Finding an Egalitarian Church
CBE keeps a small directory of churches that agree with our Statement of Faith. Feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to find out if any of these churches are in your area. Because CBE's directory includes only those churches that have personally contacted us, we will most likely not have an exhaustive list of the egalitarian churches in your area. You can help us grow our directory by letting us know when you find a church!
Still looking for a church? Here are a few suggestions to help you to find a church that promotes biblical equality:
Search the web or your local yellow pages for churches within a comfortable commuting distance. When possible, read their statement of faith or look to see if they have a statement on women in ministry. Try visiting the church’s website and checking out their contact page to see if any women serve on the pastoral team or the elder board. You may also want to read about the church’s men’s and women’s ministries; check to see if they outline any statements about gender roles.
Consider visiting the websites of the denominations listed below. While individual congregations within denominations may vary greatly and may not all agree with CBE's Statement of Faith, these groups are known to give women access to leadership positions. They include:
The Anglican Communion
Assemblies of God
Church of the Brethren
Church of the Foursquare
Church of the Nazarene
Cooperative Baptist Fellowship
Christian Reformed Church
Disciples of Christ
Episcopal Church in the USA
Evangelical Lutheran Churches of America (ELCA)
Mennonite Church of the USA
The Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA)
The Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC)
Reformed Church in America
Worldwide Church of God
If you are interested in a particular church, visit the church office and ask for a copy of the church constitution. It often will indicate who can run for offices and how officers are chosen. If it looks promising, interview the pastor or a staff member and explain that you are looking for a church home where you and your family will feel comfortable and welcome. You might ask some of the following questions, but be sure to avoid sounding confrontational—rarely a helpful practice. Consider the visit an effort to gain new friends! Here are a few questions you might want to ask:
1. Are there women on the elder board or the decision-making board that determines church policy?
2. Do they have women on staff? If so, in what positions?
3. Do they have a woman as pastor? Have they ever had a woman as pastor?
4. Do women preach often?
5. Does the church have an official position on authority in the home and church?
6. Do they (or have they) taught classes on gender in the last five years? If so, what books do/did they use?
7. What Bible translation do they use in their pews?
8. Is the church familiar with the ministry of CBE?
9. Provide the church with a copy of CBE's statement on "Men, Women, and Biblical Equality" for their consideration. This document has been adopted by numerous churches around the world.
Is Your Church Already Egalitarian?
Add your church to our Egalitarian Church Directory! CBE keeps a directory of churches which we then recommend to members and friends as they are searching for a church in their area. If you would like to be listed, please contact us.
And while you're at it, consider giving your church a CBE membership! CBE church members receive many resources that help build a biblical understanding of gift-based ministry, and your support through membership helps sustain our ministry. Please join us!