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Published Date: May 18, 2022

Published Date: May 18, 2022

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Women in Scripture and Mission: Macrina

Part of a wealthy aristocratic family in Turkey, Macrina (330-379) was a famous theologian in the fourth century. She was a natural leader and an intellectual genius who eventually took over management of her family, encouraging all to embody Christlikeness. Dedicated to following the life of Christ, Macrina also influenced her wealthy family to offer their emergency resources to the poor, a completely counter-cultural move. She also emancipated her slaves and encouraged her servants to view her as their equal.

She devoted herself to reading and studying and is thought to have had one of the most extensive educations of her time.1 In this spirit she established her own community dedicated to Christian study. Through her deep faith, her brother, Basil, converted to Christianity and remained under her mentorship for four years. Both he and their brother Gregory of Nyssa became key church leaders and developed the doctrine of the Trinity. Basil credited much of his theological learning to Macrina. Though the church rightfully honors both brothers, they have largely forgotten Macrina, their teacher, mentor, and sister.

To learn more, see: “Single But Never Alone,” by Mimi Haddad in Mutuality.


  1. Leanne M. Dzubinski and Anneke H. Stasson, Women in the Mission of the Church: Their Opportunities and Obstacles through Christian History (Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2021), 66.