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Denominational Statements
Book of Discipline ¶161F
Book of Discipline ¶162F
Book of Resolutions Celebration of Full Clergy Rights for Women
Book of Resolutions Churches in Solidarity with Women: From Solidarity to Accountability
Book of Resolutions Goals and Recommendations for Full Participation of All Women
Book of Resolutions The Status of Women
Ordination of Women
Why Do United Methodists Ordain Women When the Bible Specifically Prohibits it?
Commentary on ordination of women, Rev. Frank Gulley
Commentary on ordination of women, Rev. Dr. Steve Harper
Commentary: Women in the Ministry,
Rev. Diana Hough
Commentary: Women in the Ministry,
Rev. Joy J. Moore

Home > About Our Church > History of the Church > 50th Clergywoman Anniversary
 50th Anniversary Celebration of Full Clergy Rights
Clergywomen have been part of Methodism since John Wesley licensed Sarah Crosby to preach in 1761. Although women were ordained in the Methodist tradition as early as the late 1800s, it was the May 4, 1956 General Conference vote for full clergy rights that forever changed the face of ordained clergy. The effect was that any woman in full connection and in good standing would receive an appointment. Now, about 9,500, or one in five clergy, are women and 16 women are active bishops.
 Featured Resources
Women Called and Ordained Women Called and Ordained
(Circuit Rider Magazine May/June 2006)

"It's a Girl's Job After All!

When I was four years old, so my mother says, and we were visiting my grandparents, I announced one
Sunday afternoon that we were going to have church and I was going to preach. I marched my grandparents, my parents, and my two-year-old sister into the bedroom and seated them in a line at the foot of my grandmother’s bed. I stood on a stool in front of them, opened the Bible, and said “Great American people!” No one remembers anything else about that first sermon of mine, but they all remember that my squirming sister managed to crawl over the side and under the bed, escaping from the room.

That was in 1948, and it did not occur to anyone in that room to think that I might actually grow up to be a preacher. And yet, as this issue of Circuit Rider comes off the press, I will be celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of my first ordination.
Book Chronicles Struggles of Women for Full Clergy Rights Book Chronicles Struggles of Women for Full Clergy Rights

The book Courageous Past–Bold Future chronicles the historic journey of the first women to receive full clergy rights in The Methodist Church and looks at challenges still facing clergywomen 50 years later.

“The stories of the women in these pages carry hope for the younger generation of United Methodist women. They are living narratives that bear the pain and joy of ministry that represents the paradox of Christ’s call,” said the Rev. HiRho Park, director of Continuing Formation for Ministry at The General Board of Higher Education and Ministry, which published the book by Patricia J. Thompson.
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United Methodist Clergywomen site
Worship resources for the 50th Anniversary of Full Clergy Rights for Women
Resources for Heritage Sunday 2006: Celebration of full clergy rights
2006 Clergywomen’s Consulation
More Related Resources

Resources for conferences and local churches
Courageous Past,
Bold Future Logos
Worship Resources
Bulletin Inserts
Press release
and newsletter material
Drama, A Story to Tell Our Grandchildren
1956 debates from General Conference on full clergy rights for women
History of clergy rights for women
Historian clarifies “full clergy rights”
Historical Firsts for Women Clergy:
Part 1 Part 2
More History >>
Books and other resources
Courageous Past,
Bold Future
Courageous Spirit: Voices from Women in Ministry
The Leading Women
Ordinary Ministry, Extraordinary Challenge: Women and the Roles of Ministry
More related books and resources >>
Maud Keister Jensen Interview, first women to receive full clergy rights

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