Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name


Organizational Unit

Joint Ph.D. Program in Study of Religion

First Advisor

Miguel A. De La Torre, Ph.D.

Second Advisor

Debora Ortega

Third Advisor

Jennifer Leath


African American clergywomen, Black church history, Black club women, Patriarchy, Womanist ethics, Womanist thought


This qualitative analysis with a phenomenological approach seeks to address the fact that the Black Churches fail many of its members, specifically the female segment, which encompasses at least eighty-five to ninety percent of the churches population. Despite the historical evidence of how the Black Church championed causes/issues of discrimination, while being considered the bastion of liberation, African American females historically have been disregarded, disrespected and denied leadership opportunities, by the patriarchal leadership. This deleterious, ecclesial episteme (the churches system of understanding) and the ideology of African American male clergy, toward clergywomen, have developed strategies of containment, designed consciously and subconsciously to keep women out of senior ecclesial leadership positions; through the denial of ordination, preaching opportunities, leadership roles, and misogynistic sermons and theologies, are problematic. It is imperative to deconstruct the ideology related to the male knowledge and power percepts, given the claims of liberation from all forms of oppression by Black churches. By suggesting that indicators of disregard and disrespect can be interpreted as sociocultural problems in the Black Church generally. Whereas the prevailing notion that the paramount objective of the African American church is liberation for all; It is argued that several factors ingrained in the very fabric of Black Theology work to perpetuate oppression of African American clergywomen as well as their subsequent complicity. This dissertation develops from the findings, supporting facts needed for the transformation of institutional, community and individual ways of governing in Black Churches in terms of strategies of resistance, while establishing explanations for revolutionary thoughts and behaviors.

Publication Statement

Copyright is held by the author. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

Rights Holder

Andriette Dionne Jordan-Fields


Received from ProQuest

File Format




File Size

248 p.


Ethics, Religion, Black studies