Women in church work

“FAITHFUL TO HIS PROMISES”: GOD’S CALLING OF STARRY HASMATALI AS AN HISTORIC INDO-TRINIDADIAN MEMBER OF THE CHURCH OF GOD IN TRINIDAD AND CANADA

Author
Duane Sterling Sims M.A.
Abstract
This paper is concerned with the case story of Starry Hasmatali, who was raised in Trinidad and immigrated to Canada: first to Toronto and then to Moose Jaw. I have decided to interview her in particular, because she was an integral member of an historic Indo-Pentecostal family in the Church of God (Cleveland TN), in Trinidad. With her late husband, Edward D. Hasmatali, they brought the Church of God (CoG) to the island, and were deeply involved in leadership training and church planting.

Indo-Trinidadian Pentecostalism seems to be somewhat of an overlooked area of academic study, thus in interviewing Starry, I will seek to uncover their experiences in ministry in Trinidad and Canada, particularly in relation to their historic connection to the Church of God. I have also chosen to concentrate upon Indo- Trinidadian Pentecostals, since they comprise a significant section of the population of that country.

Empowerment through storytelling : the story of the patriarch Jacob as a life-transforming experience for women

Author
Elena Melnikova
Abstract
The project responds to women’s hesitance to accept leadership in church regardless of numerous examples found in Methodist heritage. Data analyses indicated that women need empowerment coming from a Bible story interpretation, its personal appropriation and self-awareness gained through sharing stories. The author wrote from the pluralistic ministry perspective and used feminist theology and the Old Testament story of the patriarch Jacob to empower women through storytelling to take on leadership in ministry. The project curriculum addressed questions of calling, promise, growth, conversion and maturation, and could be widely applied in the church and seminary education.

[Note about entry: Abstract submitted to the Atla RIM database on behalf of the author. The text appears in its entirety as it does in the original abstract page of the author’s project paper. Neither words nor content have been edited.]

Divine imagery in the spiritual lives of women lay ministers

Author
Esther H Sanborn
Abstract
Currently, the majority of lay ministers in the U.S. Catholic Church are women; wisdom can be gained from experience of women who have persisted long-term in lay ministry. Divine imagery in the spiritual lives of twelve women lay ministers from greater Chicago was explored through qualitative interviews. Using practical theology methods, findings of this ethnographic research was engaged with dialogue partners from Christian tradition and contemporary disciplines--Teresa of Avila's The Interior Castle, psychology-spiritual development theories, and feminist theological perspectives. From these mutually critical conversations emerged implications for the formation of lay minsters and proposals for ongoing praxis.

A course designed for Christian women unpacking the spiritual gifts for service

Author
Leonette Y Lewis
Abstract
This research project designed a spiritual gifts curriculum for Christian women. The project evaluated the effectiveness of a four-week seminar in educating Christian women on the topic of spiritual gifts. This course assisted the women in the discovery of their spiritual gifts and aided in identifying ministries in which they were gifted to serve. This course of study focused on spiritual gifts and their functions for women who may or may not have known of their spiritual gifts and may or may not have served in ministries or were serving in ministries outside of their spiritual giftedness in the church. By taking thirty Christian women, ages nineteen and older of various church denominations through this course of study, the women gained knowledge of spiritual gifts. A pre-test/post-test was administered to the students to gauge their knowledge of spiritual gifts before and following instruction. This data revealed an increase in knowledge of spiritual gifts. Also, a spiritual gifts assessment was administered to assist in the discovery of their spiritual gifts, and the one-on-one ministry interviews aided in identifying other ministries in which the women were able to serve.

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.

The value of women's contributions to the ministry of parachurch organizations

Author
Elizabeth A Reedy
Abstract
Ministry leaders have not always valued the contributions of women, and this research project poses the question: why not? This qualitative research project evaluated selected factors that are associated with the contributions of women being valued by leaders of parachurch ministries, including how theological views of headship and cultural views of femininity are associated with the valuing of women's contributions. The qualitative research for this project was conducted through in-depth interviews in three parachurch ministry settings. This report discussed the relationship of the interview answers to these hypotheses, the unexpected themes that surfaced in the interviews, suggestions to parachurch ministries, and suggestions for further research.

Wilderness narratives of women leaders in faith communities as a reflection of spiritual formation

Author
Nina R Witnah
Abstract
Although connotations of wilderness elicit a sense of difficulty, harshness, and challenge, there is biblical, historical, and experiential support for the formative dimension of wilderness experiences. The author addresses how ministry leaders pursue spiritual formation when living in the context of wilderness experiences. The research follows a qualitative method of the semi-structured interview and is focused on women in leadership. The author learned that the quality of redemption in a wilderness time is enhanced by releasing expectations, choosing wisely in the midst of loss, noticing when God shows up, and embracing the opportunity for transformation.

Women and the enduring word: an equipping hermeneutic for women teaching women

Author
Ashley C Smith
Abstract
This dissertation purports the idea that women can and should learn hermeneutic skills that allow them to interpret the Bible with confidence and to train other women to do the same. It demonstrated the need for theologically conservative women to write and teach other women how to study the Bible in a way faithful to principles of interpretation. The importance of authorial intent is emphasized rather than reader-centered approaches. The instruction of Paul in Titus 2:3-5 as applied to gender-specific hermeneutic suggests that offering women skills for interpretation envisions their unique learning styles and affirms Paul's instruction. Women should use hermeneutical principles of context, exegesis, theological analysis and genre applying these to use by women. Factors related to women teaching women include: intimacy, emotional connection, relationships, details, and the power of small group settings. Finally consideration is made of producing a book on this subject.

The role of women in pastoral leadership: a discovery project to measure the knowledge and attitudes of parishioners of the Second Community Church regarding women in leadership roles

Author
Charlene Elizabeth Watkins
Abstract
This project developed and utilized the Likert-Questionnaire to discover the knowledge and attitudes of the parishioners of the Second Community Church, Columbus, Ohio, toward women in pastoral leadership roles. This survey required a self examination in this area. Thirty volunteers from the membership took the survey and the findings are documented accordingly. It is significant to note the voice from the women, which represented the majority of the participants, are as unsupportive as men regarding women in leadership roles. Further findings revealed the knowledge of both groups were uncertain concerning the appropriate biblical interpretation of scripture supporting this issue.

An examination of mentoring programs for serving the needs of the postmodern Christian woman

Author
Barbara Ann Neumann
Abstract
The Christian church has historically valued mentoring relationships and the part they play in developing the faith of the next generation. Many of these traditional mentoring programs, though effective in the past, no longer meet the needs of young women. This qualitative research project focused on selected postmodern women and explored the manner in which their unique worldview shapes their mentoring preferences. The study found that the opportunity to choose the mentor, flexibility in schedule, and interaction built around shared life experiences are necessary elements for meeting the needs of the postmodern woman.
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