Were we always against women in ministry?

From Timothy Larsen, professor at Wheaton College (formerly from Tyndale):


“Indeed, Hassey, in her pioneering work No Time For Silence: Evangelical Women in Public Ministry Around the Turn of the Century, has documented in numerous ways the remarkable openness to women in public ministry in conservative evangelicalism and fundamentalism in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century. Hassey demonstrates, for example, that women were trained for public ministry by the theologically conservative Bible collegees. Moreover, women faculty members at these institutions taught Bible and theology. The flagship of them all, Moody Bible Institute, was even founded by a woman, Emma Dyer, who became, in effect, its first dean. D.L. Moody (1837-1899) supported Frances E. Willard (1839-1898) in her efforts to secure votes for women, and he so believed in her public Christian ministry that he invited her to join him in his itinerant work as a fellow preacher. Willard wrote her own defense of women ministers, Woman in the Pulpit, 1888. Official Moody Bible Institute publications proudly boasted about women graduates who went on to ordained ministry and to full-time, senior pastorates.”


The mention of Moody Bible Institute is important given that in the past five years there was a fracas over Billy Graham’s daughter, Anne Graham Lotz, preaching at chapel. A friend who was there at the time told me that over half the faculty walked out of the chapel when she started to speak.