Gender

Impacting incarnational ministry of select men and women leaders at Ontario Christian Fellowship focused times of one-another encouragement.

Author
Timothy C Schlatter
Abstract
Eight couples engaged in regular "one another" encouragement to see what impact this would have on their practice of incarnational ministry. For nearly a year, they met in ministry transformation group clusters approximately twice a month. Five "one another" activities were jointly practiced-praying, sharing "God Stories," words of encouragement, learning, and on occasion, connecting for ministry beyond the meetings. Comparative before and after surveys showed participants came to embrace a more organic approach to ministry. They reported greater internationality in relational ministry, as well as increased commitment to pray, use "God stories," and pursue lifelong learning in ministry.

A gender specific comparative study of single parent concerns and issues and their association with church participation

Author
Aaron H Gaddis
Abstract
This research project conducted a gender specific comparative study on single parent concerns and issues and their association with church attendance and participation. The study answers the following research question. What are the differences between selected male and female single parent concerns and issues that affect their church attendance and participation? The growth of the single parent family in American society necessitates this study. Single parent ministry is a vast mission field that has not been sufficiently infiltrated by the local church. The goal of this research is to begin the discussion securing gender-specific reactions to selected concerns and issues that are associated with attendance and participation in the local church. Six concerns and their associated issues have been selected. Concerns involving the Judgment of Others; Care for Children; Time management and Financial Resources; The Local Church's Response to Single Parenting; Personal Spiritual Growth; and Faith Transference to Children. A core group comprised of unwed single parents, divorced single parents, and widowed single parents, guided the study. Exclusions from the study were: Non-custodial single parents, cohabiting parents, parents who are married and parenting single. The custodial parent was chosen because of his/her reliability and consistency. Published literature beginning with the Bible offers clear guidance on how to approach the good and bad widow, the orphan, the divorced, the unwed, and the poor. Other literature offers sociological and historical data on the single parent family in America. Literature offers limited comparative data on male and female single parents and their religious practices. Because of the limited empirical data this study will contribute to the resources available for future studies. The comparative research data was collected from 112 custodial single parents currently raising children between the ages of birth to eighteen years of age. There are 74 women and 38 men who volunteered to participate using the 37-question online survey research instrument. For greater understanding, five individuals were personally interviewed on seven fundamental questions taken from the survey. More details on the data collection and research procedure will be shared in chapter three. This pioneering study offers estranged single parents inclusion in the local family of faith so that the trend of single parenting will be changed as they launch their children as arrows against the darkness of a secular society.

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.

The transformation of church leadership through an understanding of biblical maleness

Author
Robert G Decker
Abstract
Biblical maleness, properly defined, teaches that men and women are created as equals, but with different gender-defined roles. Men are designed and equipped to lead the family and the church. Women are to actively help and submit to the man's leadership. This understanding has been the central tradition of the church for the first 1800 years of her existence and has only been challenged in recent centuries. The uniqueness of this project serves to illustrate the consequences that result when men fail to lead by way of three selected biblical narratives from Genesis. The passages are each grammatically and thematically tied by the phrase "listening to the voice of" or "obeying the voice of". For example, the Adam is cursed, not only because he ate the fruit, but because he "listened to the voice of his wife" (Gen. 3:17). This failed leadership continues to plague men's efforts through two male/female narratives in Genesis (Gen. 16:1-6; Gen. 27:1-44).

Reflections on relationships between male and female clergy

Author
James E Godbey
Abstract
Is there a relationship between clergy thoughts and beliefs and how clergy relate to each other? This project focused on gender relations among clergy full members of the Kansas West Conference of the United Methodist Church. Using theology and the cognitive mode from psychology, the author looked at intermediate and core beliefs and automatic thoughts of clergy toward each other. The elements were analyzed through a focus group, a general survey, and directed reading. The author concluded that only through time, trust and theological struggle will the gender issue between clergy be resolved.

Ablaze with love: a video documentary to sensitize the Church of the Nazarene to its heritage of gender mutuality in ministry

Author
Janine T Metcalf
Abstract
The purpose of this research project is to produce and present a video documentary to sensitize the Church of the Nazarene to its century-long heritage of gender partnership in leadership ministry. Given the denomination's minimal awareness of its official support of mutuality in ministry and the efficacy of a visual medium to challenge the status quo, a documentary seems the appropriate catalyst to stimulate discussion and attitudinal change towards women in church leadership. Initial viewings show the documentary is helping to launch a denomination-wide strategy to educate Nazarenes about gender equality in ministry.

Countering gender stratification through preaching and shared praxis

Author
Foster C Dryden
Abstract
The author sought to demonstrate that a combination of shared praxis, pedagogy and preaching will counter gender stratification and will result in a new congregational vision and commitment to gender inclusivity. Seven one-hour classes were held in which the participants engaged in a critical reflection of their own praxis while reflecting on a series of five sermons dealing with cultural and theological assumptions toward gender stratification in regard to language, power and models for God. The majority of the participants concluded that gender equality is God's vision for humanity and provided concrete suggestions to be implemented in the congregation.

The relationship between a female's God representation and her self identity: a clinical case study

Author
Leona Stucky-Abbott
Abstract
This project investigates the psychological affect of a male god image on female self identity. By integrating feminism, object relations theory, and theology a theory is created which evaluates the meaning of females' traditional Christian faith as that affects psychological development. A parallel is drawn between cultural gender definitions and male god representation functions. The integrated theory is applied to a case study which analyzes the intrapsychic, religious, and identity revelations of a female client who addresses the meaning of her god image during three years of therapy.

Cross-gender friendships: implications for the marital dyad

Author
Peter A Powell
Abstract
This project explores what levels of comfort are experienced by church-going people with cross-gender friendships. A questionnaire format was designed to ascertain the projected levels of comfort the respondent would have concerning his/her own and his/her spouse's friendships. Questions were also asked about perceptions of the spouse's comfort levels. Four different types of friendship were surveyed to minimize the possibility of bias had the survey only covered cross-gender friendships. Three scales, verified in previous studies, also were used. Kendall's tau-b correlations were used on the data. The results showed that a majority of respondents were comfortable with all the types of friendship studied. However, there was a clear reduction in comfort for cross-gender friendships and mixed-gender group friendships. Males tended to be less comfortable than females with same-gender and cross-gender friendships, with females reporting less comfort for couple and group friendships. Two models for marriage, with implications for pastoral counseling and diagnosis, were developed.
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