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Advocating at Patriarchal Events

Advocating for Women’s Leadership at the Evangelical Theological Society

One of CBE’s significant outreach efforts targets the influential Evangelical Theological Society (ETS). Each year, CBE’s president presents a paper or moderates a panel, we host a scholar’s meal, and provide an exhibit booth loaded with egalitarian books and free CBE resources at the ETS annual meeting. ETS attendees also receive a digital copy of the Priscilla Papers’ Autumn issue.

With 4,500 members and only 6% women members, CBE’s outreach at ETS is strategic and crucial.

ETS exercises far-reaching influence over the next generation of theologians, academics, and Bible translators who shape Christian thought and policies in Christian communities worldwide. For this reason, CBE intern Emily Louise Zimbrick-Rogers published her 2015 research on ETS. She showed how no women have ever served on the executive committee or on the journal’s editorial board, which rarely published egalitarian and women’s scholarship. She also found that there were no women plenary speakers from 1986 to 2015.*

Through multilayered strategies, CBE and partners achieved the following changes within ETS:

  • Ground-breaking lectures challenging patriarchal theology.
  • Two ETS leaders recanted errant theology used to exclude women.
  • After CBE exposed poor treatment of women, ETS’ president publicly apologized and created pathways for more women’s voices.
  • A recently established ETS women’s community strengthens collegial relationships in an otherwise male-dominant environment.
  • Ballot replaced show-of-hands voting to protect those who oppose prevailing complementarian leadership.
  • Women presented plenaries at the last four conventions.
  • A woman was voted onto the nominating committee.
  • The journal of ETS—JETS—hired their first woman editor.

Join CBE to promote equal leadership and service between women and men.

Advocating for women’s leadership at ETS is crucial and influences change across the global evangelical academy. It requires enormous staff time and incurs significant printing and shipping costs, totaling almost $30,000 annually.

Will you support us as we advocate at the next ETS annual meeting for the women called to serve as leaders?

* Read A Question Mark Over My Head by Emily Zimbrick-Rogers. CBE’s presence and egalitarian voice at ETS are vital because “ETS has a reputation throughout the theological academy for its predominant complementarianism.” —Participant in Zimbrick-Rogers’ study