The call experiences of Baptist women in ministry

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Sarah Elizabeth Boberg (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site:
Kathleen Casey

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to explore ‘call’ experiences of Baptist women in ministry. The three research questions that guided the research where: (1) How do Baptist women experience a call to ministry? (2) How do Baptist women respond to a call to ministry? and (3) How can Baptist churches and individuals better nurture and encourage women ministers in accepting and responding to their call? The research examined the biblical and historical understandings of call and the history of women in the Baptist tradition, specifically the Southern Baptist tradition. The research was conducted through the lens of a Christian, Baptist, Feminist theology framework, and through narrative research methods. There were five Baptist women participants who underwent a series of three interviews. Analysis of the interviews showed participants experienced the call to ministry within the Christian faith and community through service, feelings, and affirmation. Participants responded to the call to ministry with doubt, by consulting family members and ministerial role models, and by pursing theological education. The analysis revealed ways Baptist churches and individuals can nurture and encourage women called to ministry including, creating safe and welcoming communities of faith, encouraging women to serve and lead in all areas of ministry, making women ministers and leaders visible, recognizing women doing ministry and offering affirmation, and sharing stories of women and call experiences. The research showed that despite the conflict and oppression of the Southern Baptist tradition in relation to women’s roles, Baptist women have experienced a call to professional ministry and have responded to that call. Research also revealed though call is a personal experience, Baptist individuals and churches can be an integral part of nurturing the call experience.

Additional Information

Language: English
Date: 2017
Baptist, Call, Women
Baptist women
Women clergy
Women in church work
Vocation $x Baptists
Christian leadership

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