New testament evidence for ordaining women in the catholic church: evaluating claims in inter insigniores and ordinatio sacerdotalis

Document Type



Master of Arts (MA)


Religious Studies

First Advisor's Name

Christine Gudorf

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Erik Larson

Third Advisor's Name

Terry Rey

Date of Defense



This Master's Thesis will re-evaluate the conclusions of the Vatican on the issue of women's ordination, as presented in the documents Inter Insigniores and Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, by researching the discoveries of scriptural scholarship on the significance of women in the New Testament ministries. The essential question is, are the two previously mentioned documents authoritative when they exclude women from priesthood on the basis of Scripture? Special emphasis is on the unprejudiced rereading of the status of women in the ministry of Jesus and the early church communities. The research proved that there is no significant evidence in the New Testament to reserve ordained ministries in the Church to men only.



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