Repository logo

The (sub) ordination of women in the evangelical church in Zambia : a critical analysis of the ecclesiological and hermeneutical principles underlying the refusal of women's ordination.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



The purpose of the study is to investigate and analyse the theological, hermeneutical and, to a lesser extent, the cultural reasoning behind the prevention of women being ordained in the Evangelical Church in Zambia. The study also seeks to propose a theology that is more inclusive than the one which the church currently propagates. While the government is trying its best to eliminate all forms of discrimination against women, the churches, in particular the Evangelical Church in Zambia (ECZ), are still subordinating women, using some biblical texts to defend their actions. Women in the ECZ are denied ordained ministry or prevented from living out their vocation to its fullest because of the Church‟s beliefs concerning women‟s humanity and their beliefs regarding the interpretation of Scripture. The study analyses the arguments for and against the ordination of women from the stance of Scripture and from the point of view church tradition. The study further looks at the ecclesiological and hermeneutical principles of the ECZ on which the ordained ministry to women is denied. The study establishes that the refusal of women‟s ordination is based on the creation story in Genesis and on Pauline teachings which indicate that women may not have authority over men and which demand their submission in life and in the church. The study also established that the arguments against the ordination of women from the church tradition are based on the secular pagan prejudice which considers women as inferior by nature, in a state of punishment and ritually unclean. The ECZ continues to follow this tradition. The conclusion emphasised the need for the ECZ to research the Scriptures and tradition for imagery of human wholeness.


Thesis (M.)-University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, 2009.