Women's Studies



Biblical and Theological Examination of the Role of Women in Ministry

Faculty: Dr. James O. Wolfe III (Profile)

Description: This course will explore the biblical and theological bases for the exercise of ministry by women in the Church. An investigation will be made of biblical texts which intimate women in ministry and a full range of theological traditions will be considered including the historical sweep of the subject as a theological issue in historical theology.

Required Reading:

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A Biblical Guide to Female Christian Counseling

Faculty: Mary Kendall Hope, Ph.D., Professor of Mediation Studies (Profile)

Description:  This course explores the philosophy and methods of Biblical Christian Counseling for Women. An in-depth exploration of the most common issues facing women is presented with guides for the Christian female counselor to address these issues. The advantages of female counselors providing service to female clients/congregate members are outlined to train contemporary Christian female counselors.

Required reading:

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Building An Effective Women’s Ministry

Faculty: Mary Kendall Hope, Ph.D., Professor of Mediation Studies (Profile)

Description:  This course outlines methods for developing an effective and successful women’s ministry within any denominational church. Specific techniques are provided for motivating leadership among women to support one another and write goals, objectives for new and existing women’s ministries. Techniques for supplementing an existing church’s vision and outreach with women’s ministry programs are discussed that will build stronger bonds of membership and community outreach. Methods for assisting existing church leaders to build new women’s ministries are also discussed to stimulate new innovative programs that build positive bonds with both younger church members and senior members of the congregate. Methods for maintaining women’s ministries as they grow and change over time are explored to assist church professionals to encourage innovative change in a positive manner as time passes.

Required reading:

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Evangelical Leadership for Women: Changing Minds Changing Trends PART 1

Faculty: Mary Kendall Hope, Ph.D., Professor of Mediation Studies (Profile)

Description:  This course examines female evangelical leadership and begins the process of defining contemporary beliefs and pre-conceptions. Basic cultural norms, traditions, and barriers to female leadership are discussed to assist the student in understanding the most salient challenges that face professional women in roles of evangelical leadership. Students will be encouraged to examine their own personal histories and norms with regard to the specific challenges that face females in evangelical leadership positions.

Required reading:

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Evangelical Leadership for Women: Changing Minds, Changing Trends PART 2

Faculty: Mary Kendall Hope, Ph.D., Professor of Mediation Studies (Profile)

Description:  This course explores the skills and concepts needed to develop female evangelical leadership in a mainstream culture unaccustomed to women in decision-making positions. Contemporary beliefs, pre-conceptions, and obstacles are defined and expounded upon and methods for response and address will be explored. Basic cultural norms, traditions, and barriers to female leadership are discussed to assist the student in understanding the most salient challenges that face professional women in roles of evangelical leadership. Techniques for meeting these challenges with hands on options are outlined to encourage open minds and open hearts to the potential that female guidance and partnership will provide to the church environment.

Required reading:

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Feminist Perspectives On Spiritual Direction

Faculty: Rev. Susan Fowler, Ph.D., Dorothy Day Professor of Spirituality (Profile)

Description:  Spiritual direction is a process of looking at one’s own life and journey in the context of one’s values, agency and selfhood, and relationships to self, others, God and the world.
In this tutorial, students will gain an understanding of how dominant theological and cultural worlviews impact women’s spiritual experience: - e.g. patriarchal and androcentric views of God, the person and human relationships; traditional understandings of sin that distort and diminish women’s self-understanding and relationships; - and reinterpret these in light of feminist theological reflection that yields models that redeem and affirm women’s experience as the locus for knowing and being in the world.

