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Women Pastors Remain Scarce

Aug 7 2009
The Assemblies of God elected a woman to one of the highest leadership positions in the denomination, but women pastors remain few and far between.

Members of the Assemblies of God elected the first woman to the denomination's Executive Presbytery. The Ledgerreports that 18 percent of the pastors in the denomination are women (where they have long allowed women to lead), but women have not been in the AG's top leadership.

The General Council elected Beth Grant who is a missionary in India with her husband where they run a ministry for prostitutes and sex-trade workers.

Grant said between the 1970s and 1990s, the percentage of ordained women in the Assemblies of God had gone down, and concerned leaders in the Assemblies asked her to chair a task force on the problem.
...In her address to the General Council, Grant admonished the male pastors present to encourage girls and young women to consider the ministry.
"You can say to little girls in your churches, 'God's hand is on you. God is calling you,'" she said.

Nationally, just 8 percent of all congregations are led by women, according to the National Congregations Study released earlier this summer.

Because many of the churches are small, about 5 percent of churchgoers attend a church that is led by a woman.

Here are more results from the survey:

—51 percent of churches do not allow women to become head pastors

—33 percent of churches do not allow women to preach

—37 percent of liberal congregations are led by a women (only 9 percent of congregations describe themselves as liberal)

Duke University professor Mark Chavez writes that the number of women seeking M.Div. degrees may have stabilized at about 30 percent after three decades of rapid increase.

Do you attend a church led by a woman? Would you?

Related Topics:Church; Women's Ordination

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