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Women in the Southern Baptist Convention

August 11, 2007

There’s an article in USA Today called Baptist Seminary to Offer Homemaking for Women Only.

NASHVILLE — The Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary offers coursework in Greek and Hebrew, in archaeology, in the philosophy of religion and — starting this fall — in how to cook and sew.

Southwestern Baptist, one of the nation’s largest Southern Baptist seminaries, is introducing a new academic program in homemaking as part of an effort to establish what its president calls biblical family and gender roles.

It will offer a bachelor of arts in humanities degree with a 23-hour concentration in homemaking. The program is only open to women.

Coursework will include seven hours of nutrition and meal preparation, seven hours of textile design and “clothing construction,” three hours of general homemaking, three hours on “the value of a child,” and three hours on the “biblical model for the home and family.”

Seminary officials say the main focus of the courses is on hospitality in the home — teaching women interior design as well as how to sew and cook. Women also study children’s spiritual, physical and emotional development.

That’s just a part. I can’t tell you how offended I am at this. A SEMINARY degree in homemaking. I cannot imagine a bigger waste of money.

I am not going to go into the whole biblical role of women debate at this time. I am much more egalitarian in my outlook based on what I see in scripture and I make no apologies for that. I believe in authority based on role and function, not gender.

What offends me about this is the implication that a woman does not need to be her husband’s intellectual, or at least educational equal. Ministry in the church is for the man and the woman takes care of the home. That is the stuff affairs are born out of.

Wives need to be their husband’s closest ministry partner. They need to be fully able to minister along side of him. She is the one he needs to be talking to primarily. She needs to be his sounding board and he needs to be able to trust her knowledge and judgment. And for darn sure, she needs to be the one ministering to the women in their congregation or at least involved in it if he does counseling.

Men need to be involved in nurturing and educating their kids. They need to be disciplining their children and not trying to pawn all the responsibility off on their wives by never being there.

I firmly believe that the relationship between a husband and wife, as far as the roles they fill, is strictly between the husband and wife. If she is a home-oriented person, that’s wonderful. If she is outwardly focused and an effective minister in her own right, then they need to find that balance in their marriage without interference from an outside body that presumes to know how every marriage is supposed to work. Jesus did not give women gifts and callings so they could spend their lives frustrated in their inability to walk in them, because some man somewhere says they can’t.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. John permalink
    August 14, 2007 4:23 pm

    You should get one just for the interior design and stuff! You could get a doctorate and not have to work hard! WOOHOO!!

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