Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award



Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Jennifer Butcher

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Dianne Reed

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Jenifer Wolf-Williams


This research is a qualitative narrative inquiry of the career trajectory of Black female pastors in the Black church. Historically, the Black church has been a vital symbol of the Black community and a haven for its members. However, because the Black church is undergirded in Black liberation theology to fight the oppression of Blacks, it continues to oppress Black female pastors by not allowing them the same opportunities as their Black male counterparts when their qualifications are the same. In this study, the researcher aimed to understand Black female pastors’ perceptions of their success in breaking the stained-glass ceiling to become a pastor in a Black denominational church. The study examined the lived experiences of nine Black female pastors in five Black denominational churches by exploring their education, barriers, and intersectional identity as they live out their calling to preach the gospel. The research examined the unique individual and collective experiences of navigating their call to the ministry and, ultimately, their opportunity to lead Black congregations as they demystified the stigma of being a female leader in a tradition steeped in patriarchal biblical beliefs of women lacking the qualifications to lead the church. The findings suggested that Black female pastors have chosen to yield to the will of God and answer their calling to the ministry while facing barriers of gendered racism from their local churches and denominations.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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