Submissions accepted August 16 – September 17, 2021

2021 CBE Writing Contest—Write for Mutuality!

by CBE International | August 11, 2021

Do you want to help dismantle theological patriarchy in the home, church, and world? Then CBE invites you to write for our fifth annual writing contest! We’re passionate about giving women and men of all cultures, races, and classes a platform to share their stories and insights about biblical gender equality, egalitarian theology, and Christian feminism.

Submissions will be accepted August 16 – September 17, 2021. See How and What to Submit below for guidelines.

You can win prizes! The top 15 winners will:

Write About These Things . . .

We want to hear from you on a range of topics! Feel free to mix and match the ideas below—especially if you would like to consider each topic through a lens of intersectionality (the intersection of gender with other social justice issues like race or class).

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, and aligns with CBE’s Statement of Faith and Core Values, we will consider your entry.

1. Bible Interpretation for the Everyday Egalitarian

  • Which passages of the Bible have been instrumental for you in your journey as an egalitarian? What specific biblical passage or idea have you struggled to understand in terms of its implications for biblical gender equality? Which Bible passages have been most instrumental in helping you understand your role as a man or woman in the global church, in the body of Christ?
  • Who in the Bible—Old Testament or New Testament—has had a significant role in your journey as an egalitarian? Who do you look toward as an example for serving God and your neighbor? How is that influenced by your or their gender? Who has challenged your assumptions about gender because of how they are portrayed in the Bible?

2. Power Dynamics in Service and Leadership

  • How can men and women as co-leaders in Christ keep each other accountable to leading with humility?
  • How should church leaders embrace accountability to ensure there is no place for abuse? Reflect on the systems that enable highly visible leaders to conceal their patterns of abuse—e.g., in the case of Ravi Zacharias?
  • Why is it important to create a space where those who have suffered abuse feel safe? How can we do so—as leaders in the church and as lay people?
  • What internalized power dynamics still exist in egalitarian settings—what would you say to the men and women wondering if true, mutual egalitarianism is possible?
  • What stereotypes do we need to dismantle—in the home, church, or world—to enable us to all share authority equally in service and leadership?

3. Human Relationships and God's Design for Relationships

  • What do Christian, egalitarian, God-honoring relationships look like?
  • What does mutual submission look like for (celibate) single men and women? How can egalitarians better serve their single sisters and brothers? What about those who are newly married, longtime married, divorced, or widowed?
  • What does the everyday lifestyle of an egalitarian family look like? How can egalitarian parents raise children who are ready to share leadership and service in the home, church, and world?
  • How to not be afraid to work alongside women (#metoo implications…impropriety). What do God-honoring friendships between men and women look like? Can men and women be friends, independent of any scandal (e.g., address the Billy Graham Rule / Modesto Manifesto)?
  • Moving beyond a mindset of objectification and suspicion—what is true biblical manhood and womanhood?

4. The Unrestricted Use of Women's Gifts

  • What ingrained / internalized beliefs keep women from serving God and the church fully in the body of Christ? Why is there a shortage of women workers even in denominations that fully affirm the equal leadership of women alongside men?
  • Have you been part of a church that restricted the use of women’s gifts? How did that affect the efficacy of the gospel being preached to all people—regardless of class, race, gender, or culture? How were the women of the congregation and broader community affected?
  • How do you know when it’s time to leave a church versus staying and trying to be a voice for gender equality?

5. Opposing Injustice and Patriarchal Teachings and Practices

  • Describe a time when you stood against marginalization and abuse—or a time when you wish you had but didn’t.
  • Why are women abused in complementarian situations (marginalized and subjugated) as well as egalitarian situations (elevated but then secretly abused)?

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! By 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 five topics above as a typed, single-spaced Microsoft Word document attached in an email to Sarabeth at mutuality@cbeinternational.org by September 17, 2021.

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

  • Include your full name, an author biography (50 words or less), and a high-quality JPEG profile image
  • Provide the total word count of your submission (not including title)
  • Indicate which of the five topics you’ve chosen
  • 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. Because Mutuality blog+magazine is a popular, non-academic publication, please keep formal citations to a minimum; instead, try to include citations in-text (minimal footnotes).
  • 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 Sarabeth 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 mutuality@cbeinternational.org for more info.

Image with details for the Fifth Annual CBE Writing Contest