Laywomen and clergymen form basis of leadership in North Central and Norteastern Jurisdictions

by Craig This*

Women make up 63% of the annual conference employees in the North Central (NCJ) and Northeastern (NEJ) Jurisdiction in the United methodist Church. most of the women enployed in these regions of the denomination hold support positions. Approximately 282 of the 481 or 59% of the women employed by the NCJ and NEJ are employed in categories 4-6 (technicians, administration/clerical support, service/maintenance workers) (see Table 2). Of the 199 women who are employed in categories 1-3 (executives/directors, professionals, managers/administrator), only 19 or 10% of those women hold executive/director positions.

Clergymen and laywomen constiture the largest number of Category 1-3 employees in the North Central and Northeastern Jurisdictions (19 annual conferences reporting), according to a 2009 desk audit by the General Commission on Race and Religion and the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women. (Annual conferences NOT reporting: East Ohio, Indiana, Northern Illinois, Susquehanna, New York and Greater New Jersey.) Of those employed in Categories 1-3, 33% are clergymen and 28% are laywomen (see Table 1).

Men make-up 36% of those employed in the NCJ and NEJ jurisdictions. However, men make-up 52% of the persons employed in Categories 1-3 positions. Of the 216 men employed in categories 1-3, 110 (51%) hold an executive/director position. Only 66 men are employed in categories 4-6 (19%).


Racial/ethnic persons make-up 130 or 17% of those employed by the annual conferences in the NCJ and NEJ. Eighty-two of those 130 are employed in categories 1-3 with 31 (38%) holding and executive/director position. more racial/ethnic laymen and laywomen are employed in categories 4-6 than in categories 1-3 and racial/ethnic laywomen outnumber laymen in the categories 4-6 at a rate of 5 to 1. As with the overall trend in these two jurisdictions, the largest numbers of racial/ethnic persons employed are clergymen (35) and laywomen (23). No racial/ethnic clergy are employed in categories 4-6, but few clergy are employed in those categories.

Lay/Clergy Status

Clergy hold 230 or 30% of the positions in the annual conferences of NCJ and NEJ. Again, clergymen hold 139 positions in the categories 1-3, the largest number of any one status. Laywomen hold 117 of the categories 1-3 and all totaled, 256 of the 415 positions are held by clergymen and laywomen. However, clergymen hold 88 executive/director positions compared to just 19 for laywomen. Clergywomen hold 47 executive/director positions, which represent 57% of the clergywomen employed in categories 1-3. The laywomen's largest employed, 40 or 63% hold positions in the categories 4-6. Laymen constitute 19% or 142 individuals employed by the annual conferences. Of those 142, 77 or 54% are employed in categories 1-33 while 46% are in categories 4-6. Only one racial/ethnic layman is employed in an executive/director position compared to 22 white laymen.

The November Flyer will examine the employment in the Southeastern, South Central and Western Jurisdictions.

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

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