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Truth Be Told: Empirical Research Regarding Complementarian Institutional Vitality

November 16, 2022
By Linda Reed
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Editor’s note: The following essay appears in the Fall 2022 issue of Eikon.

Introduction

Untangling truth from error was first required in the Garden of Eden, where Satan posed to Eve, “Did God actually say?” (Gen 3: 1). The Psalmist noted living during a time when “there is nothing true in what they say. . .” (Ps 5:9). In our postmodern era, verifying truth is both essential and difficult.  As Nel Noddings has observed “Most postmodern thinkers have abandoned the Enlightenment quest for absolute truth” accepting instead “local truth”  often interpreted as “my truth” and “your truth.”[1]

Trust is derived from truth. The etymology of the English word “trust” is derived from the word “truth.” In our postmodern era, verifying truth is essential. The Scriptures assert: “truth is in Jesus” (Eph 4:21). Jesus said to those “who had believed Him, if you abide in my word . . . you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (Jn 8:31–32).

Scholarly literature pertaining to scriptural teaching on the roles of women has provided a varying story line.[2] Having traced the scholarly literature from seven decades, what began as a whisper in the 1950’s has become a roar in the 2020’s.[3] After CBMW published the Danver’s Statement in Christianity Today in 1989, the organization received over 1,000 positive responses. As Wayne Grudem recalled, “People would write us saying: I wept when I saw your ad. I didn’t know that people held this anymore.”[4] It had become normal to assume no authority distinctions, rather, only servant leadership in the church.[5]

The new “truths” have been assumed to such an extent that institutional leaders have been told:  If you hold to a complementarian position, your organization will die.[6] Among Christian higher educational institutions in particular, an egalitarian point of view has been assumed to be necessary to sustain student enrollment. Christian higher education leaders face significant pressure to adjust to what is assumed to be “truth” in our times.

Recent educational research has revealed empirical data that counters the faltering enrollment storyline. Where once clarifying an identity statement towards a complementarian point of view was considered branding that institution towards institutional decline, empirical data from current higher education enrollment statistics has revealed this is simply not true. Utilizing the results of recent research of qualitative enrollment data from ATS member institutions across North America, this article argues that complementarian higher educational institutions are not dying off, but rather are numerically flourishing. When an empirical, data-driven study reviewed twelve complementarian institutions, the research revealed these institutions’ enrollments, by and large, have increased over the past decade, and are currently the largest seminaries in North America.

Using additional data provided by Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) and Gordon Conwell Seminary, a study of denominational alignment revealed significant findings regarding complementarian denominational alignment.[7]

Most complementarians assume we are far outnumbered.  But the data reveal overall complementarian institutional health, and calls for a shift in perspective. Contrary to commonly publicized opinions, the data reveal many men and women “vote with their feet” and enroll in complementarian seminaries and remain in complementarian denominations.

Craig Keener has stated the complementarian view is the minority.[8] But recent research indicates God is being glorified in complementarian institutions that equip men and women to know Christ and make Him known. Many women, including notable authors, scholars, and students, hold a complementarian view as scriptural, complementary, and beautiful.

Research Design Overview

The original design for this research was quantitative content analysis from institutional websites and catalogs, followed by qualitative interviews with twelve female directors of women’s programs at complementarian higher educational institutions.[9] The content collected was tabulated using nominal data which followed the guidance of Leedy and Ormrod,[10] and used charts to quantify enrollment data and qualify complementarian doctrinal statements. This article focuses on the quantitative content analysis data from this year-long study.

The research process began with Grudem’s delimitations, then extended to research on all 286 ATS member institutions. The research study then included a “satellite overview” of denominational alignment from data provided by the Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) and Gordon Conwell Seminary. These organizations provided charted statements of denominational identification as complementarian or egalitarian. The researcher has verified complementarian higher educational institutions by extracting and charting website doctrinal statements. From this research, the composite research documented numerous complementarian denominations, with fewer complementarian higher educational institutions. However, among these institutions, there were significant enrollments.

Research Delimitations

The research conducted was guided initially by Wayne Grudem’s list of “Two-Point Complementarian groups”:

Other Two-Point Complementarian groups include several denominations or organizations that historically have been strongly truth-based and doctrinally diligent. Included in this group are the Evangelical Free Church of America, Christian and Missionary Alliance, and the more recently formed Sovereign Grace Ministries (formerly PDI). Several seminaries also fall in this category, such as Westminster Seminary (Philadelphia and California), Reformed Seminary (Jackson, Orlando and Charlotte), and Covenant Seminary in St. Louis, as well as Dallas Theological Seminary, the Master’s Seminary, and now most or all of the Southern Baptist seminaries such as the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky and Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Many Bible colleges also fall in this category, such as the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, and Northwestern College in St. Paul, Minnesota, as well as some Reformed colleges, such as Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, Tennessee. Thousands of independent churches and Bible churches across the United States also fall into this category.[11]

The summary of the content analysis is clarified in the charts that follow. First, a review of the above delimited seminaries during the years 2009–2021.

Seminary Growth and Decline among Institutions

If truth is in empirical data, conservative evangelical institutions of Christian higher education are bolstered by upholding biblical values.[12] In her research on America’s largest seminaries, Chelsen Vicari found that students are most attracted to thriving “evangelical Protestant seminaries, a trend that hasn’t changed much over the past twenty years.”[13] While Keener particularly views complementarian scholars as “the minority view,”[14] the “grassroots movement of churches has called for a return to theological orthodoxy.”[15] The tensions between the churches, and the seminaries which educate the leaders of those churches, has in several cases resulted in academic realignment.[16]

Strong evangelical seminaries are growing. Building on Andy Rowell’s 2009 research on “The Largest seminaries in North America” and Chelsen Vicari’s study of “America’s Largest Seminaries,”[17] research was conducted using ATS enrollment data from 2016 through 2021.[18] The data revealed all-time highs in enrollment at complementarian seminaries such as The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, Southwestern, and Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. ATS enrollment data at the present time reveals all six Southern Baptist Seminaries are numerically thriving.[19] While some observers, such as David Dockery, attribute this growth to being “more denominational specific,”[20] Canadian scholars and others are regularly crossing both borders and denominational distinctives to enroll in these institutions.[21]

Every one of the twelve complementarian seminaries listed by Wayne Grudem is found in the top twenty-five seminaries worldwide. The Full Time Enrollment (FTE) results among these ATS member institutions support Chelsen Vicari’s research that there has been a momentous shift to students choosing to attend an institution with a conservative,  and even a complementarian alignment (see Table 2).

The evidence reveals complementarian doctrinal statements are not hindering seminary growth.  Those with documented complementarian statements are noted in Table 1 with an asterisk.[22] Concordia Seminary and the Seventh Day Adventist seminary also document complementarian statements on their institutional websites, and are also within the top twenty-five enrollments.

Numbers alone cannot tell the whole story of an institution’s health or decline. But they do provide an empirical starting point for this analysis. See Table 1 below.

Table 1. Trends in Enrollment from 2009–2021 for ATS Seminaries by FTE enrollment[23] Institutional Data Conclusions

People, though often quiet, still “vote with their feet” and express their opinions by leaving institutions they can no longer support and becoming involved or enrolled in organizations that hold their point of view. Table 1 could provide greater comradery between complementarian institutions. Denominational leaders may reconsider where realignment is needed between institutions and the churches which support them. Further, these seminaries represent future leadership and direction of churches and denominations.

The unexpected data results from this research reveal complementarian doctrinal statements have not created institutional decline, but rather may have enhanced enrollment.[25] Between 2009 and 2021, several institutions have contracted, as may be noted above. Among these institutions are Fuller, Gordon Conwell, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, and Bethel Seminary. Christianity Today recently documented these declines, citing reasons such as “financial challenges” or the need to “sell the main campus and move.”[26] Considering the significant graduates of these institutions, these are unprecedented times.

