Serving God Under the Stained-Glass Ceiling: A Phenomenological Study of Female Clergy Experiences in the United Methodist Church in West Virginia
School of Education
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Clergywomen, Gender Discrimination, Self-Efficacy Theory, Sexism, Social Role Theory, United Methodist Church
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Danberry, Kathy, "Serving God Under the Stained-Glass Ceiling: A Phenomenological Study of Female Clergy Experiences in the United Methodist Church in West Virginia" (2017). Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. 1375.
The purpose of this transcendental phenomenological study was to understand the experiences of female clergy in the United Methodist Church in West Virginia. Two theories were used as the framework for this study: Eagly and Karau’s (2004) role congruity theory, and Bandura’s (1977) theory of self-efficacy. Role congruity theory is grounded in Eagly and Karau’s social role theory, which suggests that “most behavioral differences between males and females are the result of cultural stereotypes about gender” (Eagly, 2004, p. 218). In Bandura’s (1985) self-efficacy theory, it is asserted that “personal mastery expectations are the primary determinants of behavior change” (p. 1). The findings from this study include the need for mentor provided encouragement, and an awareness of the history of clergywomen and their experiences. The significance of this study emphasized the situational and learned experiences of the clergywomen, including the issues of gender discrimination, physical violence, personal property damage, sexism, and pay inequity.
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