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History of CBE

History of CBE

Disturbed by the shallow biblical premise used by churches, organizations, and mission groups to exclude the gifts of women, evangelical leaders assembled in 1987 to publish their biblical perspective in a new scholarly journal, Priscilla Papers. Included in the group were Gilbert Bilezikian, W. Ward Gasque, Stanley Gundry, Gretchen Gaebelein Hull, Catherine Clark Kroeger, Jo Anne Lyon, and Roger Nicole. The group determined that a national organization was needed to provide education, support, and leadership about biblical equality.

With the help and vision of these individuals, CBE International (founded as Christians for Biblical Equality) was established on January 2, 1988. Catherine Clark Kroeger served as the first president of the organization, and Alvera Mickelsen served as the first chair of the board of directors. (Read about CBE’s founders here.) Since 2001, Mimi Haddad has served as CBE’s second president.

CBE’s first major project was the creation of a statement, “Men, Women, and Biblical Equality,” which laid out the biblical rationale for equality as well as its application in the community of believers and the family. CBE hosted its first international conference in Saint Paul, Minnesota, in July of 1989.

CBE has grown to include supporters and partners from over 100 denominations and 65 countries. It conducts annual international conferences; publishes two award-winning publications, books and curriculum, and a blog; and hosts a podcast and an online bookstore devoted to reviewing and promoting resources on gender and the Bible from an egalitarian perspective.