Leon McBeth, a former professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, predicted in 1979 that “practical concerns will outweigh more theoretical arguments in shaping the ultimate decisions of Southern Baptist about the roles of women.”[27] While some seminaries may choose McBeth’s “practical outweighs theological” approach to the issue of women in ministry,[28] the current state of many seminaries indicates that women are aware of these doctrinal statements and are still significantly enrolling in complementarian institutions.[29] Albert Mohler affirms what is supported by this research:

All of the seminary campuses have been significantly affected by a change in the approach towards preparing women for ministry. . . . We have as many women studying and as much as a percentage of women studying on our campuses as ever before. But they’re coming knowing where we stand, appreciating where we stand, sharing our belief in the Scripture, understanding the importance of those beliefs and ready to go out and do what God has called them to do as directed by Scripture. And that is a beautiful thing.[30]

These complementarian institutions are also welcoming and sustaining significant female enrollment. The follow up interviews at each of the twelve institutions revealed complementarian viewpoints among female institutional leaders vary in practice,[31] but they also revealed women being honored and valued. Several complementarian higher educational institutions have developed programs or courses for women.

Denominational Determination as  Egalitarian or Complementarian

The empirical research on denominations supports the truth of Wayne Grudem’s statement that many denominations are “strongly truth based and doctrinally diligent”[32] and represent “thousands of independent churches and Bible churches across the United States . . .”[33] The Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) published an article, “U.S. Denominations and Their Stances on Women in Leadership,” that extracts direct quotes of egalitarian or complementarian statements from each denomination’s website.[34] Gordon Conwell Seminary has also provided a “Denominational Chart” that highlights denominations by theological distinctives, gender, baptism, and other distinctives.[35] Using the gender role affiliations determined by CBE and Gordon Conwell at the time of their research, the complementarian-egalitarian denominational alignments are compiled in Table 2 below:

Neither of these organizations included the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC), Harvest Bible Fellowship, Great Commission Collective (GCC Canada), Fellowship of Evangelical Baptists (FEB), the Associated Gospel Churches of Canada, or the General Association of Regular Baptists (GARB), all of which are confessionally complementarian.[36] While denominational leaders may currently be wondering whether to yield to the changing tide, the evidence reveals a significant number of denominations hold to a complementarian point of view. Although one may assume (or be told) that complementarian denominations and individual churches are limited, the data reveals this is simply not the case.

Church Growth Studies

Since believers have been told the complementarian position represents “the minority view” among Christian scholars,[37] one may then wonder: “Is this the minority view among churches?”  Robert Yarborough of Covenant Seminary notes, “Of the 30% of the world church, which is largely Protestant, only a small minority ordain women and encourage wives and husbands to abandon the biblical notion of male headship in marriage.”[38] Yarborough goes on to state, “Solid numbers are hard to come by, but it appears that well over 90% of the church worldwide affirms the historic position of man and woman in church and marriage that the complementarian position reflects.”[39]

Five research studies indicate conservative biblical teaching, with male pastoral leadership, leads to church health. Barna Research notes that 58 percent of female pastors are found in “mainline” churches,[40] and that females pastor smaller churches.[41] The Hartford Institute notes the Unitarian Universalist (30 percent) and United Methodist (25 percent) denominations have the highest percentages of female pastors.[42] John Lompens cites Len Wilson’s research of the United Methodist denominations that shows women are not leading large, thriving churches.[43] Further study reveals — sometimes to the consternation of the researchers — that thriving churches are often led by male graduates trained at evangelical seminaries.[44]

As David Haskell reports in The Hamilton Spectator, a Canadian newspaper, “After statistically analyzing the survey responses of over 2,200 congregants and the clergy who serve them . . . [we found] a startling discovery: conservative Protestant theology is a significant predictor of church growth, while liberal theology leads to decline.”[45] Research by Haskell, Flatt, and Burgoyne compared declining churches and disagree with the notion that “theology and church growth are not linked,”[46] proving instead that they are inextricably linked. Further, Andrew Davis encourages churches to revitalize through establishing male pastoral leaders.[47] Mary Anderson, a senior pastor in a Lutheran church, notes:

Forty years ago women began to move slowly into the pulpits of Lutheran churches in America just as members were starting to move out of the pews. I don’t know that this phenomenon is strictly a coincidence. No doubt our feminist freedoms and our resistance to traditional institutions of all kinds has some unintentional collisions along the ways. Through these decades both trends have increased so that in 2010, more ordained women, along with many of their male colleagues, are serving congregations that are surviving rather than thriving.”[48]

Qualitative Research

The quantitative data indicates many complementarian organizations are experiencing vitality, both statistically and financially. But truth be told, there is also a need to consider the qualitative data. During the summer of 2022, some complementarian institutions have faced upheaval and scandal as it pertains to the treatment of women. Where there is unjust treatment and unfair practices, women are speaking the truth.

In the face of such challenges, do we abandon God’s truth for men and women? Some young egalitarians find it unthinkable to include Ephesians 5 in their teaching. This research does not support “dealing treacherously” (Mal 3:10–17) with women, but rather that “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness” (2 Tim 3:16). The truths of scripture, including the care Jesus showed to women, must be modeled within our homes and institutions.

Many complementarian institutions have strong statements about female dignity on their websites, such as this one from The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary:: “the marriage relationship models the way God relates to His people.”[49] Thoughtful and integral interactions between men and women, as explained in Ephesians 5, bear witness to God’s truth. “A husband is to love his wife as Christ loved the church . . . . She, being in the image of God as is her husband and thus equal to him, has the God-given responsibility to respect her husband . . .”[50] Institutions that flourish both quantitatively and qualitatively consider both biblical order and biblical value, as presented in Figure 1:

 

Many women have and are negatively reacting to what is conveyed by quadrant 1: a high emphasis on ordered relationships and a low emphasis on valuing women. Women long to be loved; this emphasis has negative implications within marriage or institutional contexts. In quadrant 4, there is a high emphasis on scriptures pertaining to equality and a low emphasis on scriptures that define biblically ordered relationships (cf. 2 Cor 11). In this scenario, scriptures such as Ephesians 5 are never or rarely taught.

Sadly, most women experience quadrant 3. They are not regarded as equals nor would they know any rightly ordered biblical authority that also loves, cares, and provides. This quadrant reminds us of the book of Judges.

Quadrant 2 rightly emphasizes both a high regard for biblically ordered relationships, and valuing women as co-heirs of God’s grace. In this quadrant, believers hold all scripture in tandem as God’s authoritative word. With this perspective, marital relationships between husbands and wives, church pastors and congregants, and institutional leaders and female faculty and staff, uphold both a high value regarding biblically ordered relationships (1 Cor 11) and a high personal value towards men and women (Gen 1–2, Gal 3:26–28, 1 Pet 3).

Some biblical scholars tend to focus on the North-South axis of biblical authority and order. Others, by contrast, focus on the East-West axis, likely preferring to turn the entire diagram so that true north represents equality while downplaying scriptural teaching on authority in the home or institution.

Women are knocking on the office doors of our institutions and asking complementarians difficult questions or expressing personal pain. In these moments, truth and grace, biblical order and biblical value together display the entirety of the word of God.

Conclusion                                       

Truth is worth pursuing. It is possible, even as we stand in a new era which challenges biblical truth to “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful” (Heb 10:23, NASB). The results of this study indicate many are choosing, even during our current societal, denominational, and institutional changes, to retain strong biblical principles.

We can hope these results would embolden church growth, strengthen denominational affiliations, and support complementarian Christian higher education that exalts, establishes, and beautifies scriptural truth even in our changing times. The truth told quantitatively will embolden church growth, strengthen denominational affiliations, and support complementarian Christian higher education. The truth told qualitatively will exalt Christ, establish His church, and beautify our marriages and ministries. This is a truth we can trust.

Dr. Linda Reed (Ed.D., SBTS) is an adjunct professor at Heritage College and Seminary in Cambridge, Ontario, where she also serves as Director of the Heritage Centre for Women in Ministry.


[1] Nel Noddings, Philosophy of Education, (Boulder, CO: Westview Press, Boulder, CO:  2012), 77-78.

[2] For a full review of the literature on this subject, see chapter 2 in Linda Reed, “Theological and Practical Ministry Training for Women in Complementarian Higher Education:  A Mixed Methods Study, (Ed.D thesis, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2017), thesis accessed June 16, 2022 at https://repository.sbts.edu/handle/10392/5470.

[3] Ibid., chapter 2.

[4] Wayne Grudem, “Personal Reflections on the History of CBMW and the State of the Gender Debate,” Journal of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood 14, no. 1 (2009): 14.

[5] Margaret Kostenberger, Jesus and the Feminists: Who Do They Say That He Is? (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2008), 160.

[6] Summary of words spoken to leaders of Heritage College and Seminary prior to institutional realignment, 2011.

[7] See data in Dr. Linda Reed thesis study completed in 2017.

[8] Among scholars, complementarianism is regarded as the “minority view” as noted by Craig Keener, Paul, Women and Wives (Peabody, MA:  Hendrickson, 1992), 101.

[9] Creswell and Plano-Clark, Designing and Conducting Mixed Methods Research, 81-86; and Leedy and Ormrod, Practical Research, 95.

[10] For review of content analysis, methodology, analysis and reporting, see Leedy and Ormrod, Practical Research: Planning and Design (Upper Saddle River, NJ:  Pearson, 2013), 148-49.

[11] Wayne Grudem, Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism: Biblical Responses to the Key Questions (Colorado Springs: Multnomah, 2006), 286–87. Two-point complementarians hold that men and women are equal in value but with different roles (1) in the home and (2) in the church.

[12] Chelsen Vicari, “What Are America’s Largest Seminaries?” The Aquila Report, August 4, 2016, accessed February 17, 2017, http://theaquilareport.com/what-are-americas-largest-seminaries/. Vicari notes, “Among the smallest accredited Protestant seminaries in the nation are three [unstated] seminaries which offered . . . a menu of recycled 1960s-era liberation theology themes garnished with radical sexuality and gender studies [which] proved unappealing to prospective seminarians. . . . Two Cooperative Baptist Fellowship-associated seminaries that reveal another interesting contrast among evangelical institutions. Unlike the chart-topping conservative SBC-affiliated seminaries, the more liberal CBF-affiliated Baptist Theological Seminary of Richmond counted 42 full-time students and Baptist Seminary of Kentucky had only 31 full-time students in 2015-16.  In 2006 Dr. Russell Moore, then senior vice president and dean at Southern, predicted CBF would fail because of ‘the disaster of CBF’s seminaries and divinity schools,’ according to a Baptist Press News report. ‘Unlike SBC seminaries, which are held accountable by the congregations of the Southern Baptist Convention, the CBF seminaries and divinity schools are accountable only to a donor base of nostalgic Baptist liberals.’  However, the consistency in seminary choices over the past twenty years corroborates most full-time students called to ministry prefer orthodox Christianity to liberal trend followers.”

[13] Ibid.

[14] Keener, Paul, Women and Wives, 101.

[15] Jason Duesing and Thomas White, “Neanderthals Chasing Bigfoot? The State of the Gender Debate in the Southern Baptist Convention,” JBMW 12, no. 2 (2007): 10.

[16] Duesing and White, “Neanderthals Chasing Bigfoot?,” 5-19. This was also the case at my own institution, Heritage College and Seminary, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada.

[17] Vicari, “What Are America’s Largest Seminaries?”

[18] The Association of Theological Schools, “Member Schools,” accessed February 13, 2017, http://www.ats.edu/member-schools/member-school-list.

[19] The Association of Theological Seminaries, “Member Schools.” Vicari, “What are America’s Largest Seminaries?,” observes, “While all of the ten largest seminaries in the country are evangelical Protestant, it’s interesting that half of those schools are Southern Baptist-affiliated. Five of the six theological seminaries associated with the Southern Baptist Convention (SBC) are among the top ten largest in the country . . . Princeton Theological Seminary has seen 30 percent fewer full-time enrolled students.”

[20] Daniel Silliman, “Facing Financial Challenges, TEDS Cuts Faculty Positions,” Christianity Today, April 12, 2022.  Accessed August 10, 2022, https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/april/teds-financial-trouble-crisis-perrin-faculty-cuts.html.

[21]As an American serving with my husband in Canada, we are invited to speak at the Canada Club at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. We are aware of numerous individuals taking their M.Div. and doctoral training at conservative evangelical institutions, mainly SBC schools, in the U.S.  Sadly, we often also lose future Canadian leaders.

[22] For full review of each institution’s doctrinal statement, see chapter 4 in Linda Reed, “Theological and Practical Ministry Training for Women in Complementarian Higher Education,” Ed.D thesis, (Southern Seminary, 2017). See access footnote 4.