Required reading and viewing:

  • Fowler, Susan.  “Deadly Sins and Spiritual Direction: A Feminist Reflection” Morgan, John Ed. Foundation Theology 2010.   IN.   Graduate Theological Foundation (available in syllabus)
  • Fischer, Kathleen Women at the Well: Feminist Perspectives on Spiritual Direction. NJ, Paulist Press  1988.   May be ordered online at www.Amazon.com
  • Ruffing, Janet. Spiritual Direction: Beyond the Beginnings. NJ, Paulist Press 2000
  • May be ordered online at www.Amazon.com 

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Feminist Perspectives on Suffering and Divine Compassion

Faculty: Rev. Susan Fowler, Ph.D., Dorothy Day Professor of Spirituality (Profile)

Description: Do we have a moral obligation to resist suffering? If so, what grounds it? Suggesting that “tragic suffering cannot be atoned for; it must be defied,” feminist theologian Wendy Farley offers compassion as the moral response which resists (it), and proposes a new paradigm that challenges classic Christian theodicy (justifications of God’s goodness and omnipotence in view of the existence of evil):  namely, that suffering rather than sin is the locus of redemption and resistance, and compassion rather than punishment is the governing paradigm of God’s relationship to the world.

Students in this etutorial will explore Farley’s vision of evil and radical suffering, assess her proposal of a theology of resistance and redemption in light of traditional biblical and theological meanings, and develop their own position on the issue in their final paper.
 
 Texts:
  • Farley,Wendy. Tragic Vision and Divine Compassion. Louisville Westminster/JKP. 1990 May be ordered at www.amazon.com
  • O’Connell, Maureen. Compassion: Loving Our Neighbor in an Age of Globalization. NY  Orbis 2009.   May be ordered at www.amazon.com
  • Fowler, Susan. “God and the Problem of Evil” (attachment to syllabus)
  • Internet research: http://www.dalailama.com/messages/compassion
  •  

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Helping Women Heal After Domestic Violence

Faculty: Mary Kendall Hope, Ph.D., Professor of Mediation Studies (Profile)

Description:  This Course explores the methods and techniques for helping women heal who have been the victim of domestic violence. The concept of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is clearly defined in terms of domestic violence with an emphasis on how an understanding and identification of the symptoms of PTSD can assist women to define their behavior and specify new patterns of thinking and living. Methods for dealing with the emotional pain and suffering of domestic violence are explored with an emphasis on letting go of faulty socialization patterns. The course is designed to teach professionals how to stimulate this clientele to embrace healthy relationships and positive assertive behavior and identity. Also new ways of integrating a healthy lifestyle within the support of Christ’s love are encouraged through techniques designed to build and maintain good self-esteem and positive relationships in the church.

Required reading:

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The Paradox of Power: From Control to Compassion

Faculty: The Reverend Dr. Joanne Neal Visiting Professor of Pastoral Leadership (Profile)

Description: This e-tutorial focuses on two essential questions:

  • What is the imperative for those in positions of pastoral and spiritual leadership to understand paradox as a facet of the human condition?
  • How does our understanding of power help to shape our work as pastoral and spiritual leaders? What responsibilities do we have to be aware of the potential of power to create compassionate and transformative relationships?

Required reading:

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Peacemaking Women: Biblical Hope for Resolving Conflicts

Faculty: Mary Kendall Hope, Ph.D., Professor of Mediation Studies (Profile)

Description:  This course explores the concepts and techniques of conflict resolution to promote peace. Biblical sources are referenced throughout to stimulate women to build skills that will resolve inner conflicts and promote conflict resolution in small groups. The reference text provides guidance for the most personal and unique challenges that women face and offers suggestions for women to become spiritual leaders and role models within the church to promote growth and prevent conflict.

Required reading:

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The Psychoanalytic Feminine Psychology Of Karen Horney, MD

Faculty: Dr. Ann-Marie Neale (Profile)

Premise: Dr. Karen Horney (pronounced Horn-eye) was one of the most prominent and well-respected psychiatrists, psychoanalytic therapists and personality theorists of the twentieth century. She was one of the first female psychoanalytic personality theorists to publically challenge the traditional (Freudian) psychoanalytic explanation for female personality development. In addition, Dr. Horney was a pioneer in the recognition that cultural influences are significant factors in understanding early human development as well as subsequent behavior and motivation. She also differed from traditional psychoanalytic theorists in her emphasis on present day circumstances rather than childhood. Karen Horney’s significant Mature Theory of Personality which examines the importance of self in relation to others is covered in the e-course: The Mature Personality Theory of Karen Horney, MD. 

