The position of women in the New Testament, especially in the epistles of the Apostle Paul, may appear contradictory. Some passages command women to be submissive, remain silent and not teach. Yet in other passages women were praised, spoke with authority, prayed, prophesied, owned property, managed finances, and headed households. In this unit we will unravel the conflicting evidence by undertaking an in-depth socio-cultural, historical, and literary study of the role of women in the New Testament, and how this image sheds light on the position of women in Orthodox Christianity.

Unit code: BN8500A

Unit status: Approved (New unit)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Foundational

Unit discipline: New Testament

Delivery Mode: Blended

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Critically discuss the status of women in first century AD Jewish and Greco-Roman cultures.


Integrate insights from the historical and socio-cultural environment in the study of New Testament texts.


Critically evaluate selected biblical texts in light of contemporary Orthodox Church practice and discussion.


Discern the voice of women in Orthodox Christianity through an in-depth analysis of New Testament texts.


Formulate an exegetical study of New Testament passages by applying a variety of biblical interpretive methods.

Unit sequence



Blended: combination of pre-recorded lectures, guided readings, forums, zoom and face to face tutorials.

Indicative Bibliography

Clark-Soles, Jaime. Women in the Bible: Interpretation, Resources for the Use of Scripture in the Church. Louisville: WJK Press, 2020.

Cohick, Lynn H. “Why Women Followed Jesus: A Discussion of Female Piety,” SBET 25.2 (2007): 172-193.

Cohick, Lynn. Women in the World of the Earliest Christians. Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2009.

El Meskeen, Matta. Women: Their rights and obligations in social and religious life in the Early Church. Cairo: St Macarius Press, 1981.

Fitzgerald, Kyriaki. Orthodox Women Speak. Geneva: World Council of Churches, 1999.

Giles, Kevin. What the Bible Actually Teaches on Women. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2018.

Gryson, Roger. The Ministry of Women in the Early Church. Collegeville, MI: Liturgical Press, 1980.

Hopko, Thomas. Women and the Priesthood. Crestwood, NY: SVS Press, 1983.

Lee, Dorothy A. The Ministry of Women in the New Testament: Reclaiming the BIblical Vision for Church Leadership. Ada, MI: Baker Academic, 2021.

Loveday, Alexander. “Women as Leaders in the New Testament,” Modern Believing 54.1 (2013): 14-22.

Malone, Mary. Women and Christianity. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis Books, 2006.

Pierce, Ronald, Rebecca Merrill Groothius, and Gordon Fee, eds. Discovering BIblical Equality. Westmont, ILL: IVP Academic, 2005.

Tamez, Elsa. “Women’s Leadership in the New Testament,” in Gender in Theology, Spirituality, and Practice (2012): 77-85.

Taylor, Joan E. and Ilaria K.E. Ramelli, eds. Patterns of Women’s Leadership in Early Christianity. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021.

Zagano, Phyllis. Catholic Women's Ordination: The Ecumenical Implications of Women Deacons in The Armenian Apostolic Church, The Orthodox Church of Greece, And the Union of Utrecht Old Catholic Churches. Journal of Ecumenical Studies, 00220558, Winter2008, Vol. 43, Issue 1.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Tutorial Paper/Seminar Paper 2000 30.0
Homily/Sermon 2000 30.0
Essay 2500 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 9 Sep, 2022

Unit record last updated: 2022-09-09 13:41:12 +1000