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Frequently Asked Questions

What is United Methodist Women?

United Methodist Women is a faith-based membership organization of laywomen within The United Methodist Church. We are organized for mission and our members are committed to growing as disciples of Jesus Christ in community with other women and building the lives of women, children and youth. United Methodist Women has been in mission for more than 140 years.

Who is a member?

Any woman who wants to belong to and participate in the global mission of the church through United Methodist Women and who commits herself to the PURPOSE can become a member of United Methodist Women.

What is the PURPOSE?

The organized unit of United Methodist Women shall be a community of women whose purpose is to know God and to experience freedom as whole persons through Jesus Christ; to develop a creative, supportive fellowship; and to expand concepts of mission through participation in the global ministries of the church.

What is the vision?

United Methodist Women is turning faith, hope and love into action on behalf of women, children and youth in the world.

What are the mission emphases of United Methodist Women?

  • We provide opportunities and resources to grow spiritually, become more deeply rooted in Christ and put faith into action.
  • We are organized for growth, with flexible structures leading to effective witness and action.
  • We equip women and girls around the world to be leaders in communities, agencies, workplaces, governments and churches.
  • We work for justice through compassionate service and advocacy to change unfair policies and systems.
  •  We provide educational experiences that lead to personal change in order to transform the world.

To learn more visit Mission Initiatives.

What is the meaning of the logo?

The logo of United Methodist Women depicts the symbols of the cross and the flame - symbols that also appear on The United Methodist Church emblem. Both symbols are reminders of the opportunities and obligation of discipleship. As parts of the logo, the cross and flame remind us of the PURPOSE; that we are to grow in our understanding of and willingness to participate in the global ministries of the church. They are also a reminder of the heritage of women who pioneered in service for the church at home and in other countries.

What does it mean to be a United Methodist Women member?

United Methodist Women is a community of women committed to mission. Membership provides many opportunities, including the following:

  • Prayer, Bible studies and spiritual retreats;
  • Hands-on missions in local communities;
  • Mission education experiences;
  • Leadership development and training opportunities;
  • Opportunities to support work with women, children and youth;
  • Partnership with women in mission in the country and around the world;
  • Advocacy for social justice issues, including those pertaining to the environment, domestic violence, immigration and the many other concerns that impact the lives of women, children and youth.
  •  Engagement in racial justice issues.

What are the opportunities for joining locally?

The Book of Discipline of The United Methodist Church, 2012, states, "In every local church there shall be an organized unit of United Methodist Women" (256.5). However, not every church has a local unit. When the number of women at a single church are too few to organize a unit, a unit may be formed by women from multiple churches.

A unit may be formed by women from different churches who choose to meet in locations other than a local church, such as a college or university campus, retirement community or local business area. A woman may become a district member if there is no active unit in her church, if there is no possibility of continuing or reorganizing a unit

See local bylaws for more information.

How is United Methodist Women organized for mission?

Like The United Methodist Church, United Methodist Women has local, district, conference and jurisdiction structures. These organized bodies are determined by the boundaries set by the church. Mission is the focus across the board. Leadership teams determine the work of mission for their organization and structure accordingly.

Current structures are designed to free up members of United Methodist Women to form themselves as they see fit to do the work of mission and fulfill the PURPOSE. The only required positions at all levels of the organization are president, treasurer, secretary and chair of the committee on nominations. The tasks of mission can be shared among as many people as the organization determines, and can be organized in many ways.

Read the United Methodist Women Handbook to learn more.

How is United Methodist Women governed?

The United Methodist Women National Office provides support and structure for the mission of United Methodist Women at all levels of the organization. At the national level, United Methodist Women is led by a 25-member board of directors with advisory input from the Program Advisory Group (PAG). The work is guided by the PURPOSE and implemented by the staff. The board of directors sets the policy, secures funds from the members and determines the budget. Other work includes governance, strategic planning and assessment, and oversight of retirees and properties.

The PAG brings program recommendations to the board of directors. The 70 to 80 members of the PAG are from a variety of positions within United Methodist Women and the church. They meet at least once a year to study issues and prepare recommendations to the national board regarding mission priorities and program guidance for United Methodist Women.

Refer to the handbook, constitution and bylaws for more information.

Who are the officers of United Methodist Women national organization?

  • Yvette Richards, president
  • Tupou S. Kelemeni, vice president
  • Becky Thompson, secretary
  • Judith Pierre-Okerson, chair of the committee on governance
  • Nichea Ver Veer Guy, chair of the committee on finance

Where are the offices of United Methodist Women located?


Interchurch Center, 15th Floor
475 Riverside Drive New York, NY 10115

Other offices:

Church Center for the United Nations
777 First Avenue at 44th Street, New York, NY 10017

The Methodist Building
100 Maryland Ave NE, Washington, DC 20002.

How is the mission work funded?

Mission Giving is the foundation for United Methodist Women's mission work. Mission Giving is mission money that provides funds, which enable the work of United Methodist Women to reach far beyond the church walls and into the lives of women, children and youth.