This course will focus on Dr. Horney’s disagreement with Sigmund Freud and the leading psychoanalysts of her era regarding female personality development. In addition, students will have the opportunity to read her thoughts on the role of culture in determining personality development as well as neurosis in adult women. Her book New Ways in Psychoanalysis published in 1939 was not well received by traditional Freudian personality theorists in her professional circle. In fact, in 1941, as a direct result of the publication of this controversial book, Dr. Horney was asked to leave the New York Psychoanalytic Institute where she was a respected trainer, mentor and therapist. Despite her differences with Sigmund Freud, she remained an advocate of psychoanalytic personality theory and traditional psychoanalysis. Some of Dr. Horney’s writings may seem out-dated to present day readers; nevertheless, they were both innovative and challenging at the time and had significant impact on the development of modern day understanding of female personality development. Remember that the required readings for this course were written from 1922 through 1939; therefore, if you are interested in the history of modern feminist theory and are willing to “suspend your disbelief” about traditional psychoanalytic explanations for female development, I believe you will find them fascinating, challenging and historically significant.
 
Recommended but not required: Dr. John Morgan’s e-course: “Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalysis.”
For further understanding of the theories of Sigmund Freud, students are encouraged to read any of his books on personality theory and development, especially A General Introduction to Psychoanalysis.
 

 
 
Required Textbooks: Both are available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. New Ways in Psychoanalysis is also available on Nook and Kindle.
  • Horney, Karen M.D. Feminine Psychology. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1967)
  • Horney, Karen M.D. New Ways in Psychoanalysis.  (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1966) 
Recommended Readings (not required for this course): All are available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com 
  • http://plaza.ufl.edu/bjparis/ikhs/index.html: This web-site contains informative articles about Dr. Horney’s theory and her contribution to the field. These are available free of charge for download in PDF format. 
  • Horney, Karen. NEUROSIS AND HUMAN GROWTH: The Struggle Toward Self-Realization (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1991) 
  • Horney, Karen M.D. Self-Analysis. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1970) 
  • Horney, Karen M.D. The Neurotic Personality of our Time. (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1964) 
  • Horney, Karen. OUR INNER CONFLICTS: A Constructive Theory of Neurosis (New York: W.W. Norton and Company, Inc., 1992) 
  • Paris, Bernard J. Karen Horney: Psychoanalyst’s Search for Self-Understanding. (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1994) 
  • Quinn, Susan. A Mind Of Her Own: The Life of Karen Horney. (Plunkett Lake: Plunkett Lake Press, 2011)
  • [This is only available on Nook or Kindle]

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A Spirituality for the Everyday

Faculty: Dr. Marie Vianney Bilgrien, SSND, is Professor of Moral Theology (Profile)

Course Description: This course takes a deep look at the moral and spiritual life. All is relationship. Relationship with God, the self, others, and all of creation. We will search deeply on how conscience is formed, all its components. Then we will look at our everyday lives and how we can live those relationships more deeply. It will be reflective and contemplative as we describe the mysteries of our everyday lives which are more spectacular than we now believe because we don’t reflect on the everyday in which we live those relationships. This is not mundane, but simple and deep. As we examine our everyday lives we will see how the practices of our daily lives form those relationships and enhance our lives as deeply human.

Required reading and viewing:

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Web Empowered Ministry

Faculty: Mary Kendall Hope, Ph.D., Professor of Mediation Studies (Profile)

Description:  This course explores the advantages of expanding the existing church’s ministry to include the Internet and World Wide Web to reach new membership and stimulate existing members to become more involved in the church’s mission. The importance of using the Internet in the church is emphasized to help the church remain a vital part of the contemporary community.

Required reading:

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Women And Gender In Islam

Faculty: Dr. Shaykh Ibrahim Abdul-Malik (Profile)

  • So what is the truth? Does Islam oppress women? Are you yourself unsure? After this e-tutorial, you will be able to speak with some authority on the matter.
  • In this course, we will not only address this specific question, but explore, more broadly, the role of gender as it is laid out in the primary sources of Islamic teachings – the Qur’an and the authentic hadiths.
  • This e-course is equally for women who may feel discriminated against, and for men, particularly those who may assume a built-in sense of “superiority” by virtue of their gender. 

