On Being Single, Female and Going Into the Ministry

For my Pastoral Spirituality class I have to read 1,000 pages outside of our assignments.  Since I am the only woman in the class (don’t be shocked….there are only 3 people in the class), I thought that I would do the first part of my outside reading about women in the ministry.

The two books I am reading right now are about how being a clergy woman is (as the subtitle of one of the books calls it) “an uphill calling.” This has gotten me to thinking about how being single and female affects the ministry of those who are single and female. Not that I haven’t thought about it before. What I’m struck by though is the fact that both of these books are at least a decade old. How much have things changed in the decade for single women ministers? Is it still an uphill calling?

I’m also struck by the fact that in the studies presented in these books, there seems to be little mention of women of color. I know that this is striking to me because I am a black female, but it seems rather odd to me that the denominations and churches surveyed have little minority representation (the exceptions being the Disciples and United Methodists). Do researchers go out of their way to not talk about ethnicity issues when it comes to churches?

Anyway…..let’s talk about the peaks and pitfalls of being single, female and going into the ministry. I’m interested in hearing all stories, good and bad.

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2 thoughts on “On Being Single, Female and Going Into the Ministry

  1. I did a term paper about a decade ago in seminary about being female and married in ministry, and the research wasn’t too hopeful. It seems to me that one of the challenges of being single and a minister is that you simply cannot date people in the workplace as people at other workplaces can and do.

    Perhaps this area of female and singleness can become your own area of current research and expertise!

  2. Since I’m older (I have young adult children) and married, I’m coming from a very different place, though it still feels like an uphill calling at times. You might be interested in this website, called Fidelia’s Sisters. I check it out from time to time. It currently has a main story on being a feminist clergywoman. There is a regular column called “The Single Rev’s Guide to Life,” also. http://youngclergywomen.typepad.com/the_young_clergy_women_pr/

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