The need for a female pastor was first discussed in 2001, but it was not until last year the effort began in earnest, Cunningham said. He said he had felt the need to hire a representative of the ELCA [=Evangelical Lutheran Church in America] in response to the growing members of that denomination among faculty and students.[…]
Cunningham, who along with Associate Pastor James Wetzstein, is a member of the Missouri Synod, said the new pastor will regularly lead worship as a representative of the ELCA. But 80 percent of the job will involve other types of ministry and counseling work among students and faculty.[…]
The new pastor is being funded with a $3 million gift from a group of anonymous donors, who were sought out after the decision was made to create the position, Cunningham said. The same group is providing another $300,000 to fund the job during the first three years when the endowment money cannot be used.
Did you catch that last line? That’s $100K per year for this position — which surely does not entail a lot of collateral expenses, so I’m guessing that most of that money goes for salary. If that’s the case, then this female pastor — whoever she may end up being — will probably earn more money than most of the Valpo faculty.
The job description (PDF) justifies the “need” for a woman to fill this position by citing “specific ministry needs”, although the day-to-day responsibilities of the job sound pretty unisex to me.
It makes me wonder if I’m in the wrong business (although I’m pretty certain I’m in the right gender for me). Say – maybe I can go get ordained, then find some mostly-female school with a lot of female pastors on staff and convince them that they need to have a male minister around. It’s so dumb of an idea that it just might work.
Update: I was looking through the documents on this position at VU’s chapel web site, and while the Dean’s letter of introduction (pdf) and the summary job description (pdf) both indicate that the Board of Directors wants the new associate pastor to be a woman, the actual job description (pdf again) from the Board of Directors doesn’t say anything about gender. But I’m guessing that it’s the Board’s job description that potential candidates would read and be enticed to apply for the job, wouldn’t it? If so, then you’d have all kinds of people, probably mostly men, applying for this position with no knowledge that there was a gender preference, only to be told after the fact that they can’t have the job because the Board wants a woman, even though the job description approved and released by the Board doesn’t say so.
Does that strike anybody besides me as being strange? I mean, if you’re the Board, and you want a woman in the position, why not make sure it says so in the job description that you are posting? (Perhaps the board is willing to “settle” for a man if no women apply?)