In From Words to Deeds, its statement on the role of women in the church, the US Bishops' Committee on Women in Society and the Church (now integrated within the Committee on Laity, Marriage, Family Life and Youth) established three goals for promoting an increased appreciation of women in church life. The second goal focuses on the appointment of women to church leadership positions. The Bishops' Committee also suggested that progress on this second goal be tracked and evaluated.
In light of these initiatives, the Bishops' Committee asked the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators (NACPA) to share information it has gathered concerning the employment of women in positions of leadership in dioceses and archdioceses. Since 1990, NACPA has annually compiled data on the gender of persons in diocesan administrative and professional positions.
The document Women in Diocesan Leadership Positions: A Progress Report, from June 1999, compiles the results of this quantitative research. As a follow-up to this research, the Committee on Women decided to undertake a qualitative research component to complement quantitative research. It developed a two-fold project: (1) a survey of women in leadership positions within the church regarding their experiences (2000); and (2) an in-person consultation with a cross-section of the women surveyed (2001).
In 2003, further quantitative research was conducted to update the NACPA report from 1999. See below for all reports on this subject.
Women in Leadership Positions in the Church
Quantitative Data from the National Association of Church Personnel Administrators: