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Patriarchal beliefs in American evangelicalism regarding women and men’s roles are pervasive—even in egalitarian churches. This helps explain the exodus that begins when a woman enters a church as pastor.

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After decades of struggling to accept “her place” followed by learning what the Bible truly says about how women can lead, Julie discovered it wasn’t too late to embrace God’s call for her to preach.

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The story of Gideon helps us understand why there aren’t more women in ministry. When God called Gideon, he was reluctant and anxious and in hiding—and a mighty warrior.

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Before women can be equally represented in church leadership—especially as pastors and especially at egalitarian churches—they need more time, outside affirmation of their calling, and an opportunity to heal.

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By paying attention to the context and specific word usage of 1 Corinthians 14, it becomes clear that Paul was not asking anyone—tongues-speakers, prophets, or women—to be quiet permanently.

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Despite verbal affirmation of women in ministry, women are often delegated to “safe” ministry with children rather than ministry that also works closely alongside men. This is not what God wants.

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One woman’s experience of being trained as a priest in the Church of England opened her eyes to a startling reality. A woman who dares to speak from a position of authority in the church is still a threat to too many.

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The barriers that prevent women from becoming pastors are innumerable. From even imagining it's possible to finding support—financial and spiritual—the world seems to stand against us in following this call with all its fury.

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Even in egalitarian settings, women can face challenges when answering their call to ministry. This article offers four encouragements to women who are beginning their journey into the pastorate. 

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To read Priscilla’s story through a lens of male-only leadership diminished her calling and also Paul’s. It also obstructs, demeans, and even abuses God’s welcome to women leaders and their male allies then and now!

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