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.
I responded that I know a woman pastor in a Lutheran church in Ohio. That's my point. I answered your original posting. Then I showed you proof that there are women pastors in Bible believing churches; unless you think that Lutherans are not Bible believing.
A Catholic says this? Tsk, tsk, tsk!
I'm so glad you have resolved that question. As a student of Paul/Saul, I have never been convinced that he WAS NOT married. Indeed, most scholars would disagree with your statement, int hat, to be a member of the Sanhedrin, it was a requirement.
On what Scriptures do you post this definitive statement? Since you are a seminary student, you may want to do more research on your own, and deepend less on those "teachers" After all, those "teachers of the law" are the ones that had Jesus crucified!
...When Paul talks about being buffeted by a thorn in the flesh, he is in fact almost quoting passages from the LXX of Num. 33:55 and Josh. 23:13, where " thorns" which would buffet the eyes of Israel were the Canaanite tribes (cp. Ez. 28:24); and especially, in the context, their women. If they intermarried, those women and what they brought with them would be made by God as thorns in Israel's flesh. The implication could be that Paul had not driven out his Canaanites earlier, and therefore God gave them to Him as a thorn in the flesh, just as He had done to Israel earlier. There is fair reason to think that Paul had been married; he could not have been a member of the Sannhedrin and thus had the power to vote for the murder of the early martyrs unless he had been married and had children (Acts 26:10). His comment that he wished all men to be in his marital position (1 Cor. 7:8) has another slant in this case: he wished them to have had the marriage experience, but be in the single state. As a leading Pharisee, his wife would have been from an appropriate background. " ...for whom I have suffered the loss of all things" would then have been written with a sideways glance back at his wife, children he never saw... all that might have been. In gripping autobiography, Paul relates the innocent days when (as a child) he lived without the knowledge of law and therefore sin. But then, the concept of commandments registered with him; and this " wrought in me all manner of concupiscence" (Rom. 7:8). " Concupiscence" is a conveniently archaic word for lust; and in the thinking and writing of Paul, the Greek epithumia is invariably used in a sexual context. - http://www.aletheiacollege.net/bl/14-11Pauls_Thorn_In_The_Flesh.htm
One can always, if creative enough, find a 'reason' to tell the EEOC for not hiring the single guy. My own mind is ambivalent on the issue, in general:
The single guy has to eat; but the married guy has to support a family. OTOH, the single guy is more likely to PAY taxes, rather than be 'subsidized' by mine.
The Lutheran Church Missiouri Synod is in opposition to Holy Scripture. Therefore, they are not a Bible-believing church and are apostate.
So single men are all heterosexual or homosexual predators. Really??? What a bigoted remark.
For every single pastor-predator, I could find you a dozen married pastor-predators...
You're ignorant of the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) which has NO women pastors at all, as they are firmly not allowed.
ReverandJames must of been referring to another Lutheran denomination.
Ahh, yes! The ministry, about the only profession, other than the military, where the employer still gets a twoffer: an employee, and an accompanying slave, for one low wage...and includes the wife's performance, covertly or even overtly, in the husband's performance evalutions.
Yes, you’re right. I am ignorant of that denomination and blindly accepted what RJ posted. Given that the LCMS doesn’t have women pastors, I retract what I said. I apologize.
Paul was never a Pastor and never tried to be one, he was a missionary and Apostle. Jesus is God, He can do whatever He wants.
To be the Bishop of a church requires a wife and children. period.
On the other hand:
One of the signature teachings of the Lutheran Reformation is the teaching named Sola scriptura"Scripture alone." The Missouri Synod believes that the Bible is the only standard by which church teachings can be judged.
The Missouri Synod believes that justification comes from God "by divine grace alone, through faith alone, for Christ's sake alone." It teaches that Jesus is the focus of the entire Bible and that faith in him alone is the way to eternal salvation. The synod rejects any attempt to attribute salvation to anything other than Christ's death and resurrection.
The Synod teaches that the Word of God, both written and preached, and the Sacraments are means of grace through which the Holy Spirit gives the gift of God's grace, creates faith in hearts of individuals, forgives sins for the sake of Christ's death on the cross, and grants eternal life and salvation.
Wow, they sure are an apostate church believing in all that nonsense, right?
Yes, he must. An unmarried, childless man has no more ability or conception of running a family than a rabbit with a pancake on its head. And he sure as heck shouldn’t be taking confession from teen girls or boys.
You were replying when I was writing so we crossed in the mail, so to speak. No worries. No apology needed. God Bless.
The end of the article mentions he is looking for a “life partner”, not a “wife”. Me thinks it’s a little more clear why he remains single.
OK, so he's a homosexual. Too bad he didn't say that at the start of the article.
Let’s hope that Christian scholars, especially evangelical ones, are not like the Pharisees who required things additional to the Torah, like that members of the Sanhedrin would be married.
The vast majority of New Testament scholars, currently, and historically, do acknowledge the Apostle Paul was single—according to the New Testament record. I fully concur, and see no evidence contrary...
Almost no scholar of good repute I know of is definitive about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh” and historically also, it’s been as big a guessing game as the authorship of Hebrews.
Scripture never names Paul as a “member of the Sanhedrin” either, rather as a Pharisee...a much larger group, than the 71 leaders in the Sanhedrin. As a brilliant student of Gamaliel, surely he would’ve personally known members of the Sanhedrin, which is why some assume he was a member—or he could have been a candidate for membership (before his conversion), however scripture is actually silent on his membership.
I Cor. 7 clearly indicates Paul is single, and, Paul teaches that for those who can, singleness is to be preferred. For most singleness is not to be preferred and they should get married.
Again, my own reading of scripture, and the vast consensus of all Christian students of the Bible historically, reflected in scholarship, and denominational requirements, is that both single and married can be called of God to be worthy ministers of the Gospel. God has called people to be both single and married—each state has its own advantages and disadvantages—one is not morally superior to another.
What organized Church group/denomination REQUIRES pastors to be married?
Well there you go, ELCA is not a bible beleiving denomination. You can be female and gay and still be a Pastor in the ELCA.
It also indicates he is evangelical--and evangelical/biblical belief by definition rejects homosexuality.
It really is amazing to me the suspicion and bigotry of married people against single people.
No wonder so many get divorced--with all the pressure to get married...to anyone.
Actually, our local synagogue used to have a single rabbi. He was definitely interested in finding the right woman to settle down with. And he did a very good thing, besides being a quite decent rabbi: he organized special services for the entire area specially for Jewish singles who were looking to meet other Jewish singles. I hope he is married somewhere and happy now.
1 Corinthians 7:6-9
6 I say this as a concession, not as a command. 7 I wish that all of you were as I am. But each of you has your own gift from God; one has this gift, another has that.
8 Now to the unmarried[a] and the widows I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. 9 But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion.
It comes down to whether the individual is living as God has given them the ability to live. Some people can do it single, others can't. Some people don't have a choice.
And you are who, your authority on that is what? Exactly?
On the other hand:
One of the signature teachings of the Lutheran Reformation is the teaching named Sola scriptura”Scripture alone.” The Missouri Synod believes that the Bible is the only standard by which church teachings can be judged.
The Missouri Synod believes that justification comes from God “by divine grace alone, through faith alone, for Christ’s sake alone.” It teaches that Jesus is the focus of the entire Bible and that faith in him alone is the way to eternal salvation. The synod rejects any attempt to attribute salvation to anything other than Christ’s death and resurrection.
The Synod teaches that the Word of God, both written and preached, and the Sacraments are means of grace through which the Holy Spirit gives the gift of God’s grace, creates faith in hearts of individuals, forgives sins for the sake of Christ’s death on the cross, and grants eternal life and salvation.
Wow, they sure are an apostate church believing in all that nonsense, right?
The Bible specifically states who can be a Bishop (pastor). That doesn’t mean there are no other ways to serve, they just can’t be a Pastor. Stop focusing on the job and focus on serving where God wants you. A single man or woman being a missionary to a dangerous place is putting their life and beliefs on the line in a way that a married man or woman cannot. Each serves and each has a different role.
What a load of blarmy! Missionary CHURCH PLANTERS and Apostles were in authority ABOVE pastors, roughly like bishops are today, depending on your denomination. A Church planter like Paul, by definition HAD to be a pastor, as he started the fellowships, which he oversaw...
Jesus gave us an example, in His lifestyle and teachings, and, was fully human....so the "He can do whatever He wants" because he was also God doesn't cut it as an argument. Why do you believe single adults are morally inferior to married adults?
Again, what organized Christian group, except for the "Church of wbarmy," REQUIRES married leadership (be they pastors, missionaries, or bishops)??
RE: Paul was never a Pastor and never tried to be one, he was a missionary and Apostle. Jesus is God, He can do whatever He wants.
1) According to the book of Acts, Paul stayed in Ephesus for 3 years, later appointing Elders to oversee the church. That to me sort of is a Pastoral role.
2) When Paul left Ephesus, he charged Timothy to be the Bishop of the Church of Ephesus (Eusebius of Caesaria mentions this in his Church History). At that time, Timothy was a Young man (1 Timothy 4:12).
Timothy is first mentioned in Acts 16:1. His mother Eunice, and his grandmother, Lois, are mentioned in 2 Tim. 1:5. All that we know of his father is that he was a Greek not a Jew (Acts 16:1).
I find it very strange then that Paul would tell Timothy in the end of his Second Epistle to greet several people in Ephesus, but does not greet Timothy’s wife ( which seems to indicate to me that he wasn’t married at that time ).
I believe 1 Timothy 2:12 comes into relevance here.
For those who believe that this passage only dealt with during Paul’s time the following verses clearly shows that not to be the case.
I never said anything about Missoui synod. The original poster said a bible believing church wouldn’t have a woman Pastor. You offer, in opposition to this statement, ELCA as a denomination which allows female pastors. I pointed out ELCA is not a bible believing denomination. Then you went on an incoherant rant about Missoui synod which didn’t have anything to do with anything. Try reading the posts you are responding to.
I’m pretty sure wbarmy didn’t write those passages.