Women as Stewards of Social Change: The Narratives of American Baptist Women Who Held Senior Leadership Positions as Pastors, Deacons, and Teachers

by Anderson, Sherry, D.A., FRANKLIN PIERCE UNIVERSITY, 2014, 190 pages; 3680110


Throughout history women have attempted to reach senior leadership positions in churches of all denominations, but only within the past three centuries have women gained a presence in such positions. This thesis was undertaken to fill the gap of current research on the leadership roles of women within the ministry of traditionally conservative churches. Data were collected through surveys and follow-up interviews. Twelve women who held senior leadership positions in American Baptist churches participated in the case study. Their stories of religious transformation, social support, and discrimination are highlighted in this study. Their callings were both a personal and religious experience that could only be captured through interdisciplinary, qualitative research methods. Religious studies, women's studies, and critical theory were combined to create a feminist narrative of spiritual women who were both leaders within their faith and change agents of conservative, religious traditions. The analysis focuses on their roles in cultural and religious reforms. In addition, the author drew upon recent theories and empirical research on collaborative, transformational, and spiritual leadership and Maslow's earlier work on human motivation to better understand the leadership roles of women in the ministry.

AdviserMaggie Moore-West
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsReligious history; Educational leadership; Women's studies
Publication Number3680110

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