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My conference workshop, "A Question Mark Over My Head: Learning From the Narratives of Female Theologians in the Evangelical Academy," presented the voices of evangelical women theologians--the struggles and the triumphs, the creative ways in which they are following God's call, and their insight on the state of the church and the evangelical academy.

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Recently I was told the story of a 55-year-old woman currently attending an evangelical seminary. This story, and others like it, drive my upcoming research at the Evangelical Theological Society conference.

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If William Carey was the “father” of modern missions, was there a “mother?” Certainly, many prominent women have made their mark. Lottie Moon is considered the patron saint of Southern Baptist missions. Ann Judson was every bit as capable a missionary as her husband Adoniram.

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Lillian Trasher aimed to serve “the least of these” (Matt. 25:40). Her orphanage in Egypt took in abandoned children with physical disabilities and illnesses as well as vulnerable widows.

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Hidden behind much patriarchal thinking is a pervasive patrilineal worldview. The belief that the family line is a male line and that males own and inherit the resources, has colored nearly all our cultures in the past and still accounts for much oppression and sidelining of women. Beulah will speak from her experience in south Asian culture, recognizing that, within families, women often become the perpetrators of discrimination against females. Does that happen to some extent near all of us? The Bible culture too is patrilineal. How shall we view that?

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Every era of Christian history has been shepherded by faithful women laboring alone or alongside their believing brothers.

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Many people don’t know that African American women were leading and pastoring churches from the beginning of the modern Pentecostal movement in the early 1900s. Meet two of these women: Lucy Farrow and Jennie Evans Seymour. 

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Every week, members of our small group Bible study share their “highs,” their “lows,” and how they’ve seen God this week. A couple of weeks ago, I co-led the group in a discussion on what it means to be both a Christian and a feminist. To begin, women in the group spoke openly about our “lows,” “highs,” and “how’s” of being a woman in the church.

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My personal journey has led me to be more vocal about getting women involved in ministry and about encouraging women to take leadership. I try to teach in both formal and informal arenas as the opportunities present themselves.

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How might someone’s view of gender impact the doctrine of salvation through Christ? I believe it does, and in significant ways. I will argue that if women are subordinate simply because they are women, then Jesus’ redemptive work can—in some fashion—not fully apply to women.

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