Gathering Stories, Envisioning Equity

“Gathering Stories, Envisioning Equity: Toward a Church in Which Women in Ministry Thrive”

A denomination-wide research study by Conference Minister Amy Zimbelman of Mountain States Mennonite Conference and graduate researcher Elizabeth Johnson, PhD candidate at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina, and member of Raleigh (North Carolina) Mennonite Church.

The study was funded by Mennonite Church USA’s Women in Leadership Ministry, the Louisville Institute, the Duke University Department of Sociology, and the Society for the Scientific Study of Religion.

Frequently Asked Questions

Read “Leaving the Wilderness” by Amy Zimbelman (Anabaptist World, May 1, 2024)
A look at MC USA women in ministry: joys, struggles, and the manna that keeps them going.

View the presentation below.

This recorded presentation was initially given as a MennoCon seminar on July 5, 2023 by Amy Zimbelman, former pastor and current conference minister of Mountain States Mennonite Conference, and Elizabeth Johnson, Duke University Ph.D. candidate. To receive more information about this ongoing research project, please sign up for our email list at

Abstract: What are the experiences of women serving in leadership in MC USA? Do they feel empowered? Are they mistreated? And can their stories inform us to better create cultures and institutions in which all leaders thrive, regardless of gender? Amy Zimbelman and Elizabeth Johnson have teamed up with MC USA’s Women in Leadership ministry on an 18-month research project to learn about the lives of clergywomen nationwide — the joys and struggles. In this presentation, Zimbelman and Johnson will share the major findings of their one-on-one interviews and nationwide survey.

Video link: