It’s rare that the “Today” show offers a teaser that actually makes me sit in front of the TV waiting for the story, but this morning they managed to pique my interest. They reported on a major offered by Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary…Homemaking.

Offered as a concentration within the “Bachelor of Arts in Humanities” degree, young women are required to complete 60 hours of History/Life/Thought, 24 hours of Bible/Theology, 24 hours of Language/Thought/Practice, and 21 hours in Homemaking. The homemaking curriculum includes (from the SWBTS academic catalog):

HMK 2101 Orientation to Homemaking
This introductory course provides an overview of the field of homemaking, its place in history, and biblical perspective. To be taken the student’s first semester.
One hour

HMK 3103 Biblical Model for the Home and Family
Focus on the Biblical role of women related to the home, family, church, ministry, and relationships.
Three hours

HMK 3113 Nutrition
Focuses on the fundamentals of nutrition, nutrition through the life cycle, brief overview of food preparation, and meal management.
Three hours

HMK 3203 Value of a child
A study of the spiritual, physical, emotional and cognitive development of a child.
Three hours

HMK 3204 Meal Preparation with Lab
A study and practice of the basic principles of the selection and preparation of food. Nutrition is a pre-requisite.
Four hours

HMK 4101 Senior Seminar
Focuses on putting fundamental elements of homemaking into practice. This course is to be taken as a pre-requisite to the Homemaking practicum and should be taken the first semester of the student’s final year.
One hour

HMK 4103 Basics of Design
Introduces the student to design and includes colors, space, interior design, and a brief overview of clothing construction.
Three hours

HMK 4201 Homemaking Practicum
Focuses on putting fundamental elements of homemaking into practice while placing the students in real life situations. This course serves as the capstone course of the program and should be taken the student’s final semester.

HMK 4204 Clothing Construction with Lab
A study of patterns, fabric, equipment, and sewing. Basics of Design is a prerequisite.
Four hours

The “Today” show, as expected, took the “is this sexist” approach to the story. As the report progressed and the usual, “but some are upset men aren’t offered the opportunity to pursue the major” was uttered, I thought to myself, “here comes the feminazi statement from NOW.” As if on cue, a NOW representative appeared on the screen muttering about how the program was sexist and sets women back decades.

The in-studio interview with Ann Curry featured Rachel Hamman, an author and homemaker, and Glenn Williams, the senior vice president of Focus on the Family. Mr. Williams was, unfortunately, unable to present his argument in favor of the program, as Ann Curry continually interrupted him and refused to allow him to finish a point.

Hamman, on the other hand, was given significant time to make her absurd arguments, such as “women should study something useful so that they will have something to fall back on in the future” and  “homemaking isn’t something you can learn from a book.”

I went to school for several years knowing full-well that, instead of a philosophy degree, I was really working on an “Mrs.” degree. I had no intention of working after having children and philosophy was merely something that I enjoyed. How much better if I had been able to major in something that I could actually be using now? That philosophy degree certainly isn’t going to do me any good if the hubby up and leaves me! Besides, has Ms. Hamman never heard of “double-majoring?” If a young woman is so concerned that she may one day have to support herself, she is more than welcome, I’m sure, to major in both homemaking and something else.

As for not being able to learn homemaking from a book but, rather, needing “on the job training,” I would encourage Ms. Hamman to visit a doctor who never went to school but got a lot of “on the job training.” One can study any craft and become better at it by putting it into practice and to assert that studying homemaking from a book is useless is as absurd as saying that studying brain surgery from a book has no merit. I certainly hope my brain surgeon did some serious studying (from books!) before he actually cracked open a skull.

The major problem that folks on the “Today” show seemed to have with the homemaking major is that it is offered only to women. Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is a school founded on biblical principles, not the latest bunch of feminist hoo-ha. Titus 2:3-5 says, “Older women likewise are to…train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled” (emphasis mine). The bible states that women are to be workers at home, not men. Nowhere in the bible is there any indication that a man is to be a homemaker. Proverbs 31: 10-31 describes the “excellent wife,” detailing the job of a wife and mother. It is clear in this passage that it is the woman’s job to care for her home, her husband, and her children. It is based on these ideals that SWBTS decided to offer such a major, and offer it only to women. If you don’t like it, don’t attend a Baptist school.

I would love to get into the argument that the study of homemaking would lower the divorce rate (I believe that it would), but my home is calling. I’ve got a dinner to prepare, bathrooms to clean, and a home to ready for the return of my husband this evening. So this anti-feminist needs to make herself busy by “looking well to the ways of her household”(Proverbs 31:27).

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