Preparing women for Baptist Church leadership: Mentoring impact on beliefs and practices of female ministers

Deseree Newkirk, Fordham University

Abstract

Effective leadership is important in all organizations, and the Baptist church is no exception. Strong spiritual leaders can make a difference in the life of the institution and its members. Today, a growing number of African-American women are answering the call to the Baptist church ministry; but the preparation, training, and mentoring are often insufficient. This study involved interviews with 10 African-American women to learn about their backgrounds, education, support and roles as Baptist ministers in the church. ^ What are their roles as teachers, preachers, counselors, and leaders in the church? The ministry is often caught rather than taught. This study involved interviews with 10 African-American women ministers within the Baptist Church, informing us about how they were trained and prepared to assume their leadership roles. Feminist and "servant leadership" theory provided the theoretical underpinning of this study. ^ Research questions for study were: (1) How was being mentored or not being mentored affect African-American women ministers' perception of their effectiveness in ministry? (2) What relationship/role, if any, do mentors have in preparing African-American woman ministers to advance to a senior position of leadership and ministry within the Baptist Church. ^ The findings of this study were that few ministers were willing to serve as mentors, although mentoring is vital for the growth in the ministry. Instead, women ministers were found to be self-motivated and personally inspired. Results also included role analysis of women ministers as teachers, preachers, counselors, and as mentors themselves. Sadly, the study found that in some cases, women were not supporting other women in the Baptist church. Thus, being a woman in ministry is extremely challenging and this process is complicated even more when the minister is African-American woman.^

Subject Area

Religion, Clergy|Women's Studies

Recommended Citation

Deseree Newkirk, "Preparing women for Baptist Church leadership: Mentoring impact on beliefs and practices of female ministers" (January 1, 2012). ETD Collection for Fordham University. Paper AAI3495727.
http://fordham.bepress.com/dissertations/AAI3495727

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