Required reading: (Book are available from amazon.com)

  • Abdel-Haleem, M. A. S., The Qur’an – A New Translation, Oxford University Press, New York, 2008
  • Haddad, Yvonne Yazbeck, Smith, Jane I., Moore, Kathleen M., Muslim Women in America: The Challenge of Islamic Identity Today, Oxford University Press, USA, Reprint edition, May 27, 2011
  • WATT, W. Montgomery, “Women in the Earliest Islam – Excerpt,” available for download

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Women in American Church History

Faculty: Dr. Ore Lee Spragin, Jr (Profile)

Description: Women have played a vital role in the birth and development of Christianity since, and even before, the birth narratives of the Gospels. However, many church histories poorly or hardly acknowledge this fact. At least one aspect of feminist theology is its struggle to correct this oversight by attempting to prove and/or validate the essentiality of women in church history, particularly by pointing out the ways in which women have been oppressed by the church throughout its history. By contrast this course seeks primarily to examine the importance of women and the roles women have played in the development of the Church, particularly in the United States, from the seventeenth through the nineteenth centuries.

Required Reading:

Additional Graduate level Texts:

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Women’s Journey Into Alcohol Abuse or Addiction

Faculty: Dr. Ann-Marie Neale (Profile)

Premise: Alcohol is a socially acceptable drug in our modern society. This fact does not detract from alcohol’s popularity. Nor is this fact a criticism of alcohol or those who consume it.  However, potential and actual alcohol abuse and addiction continues to be a serious problem for women of all ages. Although the stigma attached to alcoholism is not as great for women today as it was a generation ago; nevertheless,  this stigma still exists and influences how and if women seek treatment when they see that excessive alcohol consumption has become a problem in their lives.  One way to understand this growing problem is through the poignant and powerful stories of two professional women (A Psychologist and a Writer/Editor) who grappled with their own alcohol addiction.  This course is not just for women or for addiction counselors.  The course also provides important information for chaplains, clergy, educators, friends and family members who seek to better understand and be helpful to the many women who find themselves in trouble with alcohol. The two women who share their stories discuss the many avenues that women pursue in search of sobriety. Stephanie Brown discusses Alcoholics Anonymous and Alanon Twelve Step Recovery Programs from a woman’s perspective.
 
Required Textbooks:  Both are available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com
(They are also available in e-book format) 
  • Brown, Stephanie. (2004). A Place Called Self: Women, Sobriety, and Radical Transformation. Minnesota: Hazelden 
  • Johnston, Ann Dowsett. (2013). Drink: The Intimate Relationship Between Women and Alcohol. New York: HarperCollins 
Recommended Readings: Not required for the course
(All are available on Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com) 
  • Alcoholics Anonymous (Fourth Edition). (2001).  New York: Alcoholics Anonymous World Services. 
  • Brown, S. & Brown, D. (2001) Mrs. Marty Mann: The First Lady of Alcoholics Anonymous. Minnesota:  Hazelden. 
  • Cheever, S. (1999). Note Found in a Bottle: A Memoir. New York: Washington Square Press. 
  • Covington, S. (1994). A Woman’s Way Through the Twelve Steps. Minnesota: Hazelden. 
  • Jersild, D. (2001). Happy Hours: Alcohol in a Woman’s Life. New York: HarperCollins. 
  • Epstein, L. O. & Gerszberg, C. O. (Eds). Drinking Diaries: Women Serve Their Stories Straight Up. California: Seal Press. 
  • Fisher, C. (2008). Wishful Drinking. New York: Simon and Schuster. 
  • Ketcham, K. & Ashbury, W. F. (2000). Beyond the Influence: Understanding and Defeating Alcoholism. New York: Bantam Books. 
  • Knapp, C. (1996)  Drinking: A Love Story. New York: The Dial Press. 
  • Lamott, A. (1999). Traveling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith. New York: Anchor Books.  
  • The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University. (2006). Women Under The Influence. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.

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