2020 CBE Writing Contest—Write for Women’s Equality!

by CBE International | July 15, 2020

For the fourth year in a row, CBE is holding our very popular annual writing contest! We’re passionate about giving everyone in our community an opportunity to use their gifts to dismantle theological patriarchy in the home, church, and world. This contest is designed to give those passionate about biblical gender equality/egalitarian theology/Christian feminism a platform to share their stories and insights. 

You can win prizes! The top 15 winners will:

  • Be published with CBE
  • Win a $20 Amazon gift card
  • Win an early-release copy of Liberation Is Here by Nikole Lim
  • Receive a free year-long subscription to CBE’s award-winning magazine, Mutuality

Topics:

We want to hear you on these seven topics! Feel free to mix and match topics and bullet points within these topics. As long as your article is focused on CBE’s mission to promote the equality of women and men as co-leaders in the church, home, and world, we will consider your entry. 

1. Egalitarian Bible Interpretation

  • What passages of Scripture led you to believe in biblical gender equality? What parts of Scripture did you struggle with, and how has your reading of those passages developed over time and study? What is a Scripture passage that you understand in a new way by reading it through an egalitarian perspective?
  • Who in the Bible do you admire for the way they advanced God’s vision for equality? Who in the Bible troubles you, and how do you understand their inclusion in God’s Word?
  • How do your egalitarian theology and beliefs change the way you receive and understand the Bible or a particular passage of Scripture? How has your understanding of or relationship to God changed by becoming an egalitarian?

2. Racism and Gender

  • If you are a person of color, how have you experienced both discrimination and affirmation for your race and gender in the church or other types of Christian communities?
  • In what ways has the egalitarian movement been complicit in discrimination against fellow egalitarians of color? What should we do to both make amends and move forward to greater justice and equality in the future?
  • How would you cast a vision for racial justice in light of what we believe about biblical equality for women and men? How do our egalitarian convictions for women and men obligate us to also advocate for racial equity?

3. Raising the Next Generation of Egalitarians

  • How do we shape the next generation to be egalitarians and to advocate for biblical equality whether we are parents, youth leaders, teachers, pastors, or extended family members?
  • Research shows that the next generation (often called GenZ or iGen) are predisposed toward egalitarian beliefs about all people. What are strategies or ideas for cultivating and shaping that instinct toward biblical equality for the church?
  • Did becoming a parent inspire you to reexamine your beliefs about biblical gender equality? Did having a daughter cause you to reconsider where you attend church? What kind of reflection on biblical gender equality was inspired by having a son?

4. Sexual Harassment and Abuse in the Church

  • Have you experienced sexual harassment or inappropriate behavior/touch/comments in the church as a woman? How was it addressed? Was is addressed at all? Did you feel believed and respected?
  • What does religious teaching and theology have to do with consent? Why have youth groups and churches rarely talked about consent when teaching on sexuality? Why is consent a biblical principle?
  • What is sexual harassment? How can we recognize it in the church? How can we avoid dismissing it as “boys will be boys”?

5. Egalitarian Relationships

  • How have you overcome the pressure to conform to traditional gender roles (lead and pursue/submit and receive) in dating or marriage? How do you and your spouse challenge sexist assumptions in your daily life?
  • How does the church treat singles and how has that impacted you? What are some of the church’s harmful messages about dating and singleness (gendered messages especially)?
  • How does your egalitarian theology affect the way you make friends? If you are single or celibate, what role do friendships with married people play in your life? If you are married, what role do friendships with single or celibate people play in your life? What do these friendships teach you about biblical gender equality?

6. Mutuality in Ministry

  • Whether you are a woman or a man, what female role models influence the way you lead and pastor others?
  • As egalitarians, how do we build gender equitable ministry teams? What are the benefits and challenges of building gender balanced ministry teams? What do women and men need to learn how to work better together?
  • Why is it important to have both female and male pastors and leaders in our churches? When have you experienced or observed true mutuality between women and men in ministry? What was that like, and what effect did it have on you and your church?
  • If you are a male pastor, what have you learned about sharing or surrendering leadership to female pastors and leaders? What advice or encouragement would you give to other male pastors about sacrificing your own power and privilege in order to elevate female leaders and pastors?
  • If you are a female pastor, what have you learned as a woman and/or woman of color in ministry? What would you tell young girls who may follow you down the ministry/pastoral path?

7. Honoring Our Bodies (or What Comes After Purity Culture)

  • How can we begin a conversation around body positivity in the church? How can we honor the bodies God so carefully crafted?
  • As egalitarians/Christian feminists, how should we think about our bodies and does it differ from how the church has traditionally understood the human body? Is there a difference between valuing and affirming the body and elevating it too much?
  • Let’s talk about women’s bodies. Whose are they? What are they for? Why does it matter? How do we as a society and as a church discourage women’s bodily agency and autonomy? What does it look like to honor women’s bodily autonomy in the church?

Note: Please feel free to consider each topic with attention to intersectionality (the intersection of gender with other social justice issues like race or class).

But what if my submission isn’t chosen as one of the top 15? Good question:

All submissions will be considered for publication by CBE. So, if your piece is fantastic but isn’t one of the top 15, we may still want to get it out there! In submitting your piece, you agree to have your article considered by CBE editors for publication in the future.

How and What to Submit:

Please submit your non-academic entry on one of the seven topics above as a typed, single-spaced Microsoft Word document attached in an email to Ellen at mutuality@cbeinternational.org by August 14, 2020.

In the email to which you attach your entry/ies, please:

1. Include your full name, an author biography (50 words or less), and a high-quality JPEG profile image

2. Provide the total word count of your submission (not including title)

3. Indicate which of the seven topics you’ve chosen

4. Title the document using your last name

The Fine Print:

  • All submissions must be between 700-1500 words, must honor CBE’s core values, and should be tailored to the CBE mission: CBE exists to promote the biblical message that God calls women and men of all cultures, races, and classes to share authority equally in service and leadership in the home, church, and world. CBE's mission is to eliminate the power imbalance between men and women resulting from theological patriarchy. Submissions should be a typed single-spaced Microsoft Word document. (Paragraphs don’t need to be indented, but we aren’t too picky).
  • You may submit more than one entry for consideration. We may publish more than one submission per person, but only one submission per person will be a Top 15 winner.
  • We will not accept late submissions for the contest, but we will still consider late submissions for publication.
  • All content should be original and not published elsewhere, unless you host a personal blog that has a small audience. Please indicate if this is the case and send a link.
  • All submissions should have correct spelling and grammar and include some form of citation or link for any outside sources. However, in a non-academic article, citations (if included) should be minimal.
  • Your article will be edited by CBE’s communications team prior to publication and titles may be changed.
  • Questions about the contest can be directed to Ellen at mutuality@cbeinternational.org.

Please Help Us Share!

If you want to promote this contest on your social media platform or your blog, feel free to use the graphic below or contact Ellen above for more info. 

2020 CBE Writing Contest—Write for Women’s Equality!


Photos by Kyle Glenn and Jess Bailey on Unsplash