Women's Leadership in the Black Church: Barriers to and Empowerment of Clergywomen in the Church of God in Christ
Degree awarded: Ph.D. Sociology. American University
This exploratory research study investigates present-day issues with particular emphasis on ordination of women facing the Church of God in Christ (COGIC). Examination of both past and present leadership models in this denomination is also addressed. The research focuses on how the issue or ordination is affecting churchwomen's agency in relation to clergymen's full status positions in the church. Essential to this investigation are barriers impacting churchwomen who feel they have been "called" to ministry. Challenges become apparent to churchwomen when considering constitutional laws and biblical interpretations versus equality in church practice and governance. While the literature on women in ministry is advancing, limited research has addressed the COGIC with particular emphasis on women's leadership and the issue of ordination. I attempt to fill the gap in terms of research specific to leadership models more appropriate for church governance in style and functionality.