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Evangelicals want more women in leadership

Findings from a survey have revealed that most Evangelicals feel strongly that every church should have women in leadership roles. Despite men still outnumbering women when it comes to running churches, the latest research found that 73% would like to see females in charge, and 80% want to see them preach or teach.  Despite the findings - just 16% of the senior pastors and vicars of those polled were women. The study called Life in the church? has been compiled by the Evangelical Alliance.

Its Director of Advocacy Dr Dave Landrum said:

"This report confirms our earlier research showing that evangelicals are strongly supportive of women being in all kinds of church leadership.

"Countering some of the less helpful caricatures of evangelicals, the survey shows church life as being vibrant and healthy. 

"The survey also illustrates how much churches both value and contribute to community wellbeing - further evidence that community engagement by the Church is propping up a Big Society that would otherwise wither and die."

Lis Goddard - Vicar of St James the Less in Central London and Chair of group Awesome - gave her reaction on the results to Premier's Marcus Jones during the News Hour:

Most of those who took part in the survey attend churches led by men - 84% of senior leaders are men. Women make up 36% of the leadership of churches that have a leadership team. However, these figures could change in the future because 40% of ordinands currently in Church of England ministry training are women. These figures are matched at the London School of Theology.

Dr Graham McFarlane, Vice Principal Academic at the London School of Theology, said:

"We are encouraged in seeing a growing number of women studying theology who then go on to positions of leadership in churches. 

"As an interdenominational evangelical college we train people from across the denominational spectrum to change the world. 

"More female graduates than ever are now rising to this exciting challenge."

John Stephens is the National Director of The Fellowship of Independent Evangelical Churches.

He told Premier's Marcus Jones on the News Hour why he believes churches shouldn't have women in senior roles.

Other findings from today's survey show that job satisfaction is high with 84% of church leaders enjoying their work; Biblical truth is vital - 99% agree that a church should faithfully teach the Bible as the true word of God; and church teaching is important, especially to the young because when choosing a church 68% prioritise a church by its doctrinal and theological stance. Evangelical leaders are popular - only seven per cent of church members have a problem with their leader, with only nine per cent of those having moved church citing leadership problems as the reason they left.

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