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During the eighteenth century, the United States was not a particularly welcoming place for women looking to speak their minds—especially not African American women looking to speak their minds. But that did not stop God from blessing strong women to speak his words to people who needed to hear. Zilpha Elaw was one such woman.

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In her book, Worthy: Finding Yourself in a World Expecting Someone Else, Melanie Springer Mock critiques the Christian culture which labels people and puts them into boxes. She then affirms God’s heart for every individual by emphasizing how much he loves them, regardless of what the world might think. She shares many experiences from her own life, both painful and positive, that helped challenge her thinking.

 

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One of the key issues faced by women in the church is the lack of provision for ongoing leadership development. Even in churches that espouse gender equality, women woefully lack leadership opportunities, especially on the platform.

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Women participated significantly in the modern mission movement, serving as leaders in what was perhaps the greatest missionary impulse the world has ever known.

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May we all be inspired by Rev. Rose Hudson-Wilkin, a woman who not only makes history, but does so with boldness and courage, unapologetically and matter-of-factly confronting sexism and racism on the national stage, to powerful leaders, and in some of the world’s most traditional, white and male-dominated halls of power.

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Despite the opposition of medieval theologians who insisted that women were unsuited for leadership because of Eve’s sin, women leaders, mystics, and missionaries offered strong moral, spiritual, and intellectual rescue to the church in the Middle Ages.

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Macrina the Younger was a member of a celibate community of fourth century Christians who devoted much of her life to the theological education of other Christians. She was named a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church after her death, celebrated as a compelling testimony of Christian humility and discipline. 

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Immaculée emerged from the weight of oppression victorious in her faith and convicted to testify to her ordeal. Today, she is an author and motivational speaker who shares her amazing story with people around the world.

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Author, playwright, and philanthropist, Hannah More’s passion for education and social justice led her and her sister, Martha, who were encouraged by William Wilberforce, to help those in poor conditions in the Mendip Hills near Somerset, England.

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When I am invited to speak at a Christian college, I make an effort to learn something about the school, particularly about the founders and graduates. Over time, I’ve discovered an impressive history of women graduates who were trained by these early evangelical Bible institutes, today's Christian colleges and universities, in the 1800s. 

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