Church of Our Granddaughters

Church of Our Granddaughters is a visionary work of theology and ethics that looks hopefully and lovingly two generations into the future, imagining the Orthodox Church’s practices and realities rightfully aligned with its core theological teachings and truths regarding women. This reverent but bold work offers the necessary insight and inspiration to create a community which welcomes all its members, our granddaughters as well as our grandsons, thus allowing the Orthodox Church to better incarnate its mission of service and transfiguration. 

Church of Our Granddaughters is now available from Cascade Books and major booksellers such as Amazon.

Table of Contents


Chapter One: Women and Men

Chapter Two: Menstruation

Chapter Three: Churching

Chapter Four: Miscarriage

Chapter Five: Leadership

Chapter Six: Ordination


Reviews of Church of Our Granddaughters

Reviewed on IOTA Forum by Luis Salés

Rachel Contos on Church of Our Granddaughters: Method

“I find her methodology to be invigorating: it can help us reframe the change to increase women’s place in Orthodoxy not as something subversive or bad; instead it can be recognized as loving, incarnational, fully realizing Christ’s vision, more Orthodox, faithful to the Tradition.”

Marianne Boules on Church of Our Granddaughters: A Reflection on a Lifetime as the Second Sex in the Orthodox Church

“[Frost’s view on sex and gender] comes as a breath of fresh air. Instead of trying to define the sexes by looking to the past or future, we are tasked with trying to live in the present. It reminds me of something C.S. Lewis writes in The Screwtape Letters: ‘For the Present is the point at which time touches eternity. Of the present moment, and of it only, humans have an experience analogous to the experience which [God] has of reality as a whole; in it alone freedom and actuality are offered them.'”

Marika Proktor on Church of Our Granddaughters: On Reading the Epistle

The book provoked me to reflect, with a certain sheepishness, on how I have taken my local practices for granted amidst the greater diversity of practices within our tradition. Liturgical scholar Robert Taft coined the phrase, “All liturgy is local.” Liturgy is this way, in part, because liturgy is also living. This is one of the authentic qualities of our Orthodox tradition: linked as we are by the words of the same liturgy, various local practices flourish. Dr. Frost accounts for and recommends this liturgical variation (see her discussion of various co-existing possibilities for revisions to churching prayers). 

Laura Wilson on Church of Our Granddaughters: The Ministry Women are Already Doing

Frost recognizes the ancient historical contexts, acknowledging that a reinstitution would require a “creative reimagination of how the order would best serve the Orthodox Church today” (122). Deaconesses in America or Romania might have different roles than those in Africa. I imagine this will provoke a critical response from some, but this is the historical example.

Endorsements for Church of Our Granddaughters

“Carrie Frederick Frost’s work is convicting and compelling, heartbreaking and heartening. To read it is to hear a prophetic voice, fueled by agape, calling the Orthodox Church to repentance. Blending incisive arguments, historical evidence, and personal experiences, Church of our Granddaughters invites readers to restore and release the vibrancy of Orthodoxy’s tradition on pastoral care for women and female leadership and ministry. It should be read by every hierarch, priest, deacon, and lay person who cares about Orthodox Christianity’s present…and future.”

-REV. PERRY T. HAMALIS, Cecelia Schneller Mueller Professor of Religion, North Central College 


“Carrie Frederick Frost offers a breath of fresh air in tack­ling the role of women in the Orthodox Church. She is honest and courageous in confronting both the challenges that still face women, and positive in providing constructive ways forward. Issues of ‘purity,’ equality, and leadership af­fect every member of the Church regardless of their gender. Frost is balanced and scholarly, but also passionate in her drive to bring about change for future generations.”

—MARY B. CUNNINGHAM, University of Nottingham


 “Nuanced, humane, and above all culturally and theologi­cally literate, this is a wonderful contribution to Christian reflection both within and beyond the Orthodox Church. It is not some indiscriminate plea for Enlightenment ethics to take over from theology, but a fresh, careful sifting and highlighting of the tradition itself, manifestly seeking the integrity and spiritual health of the Body of Christ.”

—ROWAN WILLIAMS, former archbishop of Canterbury


 “Carrie Frederick Frost makes a dire claim: the Orthodox Church is already in a state of schism over women. But Frost also knows that God excels in reconciling the estranged. In this brief, beautiful study, Frost courageously names where Or­thodox practice has betrayed the gospel, proposes solutions of theological and spiritual integrity, and envisions a Church that any woman, of any tradition, would be pleased and proud for her granddaughter to call home.”

—SARAH HINLICKY WILSON, author of Woman, Women, Priesthood in the Trinitarian Theology of Elisabeth Behr-Sigel


 “A thoughtfully compiled and deeply personal contempla­tion on the complexity of being a practicing Orthodox Christian woman today. This book is a helpful tool for both men and women navigating their personal and spiritual path within the complexity of Orthodoxy with its incredible theology and its distinct cultural heritage bearing a lingering problematic of twenty centuries of patriarchal legacy.”

—ELENA NARINSKAYA, co-editor of Women and Ordination in the Orthodox Church


“Carrie Frederick Frost’s excellent review of the ways Eastern and Oriental Orthodox Churches can move to a revitalized future brings encouragement to all who recog­nize the resurrection in every living person. Her careful review of customs regarding women is rooted in the gospel teachings of the dignity and value of all. Church of Our Granddaughters is required reading for anyone who hopes the tradition of women deacons can be recovered throughout all Christianity.”

—PHYLLIS ZAGANO, Hofstra University


What Others are Saying about Church of Our Granddaughters

Axia Women

[Frost] has written two books about women that combine a deep pastoral sensibility with sound theology,  clear-eyed realism, and a profound love of the Church. Maternal Body: A Theology of Incarnation from the Christian East (Paulist Press, 2019) has been called an uplifting look into Orthodoxy and the body that sets the body, sexuality, and universal embodied experiences in  their rightful, holy order. Church of Our Granddaughters (Cascade Books, 2023) writes plainly about the practices in the Orthodox Church that are already divisive and are causing a silent schism driving away women (and men) from the chalice–and suggesting practical, pastoral, and theologically sound solutions to each issue.

An Amazon Review by a Reader

I literally devoured this book. I read it in one day!

Thank you, Dr. Carrie Frederick Frost, for writing “Church of Our Granddaughters”. It was so digestible and, at the same time, profound. My dad, a priest, is reading it next. I hope every member of the laity and clergy of the Orthodox Church reads this book. My Orthodox girlfriends and I have often talked about the lack of books and spaces dedicated to women in the Orthodox Church (other than those related to motherhood and marriage). We’ve all felt, at best, misunderstood by the church. At worst, ostracized and seen as “less.”

Many of my experiences within the church, especially as the daughter of a priest, have deeply hurt me. This book felt like a call to action, made me feel seen and, as a consequence, at peace, and reminded me of the things I have always loved about the church. I’ll be forever grateful for this book. Read it!