10 historical Roles of Woman in the Church , and How Woman Today Can Add to The Legacy

10 historical Roles of Woman in the Church , and How Woman Today Can Add to The Legacy


The role of women in the church has been pivotal since the dawn of Christianity. From early church leaders to modern-day theologians, women have shaped the course of Christian history. This blog explores ten roles women have played in the church, accompanied by historical and contemporary examples, scriptural references, and suggestions for how women today can engage in these roles.

1. Early Church Leaders

In the nascent days of Christianity, women like Lydia, Priscilla, and Phoebe were instrumental in spreading the faith. Phoebe, for instance, is commended by Paul in Romans 16:1-2 for her service as a deacon. Today, women can follow in their footsteps by taking up leadership roles in church ministries, such as coordinating community outreach programs or leading educational initiatives.

2. Martyrs and Saints

Women like Perpetua and Felicity showed extraordinary bravery as martyrs, inspiring Christians for generations. Revelation 2:10 speaks to their steadfast faith. Modern women can honor their legacy by sharing these stories in church study groups, drawing lessons of courage and faith.

3. Monastics and Nuns

Saint Scholastica, the sister of Saint Benedict, epitomizes women's contributions to monastic life. Monasticism, rooted in the value of stillness (Psalm 46:10), continues to be a viable path. Organizing or attending spiritual retreats that focus on prayer and contemplation can be a modern expression of this tradition.

4. Missionaries

Missionaries like Mary Slessor in Nigeria have played crucial roles in spreading Christianity. Following the Great Commission in Mark 16:15, women today can participate in or support missionary endeavors, both locally and internationally.

5. Teachers and Educators

Women have long served as teachers, guided by Titus 2:3-5. From leading Sunday School to conducting Bible study groups, there are numerous opportunities for women to educate and mentor within the church.

6. Worship Leaders and Musicians

Contemporary Christian music artists like Lauren Daigle exemplify women's roles in worship. Women can contribute to the worship experience by joining or forming music teams, choirs, or bands, embodying the spirit of Psalm 100:2.

7. Counselors and Spiritual Advisors

With the wisdom of Proverbs 31:26, women serve as counselors and advisors. This role can be fulfilled through mentoring, providing spiritual guidance, or even offering professional counseling services within the church context.

8. Advocates for Social Justice

Modern activists like Christine Caine show how faith can drive social change. Micah 6:8's call for justice can inspire women to lead or participate in initiatives addressing social issues such as poverty, inequality, and human rights.

9. Administrators and Organizers

The smooth functioning of church activities often rests on skilled administrators. Women excel in these roles, bringing order and efficiency as encouraged in 1 Corinthians 14:40. From event planning to administrative tasks, there are numerous ways to contribute.

10. Theological Scholars and Writers

Theologians like Elizabeth Johnson demonstrate women's contributions to Christian scholarship. Pursuing theological studies and sharing insights through writing or teaching are ways women can continue this legacy, heeding the call of 2 Timothy 2:15.


The roles of women in the church are as diverse as they are vital. From leading congregations to enriching theological discourse, women's contributions are invaluable. In embracing these roles, women continue to shape the fabric of the church, guided by their faith and the enduring examples of those who walked before them.

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