesley licensed Sarah Crosby to preach in 1761. Although women were ordained in the Methodist tradition as early as the late 1800s, it was the May 4, 1956 General Conference vote for full clergy rights that forever changed the face of ordained clergy.

The United Methodist Church continues to declare its belief in the full equality of women and the importance of women in decision-making and leadership positions at all levels of the church.

These articles by several United Methodists offer historical context and interpretation of Scripture references related to the role of women in church leadership.


Official Statements


  • Women Called to Ministry
    This six-session study explores our understanding of women's roles in The United Methodist Church. Why are women ordained? Why are they included in all areas of leadership? How did we arrive at those understandings? 

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