Women in Christian History

CH/TH 3XW3/5XW5/6XW6

From the book of Acts to the contemporary church, women have played a key role in the life of the church in places such as monasteries, missions, schools, pulpits, home, and hostels. And many have been formally identified as “saints.” This class is a survey and analysis of the roles and impact of such women from the earliest churches to the modern period of global Christianity.


  • to provide students with an understanding of how women have participated in, and contributed to, the life of the church over the centuries
  • to help students place the contemporary debate over gender roles in the church in the larger historical context


  • to explore – and ultimately appreciate – the diverse ways that women have served in the church
  • to create an awareness of the breadth and diversity of the Church, and provide a sense of “place” within the many church traditions


  • to develop in each student an ability to assess documents and situations from an historical perspective – and in particular, to be able to assess critically the various claims made about women in leadership throughout the church’s history