Part II of the History of Women in Church Leadership and Ordination.
In North America only 10% of pastors are women.
In some denominations the number is close to zero depending on a denominations particular interpretations of scripture.
On this podcast of Advent Next, we ask Dr. John Reeves from Andrews University Seminary, a professor of Church History, to explain the history of the ordination of women in order to gain insight into the present controversy of ordaining women to leadership in today's churches.
According to Dr. Reeves, the shift towards an exclusive male presence in pastoral positions actually began in the third century. This was a time when the church began adopting the values of the Roman society in which they lived. If we travel back to the first century however, “church” was a private affair, which largely occurred in the home rather than in the public sphere. Here, it was common for women to be reputable leaders in their community. However, in the second century when worship shifted from private to public spaces, the church faced criticism from secular authorities because of their female leadership.
Not only is there evidence of female leadership in scripture with the commendation of Phoebe, but even female apostles.