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Are Women Changing the Image of Ministry? A Comparison of British and American Realities

Nancy Nason-Clark
Review of Religious Research
Vol. 28, No. 4, Special Issue Dealing with "Blindspots and Breakthroughs" in Women-in-Ministry Research (Jun., 1987), pp. 330-340
DOI: 10.2307/3511638
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3511638
Page Count: 11
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Are Women Changing the Image of Ministry? A Comparison of British and American Realities
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Abstract

Increasing numbers of women are entering the ordained ministry of the Christian Church. Whether they embrace or challenge traditional female roles, clergywomen are changing some aspects of the ministry, not least through their skills at counselling and their person-centered focus. By comparing British and American data, this paper argues that female ministers differ from their male colleagues in terms of their personal characteristics, their reasons for choosing the clerical profession and the factors they find rewarding and costly about their service to the church. While their numbers have increased, clergywomen still face a variety of obstacles to their ministry. These include structural barriers, placement difficulties, resistance amongst laity, opposition from clergymen and the traditionally masculine symbolism and liturgy of the church.

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