Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Deborah Loyd, DMin

Second Advisor

Mary McCracken, DMin

Third Advisor

MaryKate Morse, PhD


The Palestinian evangelical church needs to proactively address the way in which most male church leaders ignore anointed women leaders who are active in the ministry of the Kingdom. Women have been actively involved in various roles in the church, but their role as leaders has not always been acknowledged officially. In this thesis, I discuss the limitations of women in leadership roles and positions of responsibility, and address the inequality in the manner in which women are treated as well as the opportunities they are offered to advance in leadership in the Arab Palestinian evangelical church. Although the church exists in an Islamic culture, restrictions on women cannot be blamed on culture alone, for the issue is also biblical. This thesis delves deeper into a study of the interpretation of certain sensitive scriptures that reinforces these values in the Palestinian church. Theology and hermeneutics are the most significant factors that determine male leaders’ interpretation of these verses and thus, this reexamination would enhance women’s participation in leadership positions. Consequently, rather than Islamic cultural beliefs influencing the church, this change would allow the church to influence society. Instituting and implementing policies regarding the consecration of women and providing theological training in the Palestinian church, seminaries and Bible colleges that would empower women to lead, preach, and teach is our goal. Chapter one explores the hierarchy, humiliation and restrictions that have been imposed on women in Palestinian society in general, and in the evangelical church in particular. Since some change has taken place in society, the issue of women in church and ministry has also been raised significantly. This chapter unfolds major issues and includes an exposition of the myths taught by the fathers of traditionalism, a description vii of the leadership role of women in church history, and a discussion of women’s adopted inferiority. Chapter two includes an examination of the major relevant scriptures to see what they say and what they do not say about women in leadership, taking into consideration the lack of an agreed upon method of biblical interpretation. A cohesive survey of the Bible concerning the issue in question is presented in this chapter as well as theological and moral teachings of our Christian faith. Chapter three aims to present and examine available literature to encourage and empower Palestinian Christian women to take leadership roles in the Palestinian evangelical church and to research some models with support from theological literature. Chapter four investigates evidence related to the issue of gender and leadership and discusses the gender gap in leadership with prominent explanations both biblical and psychological. An approach is suggested to promote women in church leadership and to utilize the uniqueness of the assumed differences in a community of mixed gender leaders through the Holy Spirit and in love. Chapter five presents the results of a survey to assess information pertinent to the current position of women leaders in the Palestinian church. The survey tool employed was a questionnaire that was distributed to local pastors. In this chapter, the research methodology, means of data collection, and subsequent analysis of this research is described. Chapter six suggests practical ways to achieve the desired change by presenting the more inclusive egalitarian model of leadership. Discussion leading to consensus between the egalitarian and complementarian views on the issue as well as other practical viii steps to implement change are included. One major requirement would be the building of a healthy community of both men and women. Women need men to stand with them and partner with them in ministry. Male advocates should take the initiative in their local churches, deliberately making women visible by affirming their gifts.

Included in

Christianity Commons