Contributions of Pentecostal Women in Higher Education
Over the past two decades, there has been a notable increase in the number of female students enrolling in Pentecostal Bible colleges globally. Factors which have contributed to this growth included the increased participation of women in higher education, particularly since the 1970s; the expansion and institutionalisation of Pentecostalism; and congregation members who sought more formal education and training. From humble beginnings as ministry training centres to regulated government institutions the college’s Pentecostal distinctives, appeal to many female students. Most Pentecostal denominational colleges chose to remain within church networks perpetuating the Pentecostal spirit, ethos and practice. Thus, preparing students, not only vocationally but also providing a holistic and transformational experience, through the power of the Spirit. Simultaneously, colleges provide opportunities for the next generation of female academics to become role models for female students. While many scholars have researched the experience of women in theological education broadly and others have explored key female leaders in the Australian Pentecostal movement, little work has focused on the reflections and experiences of female Pentecostal theological students and faculty in Australia. Utilising qualitative data and interviews with students, faculty and alumni of Alphacrucis College, its affiliates and comparable colleges this paper will briefly explore the contribution of Pentecostal women to Australian Higher Education.
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