Desiring God's John Piper says he believes that women shouldn't teach in seminaries


John Piper, Chancellor of Bethlehem College & Seminary and founder of, says he believes that the Church must be led by 'spiritual, humble, biblically qualified men.'

In an interview published at, John explains his position on the matter:

"I am going to answer this question as best I can on the assumption that the Bible teaches that churches should be led by a team of spiritual, humble, biblically qualified men (1 Timothy 2:12)," said John.

"In other words, I'm going to base my argument about the seminary on the assumption of complementarianism, which I think is not merely an assumption but a well-founded historic understanding of Scripture."

Another angle that he explains is that the seminary is a community that prepares a role that is Biblically designed for men:

"Probably the best defense of that position still, with regard to the role of women teaching and preaching in the church, would be Tom Schreiner and Andreas Köstenberger's Women in the Church," John continues.

"Just to be clear, the issue is not whether women should attend seminary in one of its programs and get the best biblical grounding possible.

"The issue is whether women should be models, mentors, and teachers for those preparing for a role that is biblically designed for spiritual men. That's the way I'm posing the question."

John's statements have been met with resistance. Author and worship leader Kaitlin Curtice (@KaitlinCurtice) tweeted on January 22:

"So we are challenged to not only try to undo this mindset, but to constantly chip away at and mend to the brokenness of its repercussions for our society."

Many people responded to Kaitlin on Twitter, citing women who had a positive impact on their faiths.

Rev. Rob Lee (roblee4) tweeted:

"Definitely the following women thinkers, preachers, theologians, prophets, and mystics: @KaitlinCurtice @KelliHitchman @alpal_willcox @sarcasmforChrst @BerniceKing @WilGafney @KelseyMLoo @rachelheldevans @KatecBowler Bertha Hamilton"

Boyce College professor Denny Burk backed John up and stated that John has created a 'compelling case' because his foundation was the complementarian gender roles found in Scripture.

Burk agreed with these complementarian roles of men and women and these roles extended to the vision of what a seminary faculty should be comprised of. Burk further reminded readers that John's stance wasn't unique as it has been the case of many people who have spoken out before about women teaching in seminaries.

Burk was correct in stating that John's stance on the issue is not new. There is already an ongoing debate about whether women should become faculty in seminaries. One author, Tina Osterhouse, however was not fazed by the arguments. She continued to rally women with her statement that woman should do what they have always done, which is to listen to the Lord and go where they are called to go by the Lord.