Women bishops?

Okay...I know...with that film clip, you could argue I am being a little dramatic - what me? Never!

The point I want to make is captured by the Church Times this week, "This year, 72 per cent of those in ministerial training in theological colleges are male; 28 per cent are female" (Church Times 3/12/10). 

So what's going on? 

God only calls 3 women for every 7 men into recognised ministries in his church? 

Or is it that men are more inclined to get the theological education they need to better serve the church? 

Is it that our culture still associates leadership with men? 

Is the Bible being taught so that women are more inclined to take up roles in other, unrecognised (yes and before you write in, I know this 'recognised/unrecognised' thing is a very worldly way of talking) ministries? 

Are our theological colleges better geared to men? 8am morning prayer is always an interesting wrestle - does God require each morning be set aside for liturgical response to him rather than a walk with the children to school?

Yesterday, we were visited by a vicar in charge of a rural benefice, he remarked on how fortunate he was to have Sally, his excellent curate because if she had happened to be a man, she would have found a post in a much larger urban church, but these churches are not 'employing' women and so he bags a very gifted curate. 

I have just served my placement in the biggest Anglican urban church in my diocese under a highly gifted female minister. I am very grateful to have had this opportunity to see the fruitful managing of a large church by a woman.

* * * *

Perhaps we have to begin further back, taking a look at our theological colleges which tend to employ many more ordained male lecturers than female and who arrange their days so that children are unable to be taken to school by the person in training. We still live in a climate where this presents more of a problem for female ordinands than it does male. We might have to seek for change for the sake of those who come after us so that those figures about theological college can begin to change and this church of ours can facilitate as well the journeys of its women into leadership as it does its men. If 'we have to stay true to our convictions no matter how high the price,' then perhaps we need to begin to ask questions of our training institutions too?


Ms. Jack said...

God only calls 3 women for every 7 men into recognised ministries in his church?

Is it that our culture still associates leadership with men?

Is there any reason why, at this present time, it can't be both?

I mean, the thing about God is that he tends to meet us where we are and accommodate fallen cultures while simultaneously challenging them. I think this is evident from studying what the Bible says about divorce, polygamy, slavery, and even patriarchy.

Clearly we still live in a culture that isn't ready for a 50/50 split in ministerial leadership. But it is moving in that direction, and I think the number of female ministers will increase accordingly as it does.

Tim Goodbody said...

ooh wasn't that Faramir?

Rach Marszalek said...

Could be Tim, not sure...


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