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Created for Partnership Speakers

"Created for Partnership" Speakers

CBE International's 2018 conference theme was "Created for Partnership," and was hosted by RaTas (Christians for Equality), in partnership with CBE International.

CBE's lineup of speakers included pastors, authors, professors, and social justice advocates from around the world!

Plenary Speakers

Medad Birungi (Uganda)

Plenary Lecture Title: Gender Reconciliation: The Importance of Biblical Equality in Missions and Development Cooperation in Uganda/Africa
Workshop Lecture Title: Real Men

Rev. Dr. Medad Birungi is the founder, president, and International director of WSM Association in Uganda. He is an international evangelist, Bible teacher, and author. He holds a PhD. Medad is the father of five biological and four adopted children.

See his works published through CBE here.


Kevin Giles (Australia)

Plenary Lecture Title: The Genesis of Equality
Workshop Lecture Title: The Trinity without Tiers

Dr. Kevin Giles, an Australian, has served as an Anglican parish minister for over forty years. He has been publishing on the substantial equality of the sexes since 1975. Kevin holds a doctorate in New Testament studies and has published books on the church, church health, ministry in the apostolic age, the book of Acts, gender equality, the Trinity, and numerous scholarly and popular articles.

See his works published through CBE here.


Mimi Haddad (USA)

Plenary Lecture Title: Genesis to Revelation: Women’s Identity Is Ezer—a Strong Rescue
Workshop Lecture Title: Women Builders of the Church: How Women Served

Dr. Mimi Haddad is president of CBE International. She is a graduate of the University of Colorado and Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary (Summa Cum Laude). She holds a PhD in historical theology from the University of Durham, England. Palmer Theological Seminary of Eastern University awarded Mimi an Honorary doctorate of divinity in 2013.

See her works published through CBE here.


Timo Lehikoinen (Finland)

Plenary Lecture Title: Perspectives on the Condition of Women in the First-Century Society and Church
Workshop Lecture Title: The Significance of New Testament Texts for Today´s Church Life

Timo Lehikoinen was named principal of the Theological School of Finland last year, having served there as faculty since 2002. He holds a ThM degree from the Evangelical Theological Faculty, Leuven, Belgium with New Testament Exegesis as a major. Timo is the father of seven children and lives in Kangasala, Finland.


Workshop Speakers

Saara Ruokonen

 More information coming soon.

Jan Cedercreutz (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: The Challenges of Fatherhood: A Biblical View

Jan Cedercreutz is the head of the Agape Center in Helsinki and one half of the televised teaching program "God Speaks" on Heaven TV7. He holds a master's degree in psychology. Jan has worked with his wife Joy, a psychologist, for twenty years as a youth pastor and school leader.


Beth Elness-Hanson (USA)

Workshop Lecture Title: If You Teach the Mama, the Whole Family Will Learn

Dr. Beth E. Elness-Hanson is a Bible teacher at Johannelunds Teologiska Högskola in Uppsala, Sweden. She grew up the daughter of a missionary in Hong Kong before becoming a missionary herself in Tanzania, where she taught at the Maasae Girls Lutheran School. Beth has a teenage daughter and enjoys day hikes and supporting others through their cancer journey.  


Lynley Giles (Australia)

Workshop Lecture Title: Growing Healthy and Equal Marriage Partnerships

Lynley Giles is an experienced social worker and marriage counselor. Prior to this she was a Prepare/Enrich trainer for psychologists, counselors, and pastors. She has been a member of CBE International since its creation and initiated the founding of the celebrated Melbourne Chapter. Lynley and her husband Kevin have four children and eleven grandchildren.


Rev. Heikki Hilvo (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: Three Important Women in the Bible: Eve, Mary, and Who Would Be the Third?

Rev. Heikki Hilvo is a freelance minister serving many different congregations. Heikki has worked as a pastor in Lapland and in Taiwan, and has served in the foreign department of the Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission in Helsinki.