[23] Data for 2009 from Andy Rowell, “The Largest seminaries in North America,” accessed September 12, 2017, http://www.andyrowell.net/andy_rowell/2010/09/the-22-largest-seminaries-in-north-america.html. Data for 2012 from Andy Rowell, “The Largest Seminaries:  Fall 2012 enrollment data for Association of Theological Schools, May 13, 2013, accessed September 12, 2017, http:www.andyrowell.net/andy_rowell/2013/05/the-largest-seminaries-fall-2012-enrollment-data-for-association-for-theological-schools.html.  Data for 2015 from Chelsen Vicari, “What Are America’s Largest Seminaries?” The Aquila Report, August 4, 2016, accessed February 17, 2017, http://theaquilareport.com/what-are-americas-largest-seminaries/. Data for 2016, 2017, 2019, 2020, and 2021  compiled by author from ATS Institutional Data Tables (following the same schools as Rowell and Vicari), at ATS Institutional Data Tables, accessed September 12, 2017, https://www.ats.edu/uploads/resources/institutional-data/annual-data-tables/2015-2016-annual-data-tables.pdf.  Master’s Seminary is not accredited by ATS, and information was taken from the web. Chart institutional order by most recent (2021) ATS Data Tables. Where data was not available, NA is posted.

[24]ATS data incorrect, corrected as per phone call by Dr. Rick Reed to Dallas Registrar, June 3, 2022.

[25] This has certainly been the case at Heritage Seminary where we serve in Cambridge, Ontario.

[26] Daniel Silliman, “Gordon Conwell to sell Main Campus, Move to Boston,” Christianity Today, May 17, 2020.  Accessed August 10, 2022, https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/may/gordon-conwell-sell-campus-financial-enrollment-struggle.html.  See also, Daniel Silliman, “Facing Financial Challenges, TEDS Cuts Faculty Positions,” Christianity Today, April 12, 2022.  Accessed August 10, 2022, https://www.christianitytoday.com/news/2022/april/teds-financial-trouble-crisis-perrin-faculty-cuts.html.

[27] Leon McBeth, Women in Baptist Life (Nashville: Broadman, 1979), 186, cited in Duesing and White, “Neanderthals Chasing Bigfoot?,” 7.

[28] Duesing and White, “Neanderthals Chasing Bigfoot?,” 16.

[29] Ibid., 12.

[30] R. Albert Mohler, Jr., cited by Joni B. Hannigan, “SBC Seminary President Optimistic for ‘Golden Age’ in Theological Education,” Baptist Press, January 7, 2003, accessed May 13, 2017, http://bpnews.net/bpnews.asp?ID=14985. Mohler cited in Duesing and White, “Neanderthals Chasing Bigfoot?,” 12. As a recent doctoral graduate from Southern, I can attest to this “beautiful thing.”

[31] The mixed methodology revealed insights not obtainable by content analysis alone.  Website searches and site visits were greatly beneficial to fully understanding the complementarian educational institutions delimited by Grudem. For full research report see, Linda Reed, “Theological and Practical Ministry Training for Women in Complementarian Higher Education,” Ed.D thesis, (Southern Seminary, 2017).

[32] Wayne Grudem, Countering the Claims of Evangelical Feminism, 286. Grudem highlights these denominations as the Evangelical Free Church, Christian and Missionary Alliance, and Sovereign Grace Ministries (formerly PDI).

[33] Ibid., 287.

[34] CBE Staff and Volunteers, “U.S. Denominations and Their Stances on Women in Leadership,” April 2007, 1-15, accessed February 13, 2017, http://www2.cbeinternational.org/new/E-Journal/2007/07
spring/denominations%20first%20installment–FINAL.pdf. CBE lists a statement from each denominational website next to each denomination. As noted by CBE, undeclared includes Evangelical Mennonite Mission Conference, Reformed Episcopal Church, Baptist General Conference, Baptist General Convention of Texas, Confessional Evangelical Lutheran Conference, Greater Grace World Outreach, Jesus Movement, New Frontiers, The Family International, Ministers Fellowship International, New Testament Christian Churches of America, Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Federation of Reformed Churches. Ibid., 7-9.

