• F S Mkhwanazi Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria
  • Thias Kgatla Department of Science of Religion and Missiology, University of Pretoria



Women’s Manyano, ordination of women, empowerment, transformation, marginalisation, patriarchy, ukuthwala/girl forced marriage, emancipation


This paper proposes that the ministry of ordained women within the Methodist Church of Southern Africa (MCSA) has not fully integrated women, despite the landmark decision of the MCSA Conference of 1972 to have women ordained into the full ministry of the church. At that Methodist Conference of 1972, the Methodist Church adopted a resolution to have women ordained into the ministry of the church, and yet this has not been fully realised in the life of the MCSA. Despite the fact that women form the majority of the people who come to church on Sundays, they form a very small group within ministers’ ranks. We will investigate the challenges within the MCSA that slow down its policy on the ordination of women. The paper proposes the tools that can be used to address the challenges with regard to the full acceptance of women ministers within the MCSA. Furthermore, it investigates the organisational structure of the Women’s Manyano as a means for women to protest against their exclusion from full participation in the life and leadership of the church. Although what women have learnt and practise within their own women organisation has not infiltrated into the full life of the Methodist Church, they have become a force to reckon with in the MCSA. The paper traces the causes of the marginalisation of women within the Methodist Church to patriarchal and cultural stereotypes that are determining the reading and understanding of the biblical text. Human nature is a condition that needs to be checked regularly in order to remove those elements that are human-made, self-serving and limiting. Some examples of psychological and cultural elements are cited as a basis for reflection and a launch pad for women empowerment, and for the transformation of the MCSA and its policy on the ministry of ordained women.


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How to Cite

Mkhwanazi, F S, and Thias Kgatla. 2015. “THE PLACE OF WOMEN MINISTERS IN THE MISSION OF THE METHODIST CHURCH OF SOUTHERN AFRICA”. Studia Historiae Ecclesiasticae 41 (2):180-97.



Received 2015-03-05
Accepted 2015-05-18
Published 2015-12-18