Mervi Kalmus (Estonia)

Workshop Lecture Title: God, Language, and Equality

Mervi Kalmus is a doctoral student and part time lecturer from Estonia. She currently works in the Estonian Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, where she leads three departments. Mervi holds a master's degree in theology and another in linguistics.


Matti Kankaanniemi (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: Jesus, Women, and Sexual Stigma

Dr. Matti Kanaanniemi studies historical research methodology and psychological Jesus research. He has worked as a pastor in the Pentecostal Church, a teacher of theology and social sciences, a scholar in the Historical Jesus Research Group of Abo Akademi, and as a traveling lecturer. Matti holds master's degrees in economics and theology as well as a PhD. 


Riitta Keskimäki (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: The Portrait of a Woman in the Old Testament

Riitta Keskimäki has been a Bible teacher at Kansan Raamattuseura (The Logos Ministries) for eight years. She has also been a language teacher. Riitta holds a bachelor's degree from Helsinki University, where she studied languages (including the biblical languages).


Kari Kukkanen (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: Compiling the Themes of the First Day: Creation, Fall, Redemption, Reconciliation

Kari Kukkanen is a pensioned teacher from Christian College. He holds a master's degree in theology and another in philosophy. Kari has two sons.



Anne Mikkola (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: An Interpretation of 1 Cor. 11:2–16: Why Did Paul Ask Men Not to Cover Their Heads while Asking Women to Cover Their Heads?

Dr. Anne Mikkola is a university economics teacher and founding member of RaTas, Christians for Equality in Finland, where she works in cooperation with World Shine Ministries in Uganda to spread the message of equality of the sexes. Anne both taught and researched full-time at the University of Helsinki for twelve years.


Kimmo Pohjalainen (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: What the Bible Teaches about the Spiritual Leadership of Women

Kimmo Pohjalainen is a theologian, author, firefighter, and entrepreneur. He has served as a church pastor and elder in Turku, Finland. He holds a master's degree in biblical studies. Kimmo is married and has three children.


Maarit Pynnönen (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: Overcoming Barriers: Challenging but Not Impossible

Maarit Pynnönen is a missionary working in Cambodia, a guest teacher in a Bible school, and an advisor and trainer in community development programs. She is also the Kairos Coordinator in Cambodia. She has pastored in several Pentecostal churches in Finland and holds a master's degree in practical theology. Maarit and her husband Jouko have been married for thirty-two years, have two children, and two grandchildren.

See her works published through CBE here.


Rev. Charles Read (United Kingdom)

Workshop Lecture Title: What about the Maleness of Jesus?

Rev. Charles Read teaches liturgy and systematic theology. He has served as head of a secondary school as well as various roles in many parishes in Manchester Diocese. He was ordained at St. John's College in Nottingham, and is working on a PhD on inclusive language. Charles and his wife Judith have two sons, Jonathan and Phillip.

See his works published through CBE here.


Rev. Patti Ricotta (USA)

Workshop Lecture Title: Created for Partnership...Especially through Mutual Intimacy: How God's Design for Equality in Marriage Has the Power to Strengthen Intimate Love

Rev. Patti Ricotta is co-founder and president of Life Together International. Her teaching ministry in Africa has been active since 2004. She is ordained in the American Baptist Churches, USA. She has a Masters of Divinity focused on Hebrew, Greek, and biblical interpretation. Patti's collaboration with the Sabiny people in Uganda lead to their ending the practice of Female Genital Mutilation.

See her works published through CBE here.


Jussi Suutari (Finland)

Workshop Lecture Title: Struggle with Biblical Interpretation: Personal Journey to Biblical Equality

Jussi Suutari works as a church elder, as a board member for RaTas, and at Nokia. He and his wife Merja are both long-time members of RaTas and serve their local Pentecostal Church in many responsibilities, including teaching. They lived in and attended a church in Germany for four years. They have two daughters.