The definition of “biblical womanhood” is again in the spotlight following Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary’s newly released statement that outlines what they believe the Bible says about women’s roles, ABP News reports.
The Fort Worth Texas seminary posted a 12-point statement outlining “the counter-cultural convictions that guide us as we strive to live out [God’s] wisdom for our world.” This follows a similar 2013 post, “Biblical Womanhood 101: What We Really Teach at Southwestern.” Both articles remind readers that Southwestern holds a “complementarian” view of womanhood, the view that males and females complement each other in their different roles and duties. This contrasts with an “egalitarian” view of womanhood, a belief that the Bible teaches that men and women have no distinction of roles or functions in the home or church.
Southwestern, a Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated seminary, follows the Baptist Faith and Message, which teaches that wives should submit to their husbands in the home and that women cannot be senior pastor of a church. They also support the Danvers Statement, the doctrinal basis for the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood based in Louisville, Ky.
According to ABP News, a group calling itself the Freedom for Christian Women Coalition posted an online petition at Change.org accusing the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood of putting the issue of female subordination ahead of the gospel and demanding the retraction of teachings the petitioners say are harmful to women.
The Southwestern statement says “women are indispensable” to the life of the church, but their Christian service must be “according to biblical guidelines,” specifically “that women are exhorted to instruct and mentor other women.”
Southwestern offers courses ranging from a certificate to a Ph.D. in women’s studies, women’s ministry and, since 2007, homemaking.
Publication Date: April 1, 2014.