36: The Problem with Women’s Bible Studies

Women’s Bible studies are a surprisingly controversial topic in Christian conversations. You’d think they would be a no-brainer, but instead it can be divisive and complicated. 


Choosing women's Bible study materials


In today’s episode I address the elephant in the room when it comes to popular authors like Beth Moore and Sara Young and what place they should and shouldn’t have in Bible based churches. I explain the problematic theology that pops up in women’s groups around the country and also why it IS so attractive. We look at a list of suggested criteria for vetting a Bible study you might use and I have some tips for leaders too. 

Suggested guidelines:

  1. Ask your pastor for suggestions and/or to vet the resource you are considering.
  2. Does the material frame the conversation around a theology of the cross? Or a theology of glory?
  3. What role does Scripture play? Is the Bible a book of rules or the story of our rescue?
  4. There should be law AND Gospel both. So something about sin and also something about Jesus saving us from that sin. What is the suggested answer to the sin problem? [red flags]
  5. Does author distinguish between passive righteousness and active righteousness?
  6. Does the study see Jesus as a coach? A magic helper? Or a Savior?
  7. What is the author’s view of the Means of Grace? Is the author anti-sacramental?

The links:

Lisa Cooper’s paper – “An Evaluation of Beth Moore’s The Patriarchs study in View of the Two Kinds of Righteousness”

Lisa’s List  – Evaluating Christian Women’s Bible Studies

Katie Schuermann – I recommended this book for Bible studies, especially “young” studies. It sounds like I’m saying a group of young people but what I meant was a group that is just getting started. That isn’t very established yet. Sorry for the confusion! 

Heidi Goehmann

Donna Pyle

Oh I forgot to mention on the show that the CPH LifeLight studies are a good solid study of Scripture. Not gender-specific, just for all believers! 

Thanks for listening! Share with a friend and be sure to subscribe to the show!



To continue the conversation, find me on TWITTER, go to the facebook page, or email me! – angiejean.99@gmail.com.

Check out blog posts on www.shefindstruth.com!

Production Notes · music – Spoke in the Wheel by Electric Tangerine Audio at http://audiojungle.net/user/ElectricTangerine · Vocal Introduction by Kena Clark ·  Intro/Outro Production by Bradley Hofbauer


Check out this episode!

4 Responses

  1. TulipGirl says:

    Hi, Angie!

    Enjoyed listening today while rebooting the laundry. . .

    When we lived in Texas, the women’s Bible study was taught by the pastor. Not because the women were incapable — we had amazing, knowledgeable, mature Christian women in our church. However, the church valued the theological education of women, and the pastor with his seminary education was able to bring these women Bible truths and shepherd them in a really good way. (He arrived after prayer time and left before coffee — so it really was still a women’s gathering.)

    In Florida, the women in our church, by and large, were also mature Christians. We all downloaded the study guide for the book of the Bible we were studying, made our notes, studied, discussed and prayed. It was good. Both of these models were a real blessing to me and were healthy, imo. However, I know that this isn’t necessarily what will work for all groups.

    Some resources I like are the ones by Wendy Alsup (more Reformed leaning than Lutheran), including “Practical Theology for Women” and “By His Wounds You are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman’s Identity.” (I would probably like her other materials, also — these are just the ones I’ve used in group studies with women.)

    • Angie Wagner says:

      So glad you could multi-task today!
      Those sound like pretty good group situations. Do you know where you got the study guides you used in Florida?
      I bet if a group of women wanted to start a group and they asked their pastor for his assistance that would go over pretty well. lol Thanks for the book recommendations too! I need to look into those.

  2. TulipGirl says:

    In Florida, the guides were from Redeemer NYC (Tim Keller). We did the one on Kings and another one. There was some good discussion (and disagreement!) with TK. . .

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