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In my twelve years of teaching youth ministry, I have sometimes been discouraged as I see female students that I believe have great potential to serve God as youth pastors and teachers give in to the anxieties and doubts and either walk away from youth ministry altogether or fail to fully develop their potential. In the last few years, I have become more encouraged. There is a greater network of women who work in youth ministry that are willing to mentor and guide young female students. I am looking forward to a new semester and the chance to help the Kendras at Bethel catch a vision for their future as leaders of youth. Read more
My doctoral project proposal concerns itself with the issue of black women as Senior Pastors in the Baptist and other black Churches. This is an educational project designed to encourage black women to become more effective leaders in their churches by helping them to appreciate their gifts and talents and not have others to limit their use of them. The issue of black women's ministry limitations is discussed with a view toward change. The project is designed also to empower women to assist in the effort to overcome their limitations within their church tradition. The project is proposed to help black Christian women to understand how their heritage has both limited and created possibilities for their lives.   Read more
As a former missionary I've been intrigued with the American debate over the place of women in the ministry of the church. Some take the position that it is unbiblical to deny leadership and teaching roles to women in the church under any circumstances. Others say that when a church allows a woman to teach, it is denying the inspiration of Scripture. To build the Body of Christ, we must use all our God-given resources. Yet the church is fragmenting itself over the issue of how to use the resources. I argue that the testimony of the whole body of Scripture leaves room for cultural interpretation on the role of women in the church, and thus we must be sensitive to cultural expectations. Read more
There is indeed a noticeable increase in rhetoric from the conservative wing of the church calling for rigid roles for men and women, in effect defining activities in home, church, and society primarily by gender. And very often this rhetoric claims to be representing a Christian world view, thus – at first glance -making its conclusion seem ironclad. Well, any of you who have read my book, EQUAL TO SERVE, know that I am a questionasker. Therefore I ask: What is a Christian world view? Surely it must be more than a televangelist's cliché or an empty religious slogan. A Christian world view must mean a basic, scriptural way of looking at life that will cut across denominational particularities or emotional bias or cultural pressures. So let's explore the matter to see if there is a broad outline to our Christian world view that we can establish before we go on to those particularities, or deal with that emotional bias or cultural pressure. Certainly if someone stopped you or me and said, "Define a Christian world view," we would not begin with particulars but would start with the broader basics. So let's ask some questions about those basics, and see if our answers will shed light on this particular matter of gender roles. Read more
Not long after I was confirmed as an Anglican, my then rector uttered words that have proven, and may yet prove, to be prophetic. He said, “The Anglican Communion is going to split: first, over the issue of homosexuality and, second, over the issue of women in ministry.” While the first of his predictions has clearly come true, my sincere hope is that the second will not become a wedge that separates otherwise orthodox, Nicaea- and Chalcedon-affirming Anglicans from living and ministering in unbroken fellowship. So it is in a spirit of hope tempered by fear that I offer the following reflections. And though they apply most directly to the Anglican context, they may also bear important implications for the larger evangelical debate over this issue. Read more
In my earlier article1 on 1 Timothy 2:12 and the ordination of women, I argued that Paul’s contextual and church-specific reading and application of the creation texts indicates that the limitations on women’s teaching roles in the church are circumstantial rather than universal prohibitions. Now, I wish to address arguments in a specifically Anglican2 context that were not addressed in the first article, namely, arguments based on the incarnation and the Father/Son relationship within the Trinity that are thought to bar the ordination of women as priests and bishops. For the purposes of this study, I will focus on two documents as sources for the main arguments to be considered in this Anglican context: the essay “Priestesses in the Church?” by C. S. Lewis,3 and “A Report of the Study Concerning the Ordination of Women Undertaken by the Anglican Mission in America,” Rev. John H. Rodgers, chairman.4 Read more
The silent loom. Silent? How can we even think about the cessation of activity at a conference centered on promotion of activity – weaving a tapestry of peace? Why, we’ve all got so much to do for God! In our personal lives, we’re striving to fulfill God’s plan while working through past hurts. In our homes we’re raising little Christian soldiers and modeling the Christ-lifestyle. In our careers we want to impact the world for Christ. In our neighborhoods we want to be salt and light. How can we suggest shutting down the loom at a time like this? And moreover, what about the big issues of world evangelization, of working for the equality and dignity of women and men of all races, ages and classes; what about encouraging all women and men to fully use their God-given gifts in ministry? How then can we even consider a silent loom? Read more
Kari Torjesen Malcolm
The call for women missionaries is not often heard today. Often women are left with the feeling “we are only needed because the men fail to go.” Our American culture looks on pioneer missionary work as man’s work because the Church is infiltrated with a worldly and pagan view of women as inferior to men. This view runs contrary to the Gospel of Kingdom of God, and leads women only to go along to support the men. Like pagan cultures, many of our conservative evangelical churches still believe that the public sphere belongs to men, while women’s place is in the home. Read more
Biblical feminists, as opposed to other feminists outside and within the church, accept the full authority of all Scripture for all the people of God. But they recognize, with all modern people, that we do not absorb Scripture in its pure form into our understanding. Like anything else we read, reading Scripture is an interpretive process. In other words, while Scripture is perfect, our understanding of it is limited. It is limited by the tradition in which we receive it – how it has been interpreted for us by others. It is limited by human incapacity to completely understand God. In other words, there is no error in the Word of God, but there may be error in how we interpret it.   Read more
As a scholar of rhetoric and as a Pentecostal Christian, I notice that, although rhetoric and religion embody quite different theoretical perspectives, rhetoric, religion, and gender collide when we examine who is given the authority to speak and who is believed within the church. Read more

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