Number of Clergywomen Has Exponentially Increased Over Last 2 Decades, Study Says | 10/11/2018 | Staff
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(Photo: Facebook/Paula White)Pastor Paula White is seen preaching at New Destiny Christian Center in Apopka, Florida, in this 2013 photo shared on Facebook.

The percentage of clergy in the United States who are women has exponentially increased over the past several decades, a new report shows.

Dr - Eileen - Campbell-Reed - Professor - Theology

Dr. Eileen Campbell-Reed, a professor of practical theology at Central Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas, has released a new report titled "State of Clergywomen in the U.S.: A Statistical Update."

According to Campbell-Reed, the report is designed to fill a data gap on female clergy that has existed for about 20 years since previous major multi-denominational studies of women's church leadership were published.

Assistance - Graduate - Assistants - Campbell-Reed - Team

With the assistance of three graduate assistants, Campbell-Reed's team contacted denominational offices, researched online data and received data from the Association of Theological Schools in the U.S. and Canada to assemble a "snapshot" of today's clergy gender demographic.

"I knew waiting for another big study might take 20 more years, and I wanted to understand the landscape of women's progress in leading the church now," Campbell-Reed said in a statement.

1960s - Sociologist - Wilbur - Bock - Census

In the 1960s, sociologist Wilbur Bock used census data to suggest that women comprised just 2.3 percent of clergy in the U.S. According to Campbell-Reed, women's ordination "exploded" in the 1970s and continued to rise through the next four decades.

As of 2017, the new report states, women comprise about 20.7 percent of clergy in the U.S. today with results varying depending on the denomination or religious tradition.

Report - Denominations - Percentage - Clergywomen

The report states that in most mainline denominations, the percentage of clergywomen have doubled or tripled since 1994.

In combining totals from American Baptist Churches USA, Disciples of Christ, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ and United Methodist denominations, the data shows that women comprised about 32 percent of clergy from those denominations in...
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