Date of Award
Bachelor of Arts
An Ethical Exploration of Gender Inequality in Church Leadership provides a moral analysis of the current status of women leaders in the church. Drawing on socio- analytical, ethical-theological, and leadership studies perspectives, this thesis sheds light on the disparity between the theological principles of equality and the ecclesiastical practices of inequality that create an unhealthy moral environment in churches.
Gender inequality in church leadership exists today in both the congregations permitting the ordination of women as well as in those that do not. This widespread discrepancy between rules and practices concerning women leaders in the church points to the socially symbolic significance of policies regarding women that has outweighed the importance of theological principles.
In examining the ethical-theological principles concerning equality, a theocentric model emerges in which humans derive their positive value and purpose from their Creator, endowing them with a fundamental equality in the eyes of God. This equality rejects arguments for women's inferiority, the differentiation of their roles in society, or their exclusion from God-human or human-human relationships.
The evidence of an ethical failing calls for immediate action on behalf of equality throughout the church. Transforming the culture within the church in order to make the church more ethical and consistent, and incidentally more efficient, is the only manner in which such a broad-sweeping change can truly eradicate the current unhealthy moral environment. By acting for equality within the organization, the church demonstrates its conviction to pursue equality in the world, in order to fulfill its mission to redeem people everywhere and liberate them from oppression.
Rickert, Elizabeth, "An ethical exploration of gender inequality in church leadership" (2000). Honors Theses. 1285.