Clergy and white males dominate employment in annual conferences

by Craig This*

The U.S. annual conferences (54 reporting) of the United Methodist Church employed 3,231 individuals in 2009, according to the 2009 annual conference desk audits conducted by the General Commission on Race and Religion and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. Of those employed, 75% or 2,432 are employed in the categories 1-3 positions (executives/directors, professionnals, managers/administrators) and 25% or 799 are employed in the categories 4-6 positions (technicians, administration/clerical support, service/maintenance workers) (see Table 1).


Overall, 53% of those employed by the annual conferences are men compared to 47% women. However, the total number of men employed in categories 1-3 is more than total number of women employed in categories 1-3 and 4-6 combined. Menhave 1,570 positions in the 1-3 categories, which is 49% of the total number employed. Women have 862 positions in the 1-3 categories and 666 positions in the 4-6 categories (see Table 1). Of the 1,741 men employed, 92% serve in categories 1-3. Of the 1,528 women employed, 56% are employed in categories 1-3 and 44% which represents 8% of the male workforce, but 4% of the overall workforce.


Racial/ethnic persons make up 19% or about 1 in 5 of those employed in the annual conferences of The United methodist Church. Racial/ethnic persons make-up 18% of the Categories 1-3 and 21% of the categories 4-6 (see Table 1). Racial/ethnic persons make up 16% of the men and 21% of the women employed by the annual conferences. There are twice as many white males employed by the annual conferences in categories 1-3 (1,334) positions than all racial/ethnicpersons in all categories combined (601). Of the 547 persons listed in executive/directors positions, only 104 or 19% are racial/ethnic. Interestingly, the 103 are split evenly between racial/ethnic men and women.


Almost tro-thirds (64%) of those employed by the U.S. annual conferences are clergy. Clergy make-up 83% of the Categories 1-3 positions, but that is expected since their advanced degrees would tend to make them over-educated for the categories 4-6 positions. Nevertheless, 45 clergy do serve in the categories 4-6 positions with 10 of those being racial/ethnic clergy and 36 being clergywomen (see Table 1). Racial/ethnic clergy make-up 12% of the total persons employed by the annual conferences and 16% of the total clergy employed in categories 1-3. Of the 537 persons employed as executives and directors, 96 or 17% are racial/ethnic clergy persons. Of those 96, 50 are racial/ethnic clergymen and 46 are racial/ethnic clergywomen (see Table 1).

To be continued ...

The next two issues of "Women by the Numbers" will continue this look at the employment of the U.S. annual conferences of The United Methodist Church by looking at each jurisdiction separately.

- Craig This is a data analyst at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio.