Membership in Young Clergy Women International

YCWI self-defines as a Christian organization that is for persons who are:

  • young (under 40)
  • female
  • clergy
  • ordained or exempt (keep reading to see how we define that)

YCWI hopes that a wide variety of individuals will read our magazine, Fidelia.

We do, though, restrict our more interactive programs to those that meet our membership criteria. To join, complete the registration form. Please be sure to note that we require a personal email address (non-work). Thank you!

More detailed membership information, including situations for which YCWI considers exceptions to the above criteria:

Membership in the Young Clergy Women International is open to those that meet the following requirements:
  • Young
    • Our membership is open only to those that have not reached their 40th birthday. Our focus is primarily first career women, and those second career women whose first career was brief.
  • Clergy
    • Our membership is for eligible ordained or consecrated ministers (pastors, priests or vocational deacons) in any of the Christian denominations.
    • Possession of a MDiv (or other theological degree) is typical, but not required.
    • Women who serve denominations where they may not be ordained due to sexual orientation or gender, may apply for an exceptional membership. When such women are serving a church (or related agency) in a manner that would be ordainable in most other denominations, they may be granted an exception to the ordination rule.
    • Women who are serving as commissioned lay pastors, provisional ministers, student ministers, or interns are not eligible for membership, unless they fall under the above exception categories.
    • We do not accept the applications of Internet ministers who are not accountable to either a faith community, institution, or a higher governing body, such as a denomination.
  • Women
    • We use an inclusive definition of “women” and “female.”  All who identify and minister as women are eligible for membership, including transgender or trans* and cisgender women. No prospective member will be required to provide medical or legal documentation of her gender identity. Genderqueer and non-binary people who feel that their membership in a women’s organization is appropriate are also eligible.

Women wishing to affiliate with the organization must complete an application form, clearly identifying their ministry location, denomination, date of birth, date of ordination, and (where appropriate) M.Div. alma mater. A representative of the Board shall verify information through whatever means are available. If information on the application does not match other available information, the applicant will be given an opportunity to provide additional documentation of eligibility.

Expectations of members:

  • Provide a valid e-mail address, and be willing to receive occasional mailings.
  • Respect the confidentiality of our on-line and in-person forums.
  • Be supportive and respectful of the diversity of experiences and viewpoints within the membership of the Project.
  • Hold as confidential any passwords to on-line fora.

Women who wish to leave the organization may do so by contacting the Board.

Behavior that violates the above membership expectations or is disruptive to the community should be brought to the attention of the community board. The community board may then initiate the following procedures that may result in an involuntary separation.

  • First, one or two members from the community board shall approach the member and ask for a correction or explanation of behavior, after the community board chairwoman has been informed.
  • If that is ineffective, the matter may be and voted on as a full community sub-board. A simple majority will decide.
  • If the above vote results in a tie, the chairwoman of the other sub-board shall be brought in to break the tie.

Women who are serving clergy-like roles while waiting on ordination or completing ordination requirements are not eligible for Young Clergy Women International, but there is a companion group for you! Check out On the Road to Ordination.

Ordination exceptions are made by subcommittee of the YCWI board. To apply for an exception, send an email to Membership.