Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

A history of the conversation on the ordination of women in the Lancaster Mennonite Conference
by Adams, Ronald W., D.Min., Lancaster Theological Seminary, 2009, 201; 3361038
Abstract (Summary)

This project focuses on the conversation on the ordination of women within Lancaster Mennonite Conference from 1970 to 2008. That conversation is described as it is revealed in the formal deliberations of the Lancaster Conference Bishop Board, from meeting minutes and other related documents. It also utilizes the minutes and documents created by those formal and informal groups advocating for the affirmation of women's gifts for ministry. The project seeks to provide a history of the conversation on the ordination of women within the Lancaster Mennonite Conference as it was recorded in the official documents produced by those bodies.

The project attempts to present the conversation on the ordination of women within the Lancaster Mennonite Conference against the backdrop of the history and practice of ordination more broadly, and specifically against that of the early Anabaptist movement and the North American Mennonite Church. That backdrop includes discussion of the history of women's leadership in the church, and of those historical moments during which the church understood itself as a charismatic community.

The project concludes with some critical analysis of the history of the conversation on women's ordination, and its various actors and processes. It calls for increased lay involvement in Lancaster Mennonite Conference decision-making and for an effort by the bishops to intentionally engage women in that decision-making.

Further study may include a gathering of the stories behind the documents in order to complete the narrative begun in this project. Attention should also be paid to the question of Conference identity as it relates to the movement toward increasing congregational autonomy.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Stalfa, Frank
School: Lancaster Theological Seminary
School Location: United States -- Pennsylvania
Source: DAI-A 70/05, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Clerical studies, Religious history, Womens studies
Keywords: Lancaster Conference, Lancaster Mennonite Conference, Mennonite, Ordination, Pennsylvania, Women
Publication Number: 3361038
ISBN: 978-1-109-19765-5
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