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A Question Mark Over My Head


This event will present the findings of a qualitative study of women in evangelicalism, using the Evangelical Theological Society’s 2014 annual meeting as the research site. Over 30 women and 8 men were interviewed, mainly in-person in the space of 3 days, with additional follow-up interviews conducted by phone or Skype.

Female professors and students described their experiences of participating in a male-dominated academic society as both fruitful and frustrating. Male ETS leadership explained ETS institutional culture regarding the place of women with conflicting explanations for women’s low participation and lack of leadership in the organization. Additional stories were collected from women who participated as exhibitors. Listening to the stories of women at ETS enables a better understanding of the place of women in evangelical society, both in evangelical academic institutions and in the broader church culture.

Themes from the research include a feeling of being stuck in the middle or marginalized; a need for networks, mentors, and supportive spouses and/or colleagues; combatting a lack of respect and lack of welcome; and navigating a space of entrenched complementarianism. This session will also present possible future steps for action, both for CBE and for those who are interested in the evangelical academy and church.