Theology is for Everyone

Theology defines what we believe and explains how that belief is supported by the Bible. I would say I was a believer, but I was also one of the biggest offenders of not knowing what I believed. Why didn’t I try to learn? My first excuse was that I was too busy; my kids needed too much of me, and I felt like I didn’t have any time to spare. The second excuse was that my husband was working as a pastor; he had all these years of biblical study and knowledge, making it easy for me to fall into the trap of thinking it was his job to know the deeper things, not mine. I had convinced myself that the study of theology was only for specific people, for theologians, for pastors and professors.

As my kids got older, they became more inquisitive and asked a lot of questions. Many of the questions they asked were really difficult, and I started to realize that I should have answers for them. I couldn’t just pass off the responsibility and tell them to go ask their dad!

Although my husband worked in the church, I perhaps had more opportunities to share my faith than he did. At that time, I was the only young mom with kids in our congregation, so to make close friends, I had to go outside the church. I made friends with other moms who would bring their kids over and we would talk and drink coffee together. Most of these friends weren’t Christians, and so as we talked, they started asking me questions. One even asked me to explain the Trinity! I fumbled my way through an answer, unsure if it was even correct. That was another big wake up call for me. If I claimed to believe that Christ really mattered, then I needed to know everything I could about him and about God’s Word. I definitely couldn’t tell my friends to go ask my husband. That would’ve been super awkward!

I think, as women, so much of our focus is needed in the here and now, on our daily lives and routines, that we lose sight of God in us and our eternal glory. Sometimes I have found that women’s Bible studies will settle for the shallower lessons. They don’t dig deep into those Scripture passages that make us uncomfortable, or that we don’t understand. Instead they stick with the more common messages and stories, because they’re familiar and easier.
Gender segregated Bible studies don’t help this. While I have personally benefited a great deal from women’s studies and have been taught by many wise women, I do think we are missing out on a treasure of knowledge. Along with that, pastors often don’t get involved with women’s ministries, tending to have a hands-off approach by leaving the women to teach the women. I have no doubt that it would be daunting for a man to teach an all women’s class, but I would encourage men in the church by saying that we do want to learn from you! Even if a pastor chooses not to lead the women’s studies himself, he can strive to equip female leaders with solid resources and to encourage a strong grasp of theology.
We should all desire for our faith to grow richer and deeper, remembering that we don’t need spiritual milk, we need solid food! We need the meat and potatoes that Scripture can offer. The deeper we dig into the Bible, the more we learn we don’t know it all. So, dig deep for great riches and even greater understanding.

Grab your Bible and read a portion of it that you haven’t read in a while, or maybe have never read! If you come across something you don’t understand, ask someone who might know. If there’s no one around, buy a commentary and see what it says. Another great resource is the CLB app ( If you click on Resources and Documents, there is a list of our denomination’s position papers. These explain what the CLB believes biblically about tough issues, such as the role of women in the Church, sexuality, euthanasia, and lots of others. Also see Dr. Tim Ysteboe’s book, We Believe.

Don’t fall for the lie that theology isn’t for you. Don’t tell yourself that you need a degree in biblical studies or to learn Greek and Hebrew to begin to understand the Bible’s deeper meanings. Theology is for everyone, whether you are in the throes of raising little babies or you’re the nurse at the hospital; whether you’re trying to decide if you actually believe for yourself what your parents taught you or are wondering how to explain the Trinity to your atheist friend.

Teaching women theology is teaching women to know what we believe, and what we believe about the Bible matters. A lot. This teaching is for you.

Heather Knutson is a writer and contributor to Women’s Ministries, living in Fergus Falls with her husband Clint and their children.
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