Original Research - Special Collection: Christian Leadership

The challenges of being a female pastor: A case of the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe

Terence Mupangwa, Sophia Chirongoma
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 76, No 2 | a5838 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v76i2.5838 | © 2020 Terence Mupangwa, Sophia Chirongoma | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 07 October 2019 | Published: 23 September 2020

About the author(s)

Terence Mupangwa, School of Religion, Philosophy and Classics, Faculty of Arts, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Sophia Chirongoma, Department of Religious Studies, Faculty of Arts, Midlands State University, Zvishavane; Research Institute for Theology and Religion, University of South Africa, Pretoria, Zimbabwe


The focus of this article is to highlight some of the inherent gender injustices experienced by the female pastors within the Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe (AFMZ). Drawing insights from the field research conducted in pursuance of a doctoral programme, the study foregrounds some of the barriers that women have had to endure when it comes to the issue of being ordained as a pastor. The article also interrogates the reasons used as a basis to exclude female pastors from the key decision-making bodies and to deny them the opportunity to preach at the national conference, which is the biggest gathering within the AFMZ. This is a qualitative study utilising interviews, focus group discussions and the observation method. The main findings emerging from this study reveal that whilst some positive changes have been made towards the inclusion of women in the pastoral ministry, however, there are still many gaps needing urgent attention before the AFMZ becomes a gender-inclusive and gender-equitable faith community.

Contribution: This article foregrounds the challenges faced by female pastors in the AFMZ. It advocates for gender mainstreaming and gender inclusive policies in the AFMZ leadership structures. This is in sync with the focus of this collection, for which the main thrust is on women and religious leadership.


Apostolic Faith Mission in Zimbabwe; Female pastor; Ordination; Calling; Equality; Justice


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Crossref Citations

1. Mercy Oduyoye’s model of ‘partnership between women and men’ in African Christian ministry
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