Date of Award

Spring 1982

Degree Type

Thesis - Restricted

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Topetzes, Nicolas J.

Second Advisor

Dupries, A.

Third Advisor

Zalfram, Ronald T.


The purpose of this paper is to provide an understanding of some of the dilemmas faced by women brought up in the church. A few of the teachings creating difficulties are those such as: women were born to be submissive vessels, adhering in all things to her husband; a woman's goal in life is primarily to produce children while maintaining a happy homelife. This is basically a picture of the traditional home. For a great many individuals this is their choice. However, the philosophy of the church, very often, is that this one model was ordained by God and shown to us through the teachings of the Bible. Other models of family life rarely have that sanction. At this point in the history of women, there is much conflict as to which model is correct or if variations are acceptable. The secular models which have been presented with the women's movement are varied and provide numerous options in regards to roles from which women may chose. Many women feel they have the option of chosing a role which "feels right" for them. However, the Biblical model has been ingrained from birth and is equated with God for many Christian women. If a woman opts for a different mode1, she is turning her back on God's dictates. Frustrating dilemmas occur when a woman firmly believes she is a Christian and is committed to that. belief, but cannot herself conform wholeheartedly with the traditions of the church. She feels her choices are between Christianity with a lifestyle that does not fulfill her and leaves her at times wondering, "Why did God give me certain talents if I am not able to use them, or can use them only in certain areas?", or a more secular model more appropriate for their natures perhaps, but which many churches say is against Biblical teaching. "The Roles of Biblical "Women" was a course designed as a Biblical study to be used within a church setting. It was an aide to help individual women grapple with the problems they feel, discuss them with other women feeling much the same way and to arrive at a lifestyle for themselves which would neither conflict with themselves nor with their Christianity. It would also provide them with a model which says, "Go find out for yourselves and come to your own decision. Go to the source rather than third parties only." The women who were involved in these studies had a history of asking friends, neighbors, husbands and pastors what each one thought, then coming away feeling more confused and guilty rather than going to the Biblical source for themselves. This model was encouraged to become part of their lifestyle throughout the study. The study itself is presented in this paper along with the questionnaires given to the participants to document changes which might have been made or decisions reached, and to understand the thought process accompanying the study.