Women prayerfully make pledges to their local organization or district. Their Mission Giving contributes to local mission, spiritual formation, programs for membership development and outreach in the community. The pledge journeys from the local to the district and then to the conference United Methodist Women. The pledged amount designated for mission is sent to the national body and budgeted for ministries with women, children and youth in the United States and all around the world. Women are involved in mission at each step of the way.

To learn more visit Mission Giving.

What is United Methodist Women's annual budget?

The 2013 program budget shows total budgeted expenses for United Methodist Women to be $17,950,300.

Find the treasurer's reports and other financial information in Financial Resources.

What are National Mission Institutions?

There are nearly 100 National Mission Institutions in the United States supported by United Methodist Women Mission Giving. These institutions empower women, care for children, educate youth, look after the neglected, advocate for social justice issues, create economic opportunities and improve neighborhoods.

Find a National Mission Institution near you using the National Mission Institution map.

What is the Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner?

The Office of Deaconess and Home Missioner is the only office in The United Methodist Church that is currently open for laity called to full-time servant ministries of love, justice, and service in church-related or helping professions. Current ministries settings include prisons, healthcare facilities, schools and universities, church agencies, shelters, and community centers. Deaconesses and home missioners are engaged in a wide range of social justice concerns including, but not limited to, environmental justice, immigration, poverty, homelessness, peace with justice, refugees, women and children, youth and families and senior adults.

Visit Deaconess and Home Missioner Ministry to learn more.

What is the international work?

International Ministries partners with approximately 200 partner organizations in nearly 80 countries to empower women, children and youth.

Seven regional missionaries work internationally to assist women, children and youth and work in solidarity with them on specific issues. They build relationships with Methodist, United Methodist, ecumenical and grassroots programs that focus on issues of health (particularly primary health care and HIV/AIDS), gender equality, elimination of violence among women and support for uprooted and marginalized people. All programs and network connections carried out by regional missionaries reflect the needs and priorities of their own region.

Short-term mission learning opportunities for United Methodist Women members to interact with the world through mission partners are available through Ubuntu Journeys. These journeys are about women of faith coming together through shared mission to address social issues and discover new ways of working together, supporting one another and growing spiritually. Together with global sisters, United Methodist Women members share the experience of worship, prayer and spiritual reflection and engage in mission.

Scholarships and grants enable women nationally and internationally to equip themselves through education.

View all our international projects on the International Ministries map.

What is Mission u?

Mission u is the new name for the School of Christian Mission. Mission u is an opportunity for reflection and informed action through education opportunities and resources. Each Mission u event offers classes on spiritual growth, a geographic area and a social issue. It is an opportunity to study current issues impacting society based on recent mission study topics. Mission u is open to members and non-members of United Methodist Women.

Learn more about our events and resources.

What is Leadership Development Days?

Leadership Development Days is an event for United Methodist Women members and leaders organized by the national organization three times a year. Leadership development equips members and provides for organizational growth.

Learn more about these events.

What is the Reading Program?

The Reading Program encourages members to think critically about current issues through an annual selection of member-reviewed books. It offers an opportunity to deepen spirituality and broaden understanding of mission work.

Lists of books and other information are found at the Reading Program.

Where can I get resources?

For United Methodist Women mission resources:
Online: E-store
Order by telephone:
Toll free: 1-800-305-9857
Order by fax: 1-770-280-0061

For UMW News:
E-mail: newsletter@umwmissionresources.org (subscribe or unsubscribe through this address)

For response magazine:
Order by mail: Magazines with a Mission, PO Box 395, Congers, NY 10920-0395
Order by telephone:
Toll free: 1-877-881-2385 (toll-free)
Outside U.S.: 1-845-267-3471
Order by fax: 1-845-267-3478

Where can I find United Methodist Women on the web?

Find us at www.unitedmethodistwomen.org.
Here you will find the latest news and information about United Methodist Women members, programs and resources.

UMWOnline: Network at www.umwonline.org
This is the social networking site for United Methodist Women.
You will want to visit, set up your account, friend your sisters and begin networking for mission.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/UMWomen
If you're on Facebook, be sure to "like" United Methodist Women. Follow the link and sign up so that our regular posts will appear on your home page.

Twitter: www.twitter.com/UMWomen
United Methodist Women tweets! Use the link to find our
Twitter account @UMWomen. Follow us, tweet with us and become a part of the continuing conversation around faith, hope and love in action.

YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/UMWomen
Need a video for a presentation? You'll find it on YouTube. Check out the video resources available from United Methodist Women by following the link. New videos are posted often!

Flickr: www.flickr.com/photos/UMWomen
Need a photo for your newsletter or PowerPoint? Follow this link and you'll find terrific images illustrating the work of United Methodist Women members.

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/UMwomen
Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website. You can find links to articles and images related to justice priorities, spiritual growth, infographics, and more.

Last Updated: 04/05/2014

© 2014 United Methodist Women