Some of the most gifted and inspired leaders in the Church today are women. In my work as a seminary professor and dean, I encounter numerous women with incredible potential for the work of the God’s kingdom. Yet many churches and denominations still struggle with the place of women in leadership. The so-called “mainlines” are not immune to this. For example, an article in Philly.com reports that female clergy in the UMC make 13% less than their male counterparts. In addition recent statistics show that women on average make up about 20% of conference leadership, and studies also show that female clergy are leaving the ministry after about 8 years, often citing bias against female clergy as a primary reason.
United Theological Seminary will host a conference on women’s preaching and leadership this September in Dayton. Speakers include Bishop Violet Fisher and Bishop Marva Mitchell. (Bishop Craig was originally scheduled, but at this point cannot attend). Also joining them will be Ms. Amee Paparella, Director and Grass Roots Organizer for Women’s Issues, General Board of Church and Society UMC, who will lead worship on Wednesday morning.
Female faculty members will be on hand to discuss the importance of women’s perspectives on biblical interpretation, pastoral care, leadership, and evangelism/community renewal.
Additionally, the conference will include a panel discussion with the following participants:
Both Masters Level and C.E.U. credits are available.
This is going to be an important and inspiring event. I really hope you can make it. Men, don’t be shy. If you care about the place of women in ministry as I do, come to listen, learn, discuss, and support.