Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Dr. Nijay Gupta


Women are being ordained to ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at a higher rate than men, but they are not achieving parity in ministry opportunities, salary and benefits. Women comprised 52% of the ordinations in the PC (USA) denomination from 2006-2018. However, they receive fewer full-time positions, fewer congregational positions, less pay for the same positions as men, and Board of Pensions benefits at a lower percentage than men. Reviewing the history of women’s leadership in the church contextualizes biases and prejudices women continue to face today. In Section 1, this paper examines the history of women’s leadership in the Presbyterian Church since the Civil War, including their immensely successful mission boards and subsequent dismissal from leadership. Then, I examine biases, excuses, and propaganda used against women serving in leadership. These biases and excuses persist today, although the phrasing has changed. I explore the broken rung theory, proposing that a woman’s first position in ministry is critical to her career growth and trajectory. In Section 2, I review a PC(USA) program for students transitioning from seminary to their first ordained call. I also examine organizations dedicated to women in ministry leadership and how their success differs from standard denominational programs. In Section 3, I propose mentorship as a form of leadership and spiritual formation that will help women in ministry in their professional and personal lives. Although mentoring is an ancient concept, there is little to no data on mentoring in ministry in contemporary contexts. Sections 4 and 5 outline the formation of Diakonos Solutions, a nonprofit dedicated to mentoring women in ministry through the key transitions of their ministries and lives. Section 6 includes my reflections on the process of writing, developing, and executing this project.