Enabling Women? Anglican Clergywomen as Vicars and Ministry Enablers
In the twenty-five years since women have been ordained to the priesthood in the Anglican Church of Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia, clergywomen have become an accepted and valued part of the church scene. This research project has, through a survey and interviews, gathered the stories and experiences of one hundred and fifteen of these clergywomen. Women vicars share many positive experiences of the vicar role, and how they see themselves transforming it into a more collaborative model, but they still experience sexist attitudes which are a drain on their ministry. Clergywomen are also finding fulfilling ministries as local priests and deacons, and ministry enablers in local shared ministry models, although ministry enablers’ conditions mean this ministry has not yet reached its full potential. Despite these advances, the institutional church must address the fact that still very few women are choosing to be vicars, that the largest percentage of clergywomen are in assistant roles, and that three-quarters of these are in non- stipendiary ministry. Clergywomen must continue to stand together and advocate for equal opportunity and equitable conditions of ministry if they are to stand tall in ministry. For this church, this is a matter of justice that we may fully reflect the image of God and the wholeness the gospel promises to women and men.
Advisor: Johnson, Lydia
Degree Name: Master of Ministry
Degree Discipline: Department of Theology and Religious Studies
Research Type: Dissertation