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Beliefs & Feminism: Black Churches Smashing the Stained Glass Ceiling!

Sarah Butler

11th October 2022

Although in the past it has been suggested that black churches hold true to traditional, stereotypical gender roles, there has been significant change in recent years providing us with a plethora of reading material on the feminist view of women’s positions in the church.

We can use this research to develop our discussion and evaluation of women’s position in the church.

In a recent report published in Christianity Today, the majority of pastors in the USA support women in a variety of leadership roles. However these patterns do vary by denomination whereby Baptists (29%) are the least likely to say a woman can be a deacon at their churches. A stark contrast to Methodists, where 88% agree, and Pentecostal with an equally strong 83%.

In an article by Theology Author and Professor of Psychology, Alexis Abernety, she explains this riding position of women as recognised and visible leaders in black churches with the following:

“We have been challenged to examine more carefully the Scriptures to clarify God’s intent regarding male and female roles and distinguish the influence of tradition from Scripture. Women’s leadership has also been helpful in deepening our appreciation of the feminine nature of God.”

This notion of finding the feminine in God would be supported by sociologists such as Carol Christ and Mary Daly. You can read the full article by Alexis Abernethy here:

Sarah Butler

Sarah is an experienced Head of Social Sciences, EPQ Coordinator and Sociology examiner.

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