“Double-Burdened Mothers”

A Narrative Inquiry Concerning Women Pastors in Contemporary Protestant Churches in Mainland China


In: Review of Religion and Chinese Society
Duan Hua Johnson University,

Search for other papers by Duan Hua in
Current site
Google Scholar
View More View Less
Download Citation Get Permissions

Access options

Get access to the full article by using one of the access options below.

Institutional Login

Log in with Open Athens, Shibboleth, or your institutional credentials

Login via Institution


Buy instant access (PDF download and unlimited online access):


Since its reopening in the late 1970s, the Protestant Church (including both registered and unregistered churches) in mainland China has experienced rapid growth characterized by three conspicuous phenomena: extreme gender disproportion, increased numbers of young intellectual and white-collar converts, and growing numbers of women pastors. In this narrative study conducted between May 2016 and May 2017, the researcher interviewed eight women pastors in Protestant churches in W Province to understand their lives and experiences. This study found that the majority of the participating women pastors stated that they entered Christian ministry because of their mothers’ influence and prompting. On a deeper level, however, their decision can be attributed to the special political, economic, and social circumstances in mainland China during the 1950s–1970s. These women pastors see themselves as “double-burdened mothers” with respect to their families and the congregations. They face the challenges of dealing with complicated interpersonal relationships, a lack of male leaders and workers, and weak faith within their congregations.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 455 42 2
Full Text Views 249 7 0
PDF Views & Downloads 98 13 1