Our Mission and History
Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) is a nonprofit organization of Christian men and women who believe that the Bible, properly interpreted, teaches the fundamental equality of men and women of all ethnic groups, all economic classes, and all age groups, based on the teachings of Scriptures such as Galatians 3:28:
“There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (NIV 2011).
CBE affirms and promotes the biblical truth that all believers—without regard to gender, ethnicity or class—must exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in church, home and world.
We believe the Bible teaches...
- Believers are called to mutual submission, love and service.
- God distributes spiritual gifts without regard to gender, ethnicity or class.
- Believers must develop and exercise their God-given gifts in church, home and world.
- Believers have equal authority and equal responsibility to exercise their gifts without regard to gender, ethnicity or class and without the limits of culturally-defined roles.
- Restricting believers from exercising their gifts—on the basis of their gender, ethnicity or class—resists the work of the Spirit of God and is unjust.
- Believers must promote righteousness and oppose injustice in all its forms.
CBE recognizes that injustice is an abuse of power, taking from others what God has given them: their dignity, their freedom, their resources, and even their very lives. CBE also recognizes that prohibiting individuals from exercising their God-given gifts to further his kingdom constitutes injustice in a form that impoverishes the body of Christ and its ministry in the world at large. CBE accepts the call to be part of God’s mission in opposing injustice as required in Scriptures such as Micah 6:8.
Christians for Biblical Equality envisions a future where all believers are freed to exercise their gifts for God’s glory and purposes, with the full support of their Christian communities.
History of CBE
Disturbed by the shallow biblical premise used by churches, organizations, and mission groups to exclude the gifts of women, evangelical leaders assembled in 1987 to publish their biblical perspective in a new scholarly journal, Priscilla Papers. Included in the group were Gilbert Bilezikian, W. Ward Gasque, Stanley Gundry, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Catherine Clark Kroeger, Jo Anne Lyon, and Roger Nicole. The group determined that a national organization was needed to provide education, support, and leadership about biblical equality.
With the help and vision of these individuals, Christians for Biblical Equality was established on January 2, 1988. Catherine Clark Kroeger served as the first president of the organization, and Alvera Mickelsen served as the first chair of the board of directors. Since 2001, Mimi Haddad has served as CBE’s second president.
CBE’s first major project was the creation of a statement, "Men, Women, and Biblical Equality," which laid out the biblical rationale for equality as well as its application in the community of believers and the family. CBE hosted its first international conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in July of 1989.
CBE has grown to include members from over 100 denominations and 65 countries. It conducts annual, international conferences; publishes two award-winning publications, a blog, and a weekly e-newsletter; and hosts an online bookstore devoted to reviewing and promoting resources on gender and the Bible from an egalitarian perspective.