Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull

While their roots go back much further and their influence spreads much wider, the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements were born in the homeschool movement in the 1980s and have since grown by leaps and bounds. Christian Patriarchy teaches that families must follow a strict patriarchal order and Quiverfull teaches that families must raise up numerous children as foot soldiers to build Christ’s kingdom on earth. While technically distinct, these two movements nevertheless almost always go hand in hand.

The Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements have no one leader or organizational structure. Rather, there exists a cluster of leaders who may or may not view each other as allies but nevertheless promote similar teachings and run a variety of organizations and ministries that often network with each other. These leaders include, but are not limited to, Bill Gothard, Nancy Campbell, Mary Pride, Doug Wilson, Doug Phillips, Geoff Botkin, Jonathan Lindvall, Scott Brown, and Michael Pearl. Families involved in the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements are generally influenced by the teachings of one or more of these loosely networked leaders.

I grew up in a family influenced by Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull ideology; once in college, I began questioning the ideas behind these movements. You can read about this in my story. Since then leaving all that behind I’ve done a great deal of thinking about the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements and how they’ve shaped who I am. This blog is the main place I’ve been doing this thinking.


Key Posts on Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull

Christian Patriarchy/Quiverfull and the Homeschool Movement

The Christian Patriarchy Movement, an Introduction

The Quiverfull Movement, an Introduction

On Christian Patriarchy:

Men and Women in Christian Patriarchy

Patriarchy in Practice

Fixing Problems by Turning Back the Clock

On Quiverfull:

Quiverfull: Outbreeding the World

Mass Produced Children

Children Are Not Trophies

Addicted to Pregnancy and Babies

On the Effects on Children:

(Too) Great Expectations

We Don’t “Do” Teenagers

An Ideological Straight Jacket

On the Effects on Daughters:

Diminished Dreams

Dutiful Daughters

Whose Choice?

Girls Gone Extreme

Daughters Have Brains

Taking Dominion by Doing Laundry

Stay at Home Daughters: A Dream Greater than Stardom?

How Many Kids Do You Want?

Marrying Before Thinking

Diapers, Crowd Control, Parenting, and Me

My Responses to Critics:

The Problem: Parents or Ideology?

A Complementarian Responds


Resources on Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull


Homeschoolers Anonymous — a website presenting articles by a variety of homeschool alumni, focusing on the Christian homeschool movement.

A Quiver Full of Information – a huge wellspring of information on all aspects of the Quiverfull movement, from an informational perspective.

Under Much Grace – articles and resources for those suffering from spiritual abuse, from a Christian perspective.

The Commandments of Men – a Christian man speaks directly about the problems with the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements.

Overcoming Botkin Syndrome – a website addressing the enmeshment and emotional incest that can result from the teachings of Christian Patriarchy.

Recovering Grace – a website for those affected by and recovering from Bill Gothard and his Institute for Basic Life Principles, from a Christian perspective.

Rethinking Vision Forum – a website bringing together articles criticizing Vision Forum and Doug Phillips’ teachings, from a variety of perspectives.

Quivering Daughters – help and healing for daughters of the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements, from a devoutly Christian perspective.

The Take Heart Project – physical and financial help for those leaving the Christian Patriarchy and Quiverfull movements.

Survivor Blogs

Click here.


Quiverfull: Inside the Christian Patriarchy Movement, by Kathryn Joyce


House Proud, on Bitch magazine

All God’s Children, on Slate

Inside the Quiverfull Movement, Birth Control is Shunned, on NPR

My Life as a Daughter in the Christian Patriarchy Movement, on Alternet

Why I Wish I Had Gone to College, on Rethinking Vision Forum