Date of Award


Degree Type


University or Center

Clark Atlanta University(CAU)


School of Arts and Sciences

Degree Name



African-American Studies

First Advisor

Dr. Josephine Bradley

Second Advisor

Dr. Thomas M. Scott

Third Advisor

Dr. Love Henry Whelchel, Jr.


This study provides an account and analysis of the role of women in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and discusses their attempts to achieve equal status with men in service to and leadership in the church. The study also examines and analyzes the personal style, skills and abilities of each of the women bishops and assesses the factors that led to her election. A case study approach was used to explain the causal links that have led to the historic election of three women bishops; to describe the context in which this event has occurred; to explore the issues and outcomes of women's efforts to gain leadership in the church; and to evaluate the likelihood that these elections signify far-reaching changes in the policy of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. The researcher found that the progress of women within the African Methodist Episcopal Church has been slow but consistent throughout the history of the church, and that changes in society as well as within the church itself have culminated in the election of women as bishops. Although future elections of women can be expected based on events to date, the researcher did not achieve a definitive assertion from the women bishops that they intend to actively engage in the promotion of the advancement of women in the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

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