A Complimentary Ministry? The Psychological Type of Clergy Women in the Church in Wales


The debate around the admission of women to the ministry of the Anglican churches has focused on a number of issues, not least, the extent to which women bring “balance” to ministry (see for example Furlong, 1991). Balance, when used in this context is usually seen as bringing different gifts to ministry. The assumption often made is that these “different gifts” will be those traditionally associated with women such as work with children. This argument has been employed by both those for and against the entry of women into holy orders (Harris & Shaw, 2004; Baker, 2004). Benjamin Schneider’s attraction-selection-attrition theory suggests that the group of people within an organisation move toward homogeneity. Schneider’s theory would suggest that the argument that women bring balance to ministry would not be supported. The current study employs psychological type theory to explore whether clergywomen in the Church in Wales do bring “balance” to ministry or “homogeneity”. The psychological type profile of a sample of 75 Church in Wales clergywomen measured by the Francis Psychological Type Scales (FPTS) is compared with a sample of 266 Church in Wales clergymen (Francis, Payne, & Robbins, 2013). The findings present no significant differences between the clergymen and clergywomen with regard to their judging function, perceiving function, orientation to the outer world or attitude toward the outer world. This finding lends support to Schneider’s theory. The implications of these findings for ministry in the Church in Wales are discussed.

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Robbins, M. (2015) A Complimentary Ministry? The Psychological Type of Clergy Women in the Church in Wales. Psychology, 6, 1951-1956. doi: 10.4236/psych.2015.615192.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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