Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Daniel Lioy, PhD

Second Advisor

Karen Tremper, PhD


The official position of the Christian Reformed Church in North America (CRCNA) is that all congregations in the CRCNA may allow women to serve in the offices of minister, elder, deacon, or commissioned pastor. The problem is that 70 percent of the congregations remain convicted complementarians and do not call women into office. The debate over the biblical, historical, theological, philosophical, and ethical arguments for allowing women into leadership positions has so far failed to convince those 70 percent who are opposed to the idea.

In the Reformed tradition, the Word is principally taught with expository preaching. Doctrine is paramount. Women’s stories are not being heard in the CRCNA. This is tragic since all through history there is an enormous amount of evidence supporting women in leadership. The thesis of this paper is that as men and women discover the stories of women in the Bible and history, they will come to the realization that women should be included in all levels of ministry in the church.

This dissertation seeks to promote the status of women in the Christian Reformed Church of North America. Section One describes the background of the problem and gives definitions for the key concepts in the debate concerning women in leadership positions. Section Two outlines the history of the debate over whether or not women may be called to an office in the Christian Reformed Church. A synopsis of proposed solutions by the CRCNA and other denominations is explored. Key qualifications and arguments are outlined with an analysis and summary. Section Three offers as a hypothesis that the telling of women’s stories will help prove that God’s design for the church includes the equality of men and women. Sections Four and Five describe an artifact that will promote the solution: a website for showcasing the stories of women in the Bible and history. Section Six offers a summary of this author’s efforts, including the choice of artifact, personal lessons, and suggestions for further research.

Included in

Christianity Commons