Educational Administration, Department of


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Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 8, No. 3-July 2010 ISSN: 1541-6224


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One of the prevailing notions within American culture is the idea that women are prevalent in leadership positions within business, politics, and higher education. The reality, however, is that while women make up slightly more than 50% of the popUlation, we are under-represented in these institutions. There are fewer than 20 female CEOs of the Fortune 500 companies. Women make up only 35% of the 2009 Congress and as of 2006 represented fewer than 10% of chief executive officers in theological higher education. The traditional views of theological higher education have been in favor of men but the reality is that more women are entering ministry and religious-oriented professions. The professional, political, and pastoral landscape is changing in favor of more women. The challenge facing institutions of theological higher education is the development of a model that is reflective of general trends. Much of the current data suggests that women tend to lead from an others-centered paradigm. One of the primary differences between men and women is that collaborative models of leadership characterize the latter. This article will examine collaborative leadership theory as a way of viewing female leadership in theological higher education. I cannot say I think you are very generous to the ladies; for, whilst you are proclaiming peace and good will toward men, emancipating all nations, you insist upon retaining an absolute power over wives. But you must remember that arbitrary power is like most other things which are very hard, very liable to be broken; and, notwithstanding all your wise laws and maxims, we have it in our power, not only to free ourselves, but to subdue our masters, and without violence, throw both your natural and legal authority at your feet (Abigail Adams as cited in Withey, 1981).