First Advisor

Joseph F. Jones

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (M.S.) in Sociology






Nonsexist language -- Religious aspects -- Protestantism, Women clergy, Ordination of women -- Protestantism



Physical Description

1 online resource (iv, 112 p.)


In the years since World War II, increasing numbers of women have been ordained as clergy in mainstream Protestant denominations. During this period there has also been a movement to use inclusive language for God. This study examines the possibility that use of inclusive language for God in communal prayer by congregations in specific denominations (United Methodist Church, United Presbyterian Church USA, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, United Church of Christ, and the Episcopal Church USA) is related to experience with women clergy. Interviews, based on a questionnaire developed for this study, were held with the pastors of six Portland area congregations in each of these denominations. The questions were designed to elicit information about each congregation, the clergy associated with each congregation, and the use of inclusive language for God within each congregation. The results of the study are inconclusive. The United Methodist Church and the United Church of Christ began ordaining women many years before the other three denominations did. The two denominations also have produced liturgical materials which use inclusive language for God. However, there did not appear to be a relationship between an individual congregation's experience with women clergy and its use of inclusive language for God in communal prayer.


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