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She Preached the WordWomen's Ordination in Modern America$
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Benjamin R. Knoll and Cammie Jo Bolin

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190882365

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190882365.001.0001

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Women’s Ordination in America

Women’s Ordination in America

A Contemporary Overview

(p.21) 2 Women’s Ordination in America
She Preached the Word

Benjamin R. Knoll and

Cammie Jo Bolin

Oxford University Press

This chapter provides a brief overview of both the historical and contemporary “lay of the land” of women’s ordination in American religious congregations. It shows how the extension of ordination to women has progressed throughout American history and examines recent statistics about how many congregations theoretically permit women to serve in the pulpit and how many currently have a clergywoman in the main leadership role. Drawing on the Gender and Religious Representation Survey, it also takes a brief look at stated preferences for gender and leadership in these congregations: how many people say they would prefer a man or woman as their personal religious leader? The study finds that female clergy are more common in theory than in actuality. Whereas more than half of respondents say they are supportive of women pastors, fewer than one in ten attends a congregation that is led by a woman.

Keywords:   women’s ordination, feminist movement, career trajectory, gender pay gap, Gender and Religious Representation Survey, Evangelical Christianity, Catholicism, Mainline Protestantism, Judaism, Islam

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