More Female Pastors in the United States

Trinity United Methodist Church Sanctuary Credit: Ken Rowland

A new study by the Barna Group discovered that though there are three times more female pastors in the U.S. than 25 years ago, gender inequalities continue.

Women are far less likely to lead a large congregation than men, and while serving these congregations, women report feeling more harshly criticized than their male counterparts. Women feel more pressure from their congregations to achieve perfection in their role (18 percent of female pastors versus eight percent of male pastors). They also feel more pressure than male pastors to take on increased responsibilities within their role (15 percent compared to five percent).

Overall, survey respondents reported a high rate of openness to women in spiritual leadership, with 79 percent of respondents reporting to be affirming.

The State of Pastors report was limited to church attendees within the United States.

Photo: Ken Rowland Flickr

Issue 46

This article first appeared in Geez magazine Issue 46, Summer 2017, Exodus from Empire.

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