[35]Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary’s chart defines complementarian as “the view that women may not be ordained nor have leadership positions over men . . . [and egalitarian as] the view that women may be ordained and/or have leadership positions over men. . . . [However], “There are modifications and variations in each of these positions.”  Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary, “Denominational Chart,” 2015, 1, accessed February 13, 2017, http://www.gordonconwell.edu/resources/
documents/11R_DENOMINATIONALCHART.pdf.

[36] Neither group list in table 1 includes the Harvest or the Southern Baptist denomination. Pew Research Center identifies the Southern Baptist denomination as not ordaining women. David Masci, “The Divide Over Ordaining Women,” Pew Research Center, September 9, 2014, accessed July 17, 2017, http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2014/09/09/the-divide-over-ordaining-women/.

[37] Craig Keener, Paul, Women and Wives (Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1992), 101, states that complementarianism is regarded as the “minority view.”

[38] Robert Yarborough, “Hermeneutics: A Biblical Framework,” in “Understanding the Complementarian Position, 2012 Evangelical Free Churches of America Theology Conference notes,” 6, accessed July 17, 2017, https://go.efca.org/sites/default/files/resources/docs/2013/06/2012_fall_-complementarianism.pdf.

[39] Ibid.

[40] George Barna Research Group, “Number of Female Senior Pastors in Protestant Churches Doubles in Past Decade,” accessed May 6, 2017, https://www.barna.com/research/number-of-female-senior-pastors-in-protestant-churches-doubles-in-past-decade/.

[41] George Barna Research Group, “Number of Female Senior Pastors.”

[42] Hartford Institute for Religion and Research, “What Percentage of Pastors Are Female?” accessed April 30, 2017, http://hirr.hartsem.edu/research/quick_question3.html.

[43] John Lompens, “Evangelicals Continue Dominating Fastest Growing UMC Congregations,” March 20, 2016, accessed June 6, 2017, https://juicyecumenism.com/2016/03/30/evangelicals-continue-dominating-fastest-growing-umc-congregations/.

[44] Lompens notes that six of the denomination’s official United Methodist seminaries — Boston University School of Theology, Claremont School of Theology, Drew University Theological School, Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, Iliff School of Theology, and Methodist Theological School in Ohio — have not one graduate on this list of thriving churches. “Coincidentally, these also happen to be the most theologically liberal of our official UMC seminaries. Only ten of these 25 top church-growing United Methodist pastors are alumni of official UMC seminaries.” Ibid.

[45] David Millard Haskell, “Here’s Why Christianity Must Change or Die,” The Hamilton Spectator, December 4, 2016, 1. David Millard Haskell, Kevin Flatt, Stephanie Burgoyne, “Theology Matters: Comparing the Traits of Growing and Declining Mainline Protestant Church Attendees and Clergy,” Review of Religious Research, 58: no. 4 (2016): 515-41.

[46] Haskell, “Here’s Why Christianity Must Change or Die,” 1.

[47] Andrew W. Davis, “Develop and Establish Men as Leaders,” in Revitalize; Biblical Keys to Helping Your Church Come Live Again (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2017), 175-85.

[48] Mary Anderson, Dialog: A Journal of Theology 49 no. 4 (2010): 354, cited in  Robert Yarborough, “Hermeneutics: A Biblical Framework,” in “Understanding the Complementarian Position, 2012 Evangelical Free Churches of America Theology Conference notes,” accessed July 17, 2017, https://go.efca.org/sites/default/files/resources/docs/2013/06/2012_fall_-complementarianism.pdf., 6.

[49] See Appendix of doctrinal statements of the twelve delimited complementarian institutions found in Linda Reed, “Theological and Practical Ministry Training for Women in Complementarian Higher Education:  A Mixed Methods Study, (Ed.D thesis, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, 2017), 256.  Thesis accessed June 16, 2022 at https://repository.sbts.edu/handle/10392/5470.

[50] Ibid. Note:  This article is not intended to divide complementarians and egalitarians, but rather to provide insights that reveal truth (Mark 4:22).  Jesus’ final prayer in John 17 was “keep them from the evil one…sanctify them in the truth, Your Word is truth. . . that they may be one, [and] so that the world may believe that you sent Me.”

 

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