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As I watch my daughter mature and develop a rather alarming perceptiveness, I wonder when she will start to notice the vocational gender disparity around her, particularly in the church. Her wide-eyed five-year-old self knows nothing of a world in which her gender has something to say about how she can embody the gifts and graces given to her by God. Even as she watches her mom ascend the platform each week to preach, when will she notice that most of the other preachers in our tradition are men? Will that precious gift of presumption be stripped from her hands by the incongruence between her hopes and the reality she encounters? And will she even notice when it’s gone? Read more
LeAnn Van Cleef-Trimmer
Becoming His Story: Inspiring Women to Lead, is a good resource for readers who may be new to the topic of women’s leadership within the church. Mary-Elsie Wolfe approaches the topic with conviction and in a manner which is readily grasped. She addresses the tension that can exist between Jesus’s example and the reality of today’s church, and she provides the reader with practical application and tools to help make this ideal a tangible reality. Read more
This latest volume in the International Leadership Association Series considers the leadership of women in multiple positions from multiple theoretical perspectives. The foreword states that the book intends to change “how we think about theorizing women’s leadership.” It proposes that a working theory will create social transformation in developing women leaders and will “restructure organizations to be more equitable and sustainable.”  Read more
When I first read the title of this book, I thought that it was not really possible . . . I did not expect to read an account of one woman’s journey to the priesthood in Kenya nor of her determination to influence change within the Anglican Church in Kenya. I almost wouldn’t call this a book. It reads more like a journal telling the stories of individuals and cultural issues on a continent that many people have not been to and the difficulties of changing cultures that do not honor women . . . If you have a heart for change, for gender equity, and for loving others as we love ourselves, this is a must-read. Read more
Sarah Rodriguez
I was sitting in an anthropology class at my Christian college listening to the musings of the professor. She had been speaking about globalization, feminism, and Christianity when she suddenly posed the controversial question, should women be allowed to be missionaries? I was shocked by her question, because until that point, I had never doubted the legitimacy of female missionaries. Read more
At last we have a historical analysis worthy of its subject— Katharine Bushnell, who began her career as a missionary doctor in China and went on to become a theologian, missionary and perhaps the most significant gender reformer of her day. Through eight page-turning chapters, Kobes Du Mez introduces Bushnell within the context of American Protestantism where she rises to a “household word” (1). Read more
. . . the introduction and passage of the four-fold resolution package and the internet conversations following the 67th Annual Meeting [of the Evangelical Theological Society] are symptomatic of the desire of some ETS members to move the Society in the direction of precise, doctrinal, and interpretive clarity and definition, ideally in the form of a doctrinal statement and other “position statements.” I am trained not only as a theologian but as a church historian; consequently I am inclined to be skeptical of conspiracy theories unless there is compelling evidence. Nevertheless, based on the evidence, some of us are now wondering if there is a conspiracy within ETS... Read more
Vicki Scheib
When I was asked to lead a single adult ministry in my church, my response was a quick and emphatic “No!” As a thirty-something woman wrestling with my own singleness, how could I muster the strength and wisdom to minister to those on a similar journey? Working with single adults would only highlight my own personal angst as my season of singleness extended longer than I anticipated. Read more
D'Esta Love’s compendium is not only a historic record of change in the Churches of Christ, it also preserves the words of the women themselves . . . Because opportunities for women to preach in conservative churches remain infrequent, Love has collected these sermons as a way to “document that history as well as preserve their words” (25) . . .  Love’s legacy is empowering women to tell their stories in a way that connects them to God’s greater story. Read more
We are shaped by our stories. In fact, our stories, once in place, determine much of our behavior without regard to their accuracy or helpfulness. Once these stories are stored in our minds, they stay there largely unchallenged until we die. And here is the main point: these narratives are running (and often ruining) our lives. That is why it is crucial to get the right narratives. Read more

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