Jerome W. Page has resigned after serving for three years at the helm of the Washington Urban League, one of the Washington area's major civil rights organizations.

Page's resignation, which becomes effective Jan. 1, was announced yesterday by the organization. In a written statement, the league said that Page was leaving because of "personal reasons" and declined further comment.

Page, 47, was in San Diego yesterday and unavailable for comment.

He submitted his resignation on Oct. 1, and the organization's board of directors accepted it last week, according to Marshall Boyd, director of communications for the Urban League.

"The resignation did not come as a surprise," said Jerry A. Moore III, chairman of the league's board of directors. Moore said that Page's term as president "has been shorter than most." He said that "Page lent good and valuable service to the WUL and we wish him well."

Page, who had previously served as president of the Seattle Urban League, was named president of the Washington Urban League in 1979. He replaced John E. Jacob, who resigned to become executive vice president of the National Urban League in New York. Jacob succeeded Vernon E. Jordan as the league's national president last Jan. 1.

The 1,700-member Washington Urban League was founded 40 years ago as a nonpartisan civil rights organization and is involved in various economic programs in minority communities in the area, primarily Washington and Northern Virginia.

For more than half of its life the organization was led by Sterling Tucker, who in 1974 resigned and ran successfully for D.C. City Council chairman.

Page said upon his arrival at the Urban League in 1979: "I think it's the biggest challenge and the most exciting thing that has happened to me." Page said that he would make his top priorities jobs for blacks and other minorities and school desegregation.

Page was graduated from Colorado State University and has a master's degree from Denver University's graduate school of social work.

He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Latin America from 1962 to 1964 and later as a Peace Corps instructor in this country.

Moore said that the league has set up a search committee to find a successor for Page.