This year, CBE International held its fifth annual writing contest! We received many excellent, insightful submissions, making our job of selecting just fifteen winners very difficult. The 2021 winners bring a great variety of perspectives to our conversations on biblical equality. You can meet them below!
We’d also like to thank all the gifted writers who sent in entries for our fifth annual contest. Thank you for writing with vulnerable, honest hearts. Thank you for your commitment to healing gender inequalities in the home, church, and workplace. Thank you for calling attention to shortcomings and praising successes. You make us better and we honor you for it.
You’ll see the contest winners and honorable mentions published on our website in the coming months, along with other outstanding entries!
Congratulations to Our Top Fifteen Winners! (In Alphabetical Order)
Beth Barrett is a #metoo / #churchtoo activist, who has worked in full-time ministry since 2000. With degrees in English and psychology (BA) and Christian doctrine (MAR), her focus is on the intersection of trauma, theology, and literature. She writes essays, poems, and occasional stories on her Facebook page.
It’s Time to Empower the Mighty Gideon-Women of Ministry
Andrew J. Bauman
Andrew J. Bauman is the founder and director of the Christian Counseling Center: For Sexual Health & Trauma (CCC). He is a licensed mental health counselor with an MA in counseling psychology from The Seattle School of Theology & Psychology. Andrew is the author of How Not to Be an *ss, The Sexually Healthy Man, Floating Away, Stumbling Toward Wholeness, The Psychology of Porn, and (with his wife, Christy) A Brave Lament. You can follow his work on Facebook, andrewjbauman.com, and christiancc.org.
When Men Rule(d) the World: Confessions of a Former Patriarchalist
Vanessa Bickle holds a DMin from Trinity School for Ministry, recently completing her thesis on the use of gifts by women in the church. She is a vocational deacon in the Anglican church. She works as a software systems engineer and holds a BS and MS in Computer Science.
No Longer Male and Female: Why Do We Still Separate by Gender in Church?
Wren Bouwman is a self-defined “Christo-feminist” and a master’s student in applied linguistics at Iowa State University. She is passionate about reading, writing, and her cats, and has spent the last few years deconstructing/reconstructing her faith with her husband, Elijah. More of her work can be found at quarrelingoverwords.weebly.com.
Retreating from Retreats: An Egalitarian Vision for Church Conferences
Robin Gallaher Branch
Robin Gallaher Branch received a PhD in Hebrew studies from the University of Texas at Austin (2000). She won a Fulbright Fellowship to South Africa (2002–2003 ) and holds a research position at North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa. She serves as an adjunct professor at Christian Brothers University, Memphis, TN.
Gender Balance: A Freeing Way to Read, Hear, and Teach the Scriptures
Kensi Duszynski is a licensed marriage and family therapist and host of the Brave Marriage podcast. She studied marriage and family counseling at Asbury Theological Seminary and psychology at Asbury University. Today, she helps couples discover mutuality in marriage through online coaching and education at bravemarriage.com.
How to Teach Mutuality to the Next Generation
Lori Harding is a graduate of Knox Theological Seminary, an ordained pastor, and incoming doctoral student at Duke Divinity School. She has also served in program ministry and church communications. Lori is currently focused on the problem of evil as seen in the direct connection between patriarchy and abuse.
Complementarianism Exists in Egalitarian Organizations and Churches Because of Patriarchy
James MacKenzie is a retired anatomic pathologist who lives in the north of England. He has been a lay preacher for many years and, together with his wife, Florence, is a member of his church’s preaching team. They also partner in the online ministry, Equipped for Living.
Microscopes and Women’s Equality: Looking at the Big Picture of Scripture
Mayzie Mayfield is a writer and aspiring theologian whose work examines womanhood, mental health, and justice through a theological lens. She works as a proofreader and as the director of biblical justice at her church, while attending Fuller Theological Seminary. Mayzie lives in Denver, CO, with her husband Jeff.
An Ethic of Sacredness and Justice: Recovering the Imago Dei of Mothers
Erica McNair is passionate about guiding others to live in pursuit of a deeper relationship with God. She is a discipleship pastor at Cornerstone in Fort Worth, where she is blessed to work alongside her husband, counseling, teaching, and serving their congregation. Erica holds a degree in English from Hardin-Simmons University and writes about the character of God in her free time. She is a mom to two wonderful sons and a run coach to a thriving fitness community.
The Motherly Compassion of God
Hannele Ottschofski is a native of Finland and has spent most of her life in Germany married to a pastor. She has served her church as a writer, educator, editor, conference speaker, church elder, and translator. She has written a book, Tired of Waiting, Women in Church and Society.
To Leave or to Stay: How Women Can Change the Church
Rachel Heim Rausch
Rachel Heim Rausch grew up in Alabama and graduated from Liberty University with a degree in theology. She and her husband currently live in South Carolina where she works as a pastor. Rachel is passionate about gender theology, traveling, and learning new things!
Even Egalitarian Churches Limit Women’s Leadership
Erin M. Reynolds
Erin M. Reynolds earned her doctorate in human communication studies and taught communication at a seminary level. She worked in human resources and has conducted training and development/performance management for several organizations. Her passion is using her voice for change.
Loss of the Assumptive World: Identifying Gaslighting in Evangelical Organizations
Jill Richardson pastors in suburban Chicago, IL. She is also a writer and speaker. Her passion is to work with the next generation to create a healthy, just church. Jill has three grown daughters, who are her best and biggest cheerleaders. She enjoys traveling, gardening, volunteering with World Relief, and a good cup of Earl Grey.
How to Become a Church that Welcomes Women Pastors
Christine Teng-Henson is a wife and mother of three children. Tina served with InterVarsity at Harvard in her twenties and has served local churches in California in her thirties. Her MDiv is from Fuller Theological Seminary, though her training included courses taken in Boston, Vancouver, and Nairobi, Kenya.
Caring for the Mothers in Our Midst: The Church’s Responsibility
Congratulations to Our Five Honorable Mentions! (In Alphabetical Order)
Zenia Duell is a British Christian living in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. She loves ancient history (her first degree was in classics) and enjoys reading about theology, particularly mighty women of the Bible.
Ancient History? Cultural-Historical Context Helps Us See That Women and Men Are Equal
Amanda Hecht is pastor of First Baptist Church, Saskatoon, SK. After sensing a call to ministry at the age of fourteen, she earned her MDiv from Carey Theological College, and her DMin from Northern Seminary. She lives in Saskatoon with her husband, three children, and an assortment of cats.
Spotting Biblical Gemstones in Paul’s Ministry
Jesse C. Lazar
Jesse C. Lazar is a financial planner in northeast Ohio. He enjoys writing as a hobby and is passionate about true gender equality in the church and family. He is married to Sarah and has two daughters, Alexa and Elyse.
Reclaiming Submission: Mutual Love and Service in the Egalitarian Marriage
Sheri Bradley is the worship program director at Central Christian College of the Bible in Moberly, MO. She has led worship ministries in Texas, Colorado, and Missouri. She holds degrees from Dallas Christian College and Lincoln Christian University and is a doctoral candidate at the Webber Institute for Worship Studies.
This Is a Question of Culture, Power, and Value, Not Role
Brian Wiele is an Evangelical Covenant Church pastor who currently serves as a hospice chaplain in Sacramento, CA. He formerly served as Chair of the ECC’s Commission on Biblical Gender Equality, and he blogs at bluespigot.org. Brian and Linda have two married children and two grandchildren.
“Never Lord!” No More: What Peter Can Teach Us About Sexism
Check out the winning articles from CBE’s 2020 contest here.
Photo by Clay Banks on Unsplash.