Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Ministry (DMin)



First Advisor

Carole Spencer, PhD

Second Advisor

Valerie Crumpton, DMin

Third Advisor

MaryKate Morse, PhD


The purpose of this study is to explore the father-daughter relationships of Black Christian women, specifically, the impact emotionally and physically absent fathers have on Black Christian women’s identity and perception of God. The misfortunes of slavery, poverty, the drug epidemic, and mass incarceration fractured the African American community, dismantling the Black family, creating the absent Black father. The Fatherless Woman Syndrome identifies five distinct, yet overlapping symptoms that have psychological and social implications affecting fatherless Black women. The level of pain caused by father wounds may distort wounded daughters’ perception of God as being unreliable, inaccessible or non-existent, distant or uninvolved, authoritative, or as a harsh or mean father. An in-depth analysis of the various fatherly attributes God displayed within the context of the Old and New Testaments provide an accurate perception of the image of God the father. A review of four father-daughter narratives explores the emotional impact of the father’s presence on his daughter.

The methodology used in this study to collect research was personal interviews and online surveys. The participants of the study answered questions that explored the general expectations of a father, relationship between father and self-esteem, perception of God, relationship with God and self-esteem, and theological beliefs. The theological perspectives represented in the research are traditional Christian, Feminist, and Womanist. The method to assist Black Christian women in rewriting their identity narrative and reconciling an authentic perception of God distorted by father wounds is a four-part process of healing father wounds through discovering the root of the father wound, renouncing the former mindset, embracing God’s fatherly love, and living with a healed heart. The study resolved that reconciling father wounds can rewrite the distorted identity narrative and perception of God within Black Christian Women.

Included in

Christianity Commons