Theological Seminary – Should womens ministry training be allowed?
Should women go to college and train to be ministers?
When we look to the Bible for answers, there are two important study tools to keep in mind:
Biblical "hermeneutics" -- the study of the principles of interpretation concerning the books of the Bible
Biblical "exegesis" --a systematic process by which a person arrives at a reasonable and coherent sense of the meaning and message of a biblical passage.
Both views of whether a woman can minister in church (to men and women) can equally be supported from the Biblical text (exegesis) which extensive research has shown.
What if we take the broadest view possible- not the most narrow? Should a women go to seminary?
By doing this we support women in ministry in every capacity, without restriction and multiply those proclaiming God's Word. The difficulty with this conclusion is whether or not being able to prove the point has any real value to one who is unwilling to consider it.
Therefore, we will stay divided on the issue if we close our minds and hearts.
Can women go to seminary and expect a job in ministry?
If a women goes to Bible college or seminary and trains just as a man, what are her job opportunities when she gets out?
A women with a degree in theology will have a hard time finding a paying job as a pastor. Why? Maybe the answer isn't what we think. It may not be because it is wrong--it may be because we are afraid to hire women as pastors.
What if the root problem is fear?
What if fear comes from men because of authority, and from women because of need? I am going out on a limb here, but I feel that there is a possibility we need to consider.
Keep in mind these are extreme generalities- But see if you can find any validity in these two situations:
Men-- if they are insecure and bound in fear, they tend to be very controlling. A man is more inclined to respect, and accept another man who is advising him, and these same men argue that women should not have "authority" over them. Such a man would likely reject any advice from a woman (in many situations, not just spiritual). He also would not be able to define in detail what he means by "spiritual authority."
Another fear is competition for jobs as ministers. If women were accepted into pastoral positions, would they take away jobs away from men?
Women-- A woman may be afraid to have a female pastor if she looks to a pastor as her protector and authority.
A man in the pulpit to such a woman is much like a father figure. It may comfort her to have a father figure to guide her.
For men and women-- if deep down they are insecure, or don't understand their identity in Christ--will have the greatest difficulty. They often are the ones who are most vocally critical, angry, and condescending about an issue.
When a person is assured of their identity and are loved perfectly -- all fear is removed. The need to control is no longer a driving force. The need for security is found in the presence of God--not our pastor. Guidance and advice can then be received from any wise counselor --both men and women.
Until we become perfected in God's love and truly understand our identity in him- we continue to base our lives on our human identity first-- in this case our gender. Are we replacing "God our Father" (our true authority) with the pastor as our "father figure"?
Are you considering a degree in theology?
My hope is that some will consider the possibility of taking a broader view of God allowing women to be pastors, teachers, and ministers without restriction. There are many fine schools that allow women to become a minister (some are even online making it easier to get a degree in theology if you work full-time).
Should women go to college and become a minister?
What are your thoughts?
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