Women of the Cloth, 1983

Data Archive > U.S. Surveys > Religious Groups > Members or Leaders > Other > Summary


More than 1,300 female and male clergy, seminary faculty, church executives and lay people of nine major Protestant denominations were interviewed regarding their views on church ministry and involvement in the community. These data also provide information regarding men and women's attitudes towards female leadership in the church, as well as information regarding clergy members' seminary and ministry experiences.

Data File
Cases: 1,360
Variables: 287
Weight Variable: None
Data Collection
Date Collected: 1980-1981
Funded By
The Ford Foundation
Hartford Seminary
Iliff School of Theology
Collection Procedures
Scheduled telephone interviews and self-administered questionnaires
Sampling Procedures
Data and information were gathered primarily through hour-long telephone interviews with 636 clergywomen from nine denominations (American Baptist, Christian Church, Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, United Methodists, Lutheran Church in America, American Lutheran Church, Presbyterian Church and United Presbyterian Church USA).

From the nine denominations, 907 clergywomen were randomly selected to be interviewed. Of these, 636 were able to complete the interview (70% completion rate). The response rate ranges from a low of 53% for the Disciples of Christ to a high of 82% for UCC clergywomen.


The second data source was gathered through a random sample of clergymen. Mailed questionnaires (identical to the interview schedule) were used in this part of the study. Two hundred telephone interviews with men also were attempted. Telephone interviews were completed with 120 clergymen (60% of the total). Mail questionnaires were returned by 679 clergymen, or 59% of the 1,048 to whom they were mailed. The researchers over-sampled men to ensure a sufficient return from the mailed questionnaires.


The third source of data collection stems from a sample of laity. Approximately 350 clergywomen and 125 clergymen each agreed to distribute questionnaires to three key lay leaders in their parishes. Of 1,383 questionnaires, 737 were returned (53%). The lay leaders were almost equally divided by sex.
Principal Investigators
Jackson Carroll
Barbara Hargrove
Adair Lummis
Related Publications
Carroll, Jackson, Barbara Hargrove, and Adair Lummis. 1983. Women of the Cloth. NY: Harper & Row.