Survey Reveals Americans Okay with Female Pastors

A new study shows that a majority of Americans are on board with women being pastors and priests, though evangelicals remain largely uncomfortable with the idea.

According to a newly released survey by the Barna Group, 79 percent of Americans are comfortable with a female priest or pastor.

When broken down by groups, evangelicals, which Barna described as having “a more traditional interpretation of the scriptures,” are by far the most uncomfortable with the idea. Only 39 percent of evangelical respondents said they are comfortable with a woman in the pulpit, while 71 percent of mainline Protestants said the same.

“Evangelicals aside, most other practicing Christians would be comfortable with a woman in the pulpit,” Barna Editor-in-Chief Roxanne Stone said. “This is likely to become more of an issue for churches as women continue to gain equality in other spheres.”

“We have already seen more churches shifting to allow women in senior leadership, and the number of female senior pastors has grown considerably in the last few decades,” she said.

Interestingly, an overwhelming majority of Catholics 80 percent expressed being comfortabile with female priests and pastors, despite the fact that in November, Pope Francis indicated that women will likely never be ordained as priests, the Guardian reported.

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