The purpose of this dissertation is to show the reality, the nature, and the intensity of challenges that women face in the Evangelical Churches of Ethiopia (ECOE). Women are denied the privilege of serving the Lord with equal status to men in church leadership roles and in the ministry of teaching and preaching to congregations. To explore the reality of the problem statement, sixteen men and women leaders from local churches, denominations, stakeholders, and principals of theological institutions were interviewed. Data was collected using the qualitative research method. Literature review of selected reference materials was done to study the history of women’s ministry, the challenges they have faced in Churches, and search alternative solutions from the work of scholars.
The literature search showed the major causes of the challenges to be traditional teachings introduced by the early church fathers and the misinterpretation of the biblical text referred to as the ‘silencing passages’ by church scholars. The data analyzed from the questionnaire and the discussion done during the interview is presented in description and numerical forms. The results indicated the reality of the challenges,
their diverse nature, and the high level of intensity. The challenges that women are facing in the Evangelical Churches of Ethiopia need to be resolved by the correct contextual interpretation of the biblical text and through the proper evaluation of the church’s teaching. These practices would avoid the intrusion of traditional views that prevail in the church about women.
Improving the level of biblical and theological knowledge of leaders, ministers, and women through formal education and properly structured training programs will bring significant change to reverse the situation and liberate women from ministry restriction imposed on them. Recognizing the gifts and the call of women and discerning the spiritual ministry of the church would bring male leaders towards gender reconciliation and enable them to serve on equal status with women to bring the desired transformation in the evangelical churches of Ethiopia.