Rev. Dr. Paula Sanders
“Male Pastors Preaching from Biblical Women’s Narratives:
Increasing Congregational Exposure to Voices Long Silenced”
Doctor of Ministry conferred May 9, 2015
McCormick Theological Seminary
ABSTRACT The voices, experience, and wisdom of women in the Bible have been long silenced in myriad ways, including in the preached Word. Believing that God is calling for transformation in the priority of women’s stories in Her church today, this project seeks to explore opportunities for male preachers to better utilize narratives of biblical women in preaching and teaching. This thesis utilizes the educational methodology for change of South American philosopher Paulo Friere as described in Pedagogy of the Oppressed. The work of liberation theologian James H. Cone, feminist theologian Rosemary Radford Ruether, and womanist theologian Katie Geneva Cannon help to lay a foundation for the dismantling of patriarchy in the Church. By doing so, it is hoped that a group of male preachers will move from a state of indifference regarding the relative worth of women’s leadership, through a metanoia, a turning of mind and heart that will lead them to belief in the importance of biblical women’s experience. Members of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area (MN) participate in conscientization learning sessions, and then practice preaching a sermon from a women’s scripture in their home congregations. Impact of participation in this project is evaluated by both empirical and narrative means. Factors evaluated include both changes in preacher’s attitude regarding intentionality of including more scriptures about women in preaching schedules and the impact of increased congregational exposure to biblical women’s narratives.