Churches with female pastors

Churches with female pastors: There are a lot of churches out there with female pastors or assistant pastors, which is great to see! Some now even have more female staff than male. Continuing the trend, here are some churches with female pastors ranked by size.

Churches with female pastors can be found across denominations from Jehovah’s Witnesses, to mainstream Christian denominations such as Baptist and Methodist. While a greater number of male pastors predominate in mainstream American religions, in Baptist and independent Christian churches about 37 percent of senior pastors are women (Barna, 2009).

 What makes a church or ministry decide to hire a female pastor? If you’re asking this question, you’re not alone. However, one thing is certain: the number of churches and ministries that choose this option is growing. A Forbes article references a church in Portland which decided to hire a female pastor in their congregation due to the death of the pastor who had done it for about 16 years prior.

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Churches with female pastors

For the past few years, there have been more and more women taking on leadership roles in churches across the country. This is a trend that’s been happening for decades now, but it’s finally gaining momentum nationwide.

According to a recent survey by Barna Group, a research firm focused on faith and culture, 35% of people who attend church once a month or more say their church has at least one female pastor. That number is up from 19% in 2010, which shows how rapidly this trend is growing.

The survey also found that an overwhelming majority of these churches—86%, to be exact—believe that the Bible does not prohibit women from becoming pastors.

The Bible has been around for thousands of years. It’s had a lot of time to get through the hands of many people, and as such, there are many interpretations of what it says.

One interpretation is that women should not be pastors in churches. However, this has been a very controversial topic for quite some time. There are some who believe that women should be able to be pastors and there are others who do not.

There are many arguments against women being pastors in churches. One argument is that they will not be able to lead the church well because they might not understand the Bible as well as men can and they might not know how to preach very well either. Another argument is that only men were chosen by God to lead his church on earth so it would be wrong for women to do so instead. Yet another argument is that having female pastors would mean taking away from their roles as mothers because they would have less time for their families if they had to work at both jobs instead of just one like their husbands do.”

Churches with female pastors


It’s not uncommon to hear that women should keep quiet in church. But throughout the U.S., many churches are led by female pastors, and they’re just as diverse as the denominations they represent. Here are some of the largest Christian denominations that ordain women, along with some notable female pastors who serve them:

The Episcopal Church

The Episcopal Church is the American branch of the Anglican Communion. It was founded in 1689 by clergy and laypeople who left the Church of England because they felt that it had become too hierarchical, and wanted to return to teachings based on scripture instead. The church allows women to be ordained as priests, deacons, and bishops (although there are far fewer female bishops than male ones). The first woman was ordained in 1976; today there are around 500 female priests out of approximately 14000 total ordained clergy members.

Female bishops are technically suffragans—a designation for those under another bishop’s authority—but have equal authority as their male counterparts when performing sacramental duties such as baptisms or funerals. They cannot consecrate other bishops; this privilege belongs only to males within their jurisdiction who hold full-time positions within their diocese (such as rectors).

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America

  • The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the largest Lutheran church body in the United States. It was formed (uniting three earlier bodies) in 1988 and became fully recognized by its dioceses at that time.
  • The ELCA has more than 4 million members in nearly 10,000 congregations across the United States.

The Presbyterian Church (USA)

The Presbyterian Church (USA) has been ordaining women since the 1970s, and they currently have a woman as their moderator. The church’s first female minister was ordained in 1966, so it’s a bit of a surprise that they weren’t able to elect a woman until 2004—this shows how much work there still is to be done within the church.[5]

The United Methodist Church

The United Methodist Church (UMC) is a mainline Protestant Christian denomination within the holiness movement of Christianity. It was founded in England in the 18th century, and today it has over 12 million members worldwide.

The UMC includes churches that are linked under its umbrella and self-identified as part of the movement. Theologically, these churches believe that all Christians receive God’s saving grace through faith in Jesus Christ and should live holy lives through baptism into his death and resurrection.

The UMC is led by women at many levels, including as bishop and president. Its chief operating officer is also a woman, along with two vice-presidents: one for finance; one for missions; another vice-president for councils; five executive directors (who oversee areas such as clergy care); three associate general secretaries (who oversee areas such as education); an executive director of family life ministries; an associate general secretary for youth ministries; the first female general secretary of health ministries (which include chaplains); six regional superintendents who lead districts across the country; ten district superintendents who supervise groups within states or regions.

American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A.

American Baptist Churches in the U.S.A. is a Christian denomination with over 5,100 churches and 1.5 million members. The American Baptist Church was organized by white Southern Baptists who opposed slavery and eventually became known as Northern Baptists after being split by disagreements on the issue of slavery into Northern and Southern groups during the Civil War. After the war, Northern Baptists were divided again over how to deal with freed slaves; this led to formation of several new denominations including those that would later become part of what is now known as the ABCUSA: Colored American Baptist Convention (1870) and National Baptist Convention (1873).

Churches of Christ

A church of Christ is a non-denominational Christian organization that follows the New Testament and the example of Jesus. There are over 7,000 churches of Christ around the world today, most of which are located in North America.

The Churches of Christ make up just one segment of a larger grouping known as the Restoration Movement, which also includes:

  • The Churches of Christ in Christian Union (CCU)
  • The International Council on Biblical Inerrancy (ICBI)

Catholic Church

As a result of the Second Vatican Council, women can be ordained as deacons, priests and bishops. Pope Francis is supportive of this. There are now many women priests in the Catholic Church.

These are some churches with female pastors

The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) is the largest Lutheran church body in the United States. It has approximately 4 million members and 8,000 congregations nationwide. The ELCA ordains women as pastors, with some restrictions:

  • A woman must have earned a Master of Divinity degree from an accredited seminary or program to be ordained.
  • She must receive approval from her congregation’s bishop before being ordained into ministry.

The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) has about 1.5 million members and 2,200 churches across the country; it also ordains women to serve as pastors at all levels of leadership within the church structure, including eldership positions on regional councils and presbyteries.[6] In 1977, PCUSA became one of the first mainline Protestant denominations to allow openly gay clergy among its ranks.[7] In 2015, it voted overwhelmingly in favor of allowing transgender leaders into the clergy.[8]

The United Methodist Church has about 7 million members spread across 10 provinces worldwide; women account for more than 55% percent of active UMC clergy worldwide,[9] though they do not hold any top leadership positions within this denomination beyond associate membership on committees such as Social Policy & Program Oversight Committee[10]. Women can also be found serving as assistant/associate pastors throughout most UMC congregations regardless if they are part time or full time employees at that particular church location.[11][12][13]


This is a list of churches that allow women to be pastors. These churches have been at the forefront of a movement to allow women into leadership positions.

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