The Nazarene Church and Women in Pastoral Ministry

March is Women’s History Month and a great opportunity for us to learn more about why we believe that women are able to lead in pastoral ministry within the Church of the Nazarene, while other denominations interpret scripture differently. The Manuel for the Church of the Nazarene states:

“The Church of the Nazarene supports the right of women to use their God-given spiritual gifts within the church and affirms the historic right of women to be elected and appointed to places of leadership within the Church of the Nazarene, including the offices of both elder and deacon.”

“The purpose of Christ’s redemptive work is to set God’s creation free from the curse of the Fall. Those who are “in Christ” are new creations (2 Corinthians 5:17). In this redemptive community, no human being is to be regarded as inferior on the basis of social status, race, or gender (Galatians 3:26-28). Acknowledging the apparent paradox created by Paul’s instruction to Timothy (1 Timothy 2:11-12) and to the church in Corinth (1 Corinthians 14:33-34), we believe interpreting these passages as limiting the role of women in ministry presents serious conflicts with specific passages of scripture that commend female participation in spiritual leadership roles (Joel 2:28-29; Acts 2:17-18; 21:8-9; Romans 16:1, 3, 7; Philippians 4:2-3), and violates the spirit and practice of the Wesleyan-holiness tradition. Finally, it is incompatible with the character of God presented throughout Scripture, especially as revealed in the person of Jesus Christ.”

As you read these passages, please also know that you can always reach out to me with questions! We are a blessed congregation to have several women who are called to full-time ministry and are pursuing ordination. Please continue to keep Rebecca Hutchison and Karen Allore in your prayers as they interview for their district license this month!

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