Women in Christianity

God's Image-Bearers: Adolescent Girls and Young Women Building Self-Esteem through Healthy Relationships

Author
Sandra G Whitley
Abstract
Adolescent girls and young women should be taught, nurtured, and empowered to grow up knowing and living out their identity, worth and values as God's image- bearers. The lack of self esteem, self identity, and ethnic identity is evident today in the social and behavioral outcomes of girls. Biblical and theological framework is the imperative foundational value in human beings discovering who they are, who they belong to, who loves them, and how to live a reconciled life with God in this sinful world. In essence, positive self esteem comes first and foremost from healthy relationships with the creator and other humans.

Equipping Women's Ministry Leaders to Facilitate Biblical Mentoring Relationships for Emerging Adult Women

Author
Gloria L Grell
Abstract
Women's ministry leaders in evangelical churches have a responsibility and opportunity. They must attend to God's command for older women to be biblical mentors, helping younger women follow Him. The generation of emerging adult women in our churches create the opportunity. They desire mentors to help them navigate the transition to adulthood. Therefore, women's ministry leaders must learn how they can facilitate biblical mentoring relationships for emerging adult women. This project pursued this question through biblical, theological, and current literature in the field, and qualitative research involving emerging adult women and women's ministry leaders. It culminated with the development of seminar material for women's ministry leaders.

Discovering the primary hindrances women face in fulfilling their call to ministry

Author
Kristen N Caldwell
Abstract
The purpose of this project was to discover the primary hindrances that women face in fulfilling their call to ministry. This was done by constructing a survey that was bases primarily off of 11 themes that surfaced in the contemporary literature. A total of 75 surveys completed by women clergy (senior pastors, assistant pastors, ministries of youth and children, professors, chaplains) in 18 different denominations were analyzed. Out of all 24 statements, all 11 themes were hindrances for at least 15 women. For 19 statements, at least 1 in every 3 women dealt with the hindrance presented.

Does she matter? Emotional intimacy in marriage in light of gender distinction

Author
Richard Williams
Abstract
Evangelical Christians have greater marital success than the general population. Gender distinction distinguishes Christian marriage, but its impact on emotional intimacy, critical in contemporary marriage, is under-studied. A qualitative study of ten Christian husbands in enduring intergendered marriages yet with a history of same-sex attraction or monogendered relationships, considered able spokesmen for gender effects, confirmed the power of intimacy to forge a lasting marriage. Wives' gender distinction correlated with intimacy, expressed through authority deferral, home care and strong helping. Many reasons surfaced for the gender-intimacy link, providing plausible dynamics for why wives' both inherent qualities and deliberate practices cultivated intimacy.

Rediscovering modesty in an immodest world

Author
Letra M Smith
Abstract
Women and girls in the twenty-first century find themselves living in a sexualized culture that celebrates indiscretion and immodesty. Today, women and girls (Christians included) are encouraged to flaunt their bodies and show as much flesh as possible. The once widely held virtue of modesty, which was introduced by God as a means of protection from indecency has become almost entirely unknown in the last fifty years. This study will address the challenges women and girls face living in a sexualized society and explore the sociological and cultural context within which women and girls are sexualized. Are women exercising freedom to dress as they please or are they simply buying into their own objectification? The effect of constant bombardment of sexualized images in mass media on women and girls is also explored. Does modesty matter in a culture where skin-is-in?

Hagar! A feminist reception-history sampler of global art from the eighth to the twenty-first century

Author
Laura G Krauss
Abstract
The biblical figure Hagar, in Genesis 16 and 21, is explored through the methodology of Reception-History. The dissertation/project commences with an exegesis of the sacred texts and traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam concerning the slave of Sarah and mother of Ishmael, Abraham's first child. Focusing on selected works of art from diverse cultures and periods, including manuscripts, paintings, sculptures, poetry, and films, the iconography is contextually and hermeneutically analyzed from each artist's social location. The study culminates in a proposed museum exhibition featuring the artists' visual interpretations of the Hagar narrative which were fine-tuned in two workshops.

Faith on every side: 19th century black female slaves and their spiritual legacy for females in a 21st century historically black church

Author
Elaine Sykes
Abstract
Twenty-first century challenge to organized faith communities, i.e. increased transience and decreasing church affiliation are challenging some local faith communities' ability to thrive. Congregants of one local historically black church, however, appropriated biblical and African American voices as prototypical sources of 'faith' to guide the church's response to those challenges. Thus this project examined how this historically black congregation thrived as a result of the use of Hagar's story and 19th century spiritual autobiographies of former black slaves in the African American diaspora of 1700 to 1899, influenced spiritual development and produced leaders among its female congregants.

A forum to minister to wives of pastors using participatory action research

Author
Michelle L Gibson
Abstract
This project supported the hypothesis that a small forum based on participatory action research, augmented by a personal development coaching model, would ameliorate discouragement and role dissatisfaction experienced by wives of pastors. Crucial to the explanation of positive changes in the women was the spiritual dimension involving the fulfillment of the principles in Ephesians 4:1-16, leading to ministry within the body of Christ that eventuated in the mutual ministry of the participants to one another. This complemented the natural benefits derived from the processes of participatory action research and its primary principles of relationships, communication, participation, and inclusion.
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