Commission on the Status and Role of Women

Arkansas Conference COSROW Contact
Rev. Sara Bayles Charlton

The General Commission on the Status and Role of Women advocates for full participation of women in the total life of The United Methodist Church. We’re helping the church recognize every person – clergy and lay, women and men, adults and children — as full and equal parts of God’s human family.  We believe that a fully engaged and empowered membership is vital to The United Methodist Church’s mission “to make disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.”

Through training, education, research and monitoring, GCSRW:

  • Addresses gender discrimination and sexism within church structure
  • Nurtures clergy and lay leaders in the church
  • Raises awareness of women’s issues and opportunities
  • Educates church leaders and seminarians on sexual ethics and policies
  • Supports victims/survivors of sexual harassment or abuse
  • Develops guidelines for inclusive and expansive language
  • Trains and supports Central Conferences women
  • Monitors annual conferences and the General Conference for inclusiveness

Training Resources:
Women Called to Ministry

The United Methodist Church and its predecessor denominations have just finished celebrating the 50th anniversary of full clergy rights for women (2006). Our denomination continues the opportunity to “celebrate our courageous past” and “claim our bold future” (theme used in 2006).

This six-session study invites women and men of The United Methodist Church to dig deeper into our past through Biblical study and stories from our history, and engage in the present understandings and calling. Why are women included in the full life of the church? Why are women ordained? Why are there disagreements and tension in our conversations? Full participation of women in the church is a dimension of the nature and function of the church—it claims who we are—and we are more trustworthy in the Gospel of Jesus Christ as we continue to recognize our courageous past and move boldly into the future.

May you know the presence of Christ as you gather with brothers and sisters in faithful study, conversation and listening.


For more on the United Methodist Church’s policy on sexual ethics, visit For “Do No More Harm,” a comprehensive resource relating to the complaint process for sexual misconduct from the General Commission on the Status and Role of Women of the United Methodist Church, visit