The role of women in American congregations is a topic that has gained attention in the past twenty years. The majority of work has focused on leadership and clergy roles and the willingness, or reluctance of, denominations to ordain women. In this article, we report on women as members, lay-leaders, and clergy in Philadelphia congregations, and we assess the factors that explain the rate of women in any of these roles. We find that regardless of the advancement in many areas of society, women are still the majority members yet are a minority among the clergy. Finally, we study how the gender composition of members, lay-leaders, and clergy explain the congregation’s involvement in social service provisions. In this respect, gender composition of members, lay-leaders, and clergy made little impact on the congregational social service involvement. A variety of explanations are provided to account for women’s little impact in this domain.
|Number of pages
|Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work
|Published - 5 Aug 2004
- Social service provision
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Religious studies
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health