Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Dr. Edward Hanenberg


30 years ago, the Church of Ireland allowed women’s ordination as deacons, then later priests and bishops. Leading to this doctrinal and social development, the Church of Ireland wrestled with big questions on the nature of Christian ministry and women’s roles in the church. Have the Bible and church tradition always upheld male headship? Are women being called by God to serve as deacons, priests and bishops? Can groups with major theological differences reconcile and remain one church? The author introduces this historic Irish development to a United States audience with relevant lessons for social transformation, following the human drama in the political process. This thesis argues that the Church of Ireland built a structure and culture of listening to differences, which allowed the development of women’s ordination to take place while maintaining the Church’s unified identity.

Included in

Religion Commons