Biblical and Theological Studies Faculty Publications

Beliefs About Gender Roles and Issues Held by Undergraduate Students in Selected Christian Higher Educational Institutions

Joy Fagan, Cedarville University


This dissertation examines male and female college students' Scriptural interpretations of gender issues in Christian higher educational institutions. The purpose is to determine what the future leaders of the body of Christ believe in regard to God's design for men and women, especially women, and primarily within the home and the church.

The research is quantitative descriptive research using the survey design. The questionnaire for the survey includes fifty-nine closed questions and one open-ended question, with the closed questions utilizing the Likert Scale. The instrumentation is based on significant literature that addresses primarily the egalitarian and complementarian belief systems embraced within the Christian community. It includes both the theological distinctions in the belief systems as well as the resultant outworking or practice of those beliefs, primarily within the home and church.

The findings will show what the students believe in regard to the ontology and the ministerial function of women in the home and church based on how they interpret Scripture, and how those beliefs will shape the lives and ministry of men and women in those contexts, as well as implications for their role in society. The goal of this research is to provide educators greater insight into the beliefs of this next generation of leaders that they might more effectively prepare them to evaluate and execute how men and women can minister more effectively together in accordance with God's design for the furtherance of His kingdom.

Further research is encouraged to examine the belief systems of adults currently serving in the church, and also those in seminaries who are training for leadership positions within the church.