Skip to comments.Unmarried Pastor, Seeking a Job, Sees Bias ('Once I say I'm Single, Never Married, I'm Done')
Posted on 03/22/2011 3:12:00 PM PDT by SeekAndFind
Like all too many Americans, Mark Almlie was laid off in the spring of 2009 when his workplace downsized. He has been searching for an appropriate position ever since, replying to more than 500 job postings without success.
But Mr. Almlie, despite a sterling education and years of experience, has faced an obstacle that does not exist in most professions: He is a single pastor, in a field where those doing the hiring overwhelmingly prefer married people and, especially, married men with children.
Mr. Almlie, 37, has been shocked, he says, at what he calls unfair discrimination, based mainly on irrational fears: that a single pastor cannot counsel a mostly married flock, that he might sow turmoil by flirting with a church member, or that he might be gay. If the job search is hard for single men, it is doubly so for single women who train for the ministry, in part because many evangelical denominations explicitly require a man to lead the congregation.
Mr. Almlie, an ordained evangelical minister who lives in Petaluma, Calif., has also had to contend with the argument, which he disputes with scriptural citations of his own, that the Bible calls for married leaders. Prejudice against single pastors abounds, Mr. Almlie wrote in articles he posted on a popular Christian blog site in January and February, setting off a wide-ranging debate online on a topic that many said has been largely ignored.
Some evangelical churches, in particular, openly exclude single candidates; a recent posting for a pastor by a church on Long Island said it was seeking a family man whose family will be involved in the ministry life of the church. Other churches convey the message through code words, like seeking a Biblical man (translation: a husband and a provider).
(Excerpt) Read more at nytimes.com ...
Well he could consult with “Mr Winning” or mail away for a Russian bride. ;-)
1 Timothy 3:2 and Titus 1:5-9. They are very clear and not really misunderstood. People twist them to fit their own desire to their own detriment.
It's impossible for women pastors to find a job in Bible believeing churches.
Then He can lead you to the door that will open for your ministry.
Don't stop praying....
Don't stop "ask..seek... knocking..."
Stop complaining & open the eyes of your heart.
The same thing is sort of true with golf professionals. Unmarried club pros scare some members. They think the guy is going to screw around with their wives.
He can’t even deflect the question by saying he’s married to Christ.
Can he say he’s married to Mary, wife of Joseph?
I know a female pastor at a Lutheran church in Ohio. She's also single.
“Unmarried club pros scare some members. They think the guy is going to screw around with their wives.”
Maybe they are ex-catholic and trying to protect their children, meaning pre-teen boys.
Having gone to nun taught grade schools and christian brother HS, I would be absolutely against hiring a single ex-brother for anything other than a concentration camp guard.
“Maybe they are ex-catholic and trying to protect their children, meaning pre-teen boys.
Having gone to nun taught grade schools and christian brother HS, I would be absolutely against hiring a single ex-brother for anything other than a concentration camp guard.”
More, likely they are not the ignorant, narrow minded ass that you are.
Amen and amen!
FWIW, I’m a woman.
If she is a pastor at any church, said “church” isn’t a Bible-believing church because women are proscribed from being pastors.
So are you saying a pastor has to have a wife AND children?
Just don’t bring up your marital status in an interview, that’s all. I think it is illegal for the to directly ask about it, so unless you raise the issue, it shouldn’t come up.
Employers definitely don’t like single, unmarried men. The reason is that they are seen as more unstable and potentially a problem. They know married guy, or better yet a married man with children, is behind the 8-ball. He has responsibilities and needs the job, so they can push and abuse him more than a single man, who can wake up one morning and decide this job just isn’t worth it and quit.
I know. I’ve done it twice, myself. They should see it coming, but never do.
Pastors in the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod must be male, while pastors in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America can be male or female. Lutheran pastors may get married.
Well I gotta tell you, and if you tell anybody I said it I’ll have to deny it...but I don’t think I’d hire a 37 year old single Pastor.
And it’s not because I’d fear he was homosexual. Mostly I’m convinced that a stable married type, preferably with children, yes, is the best to lead a church flock.
Now if there were no one else applying for the job, I’d have no problem with an unmarried guy save some small concerns. But you got an equally qualified married guy and I’m going with him.
so shoot me.
I’m Roman Catholic, so almost all of the ministers we’re exposed to are men, with a few exceptions - Extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion is one of the very few. And of course, very few priests are married, though there are a few. I’m glad that we generally don’t have to deal with this issue.
My main concern would be that by the time a priest leaves seminary, they’ve had training in counselling married people, even though they know that they will remain single.
Do evangelical minsters get the same type of training?
And what will happen if a single minister dates?
Will they be a good role model for the members of their churches?
Will they parade a long row of women through their lives and the church?
If they get married, will their wives be of the same denomination?
And if they never gets married, will it be because they liked being single, or because they are hostile toward women, or because they’re afraid of a commitment?
Who will take the place of the minister’s wife, who often runs women’s prayer groups, organizes events, etc.
I can see why churches shy away from single people where the norm is a married man.
What’s your point?
And those meanings are?
Here are the verses in the New American Standard Bible:
"An overseer, then, must be above reproach,the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach..." (1 Tim 3:2)
"For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,
6namely, if any man is above reproach, the (E)husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.
7For the overseer must be above reproach as God's steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
8but (M)hospitable, (N)loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,
9holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict." (Titus 1:5-9)
I suppose you are trying to say these passages REQUIRE a pastor to be married. That would be odd, given that their author, Paul, was single, not to mention our Lord Himself, Jesus was also single. The more natural and logical meaning--given the single leaders in the early Church--is that pastors must not be polygamists....(or perhaps, divorced). The best Greek scholars I know of too, believe this is the case of the meaning of "husband of one wife."
No (conservative, evangelical) scholar I know of believes that these passages REQUIRE married clergy, nor do ANY of the (evangelical, conservative) denominations (be they Baptists, Bible, Presbyterian, Assembly of God, etc....)make that a requirement. John Stott (Anglican) and of course a number of other very successful pastors historically too, have also been single...
In fact the Apostle Paul recommended singleness as the preferred way to live, for those who can handle it--concerned for the things of the Lord--rather than the World, in 1 Cor. 7.
The idea that pastors must be married is NOTIONAL...in other words not biblically based, but, based on worldly "knowledge" projected onto the bible and the Church.
However it is a strong notion. I should know. I'm a single conservative/evangelical seminary graduate. This article is right on the money. Unless you want a job as a youth minister, congregations ONLY want a married pastor. I've had people tell me flat out that it's a non-negotiable requirement--even though they cannot build a legitimate biblical argument for it.
I've seen fellow seminary students desperately looking for wives too....and marrying, (in my opinion) not the best matches, because, after all, pastors must be married.
All this is rather sad. If people took the bible as it's written--fully, interpreted correctly--they'd be open the the pastorship of say, Paul, or Jesus...
The local Presbyterian’s had a unmarried pastor sleep with 4 of the woman he was counciling. If they are 30ish and unmarried, the chances are higher that they prey on weak women, or little boys. IMHO.