Symposium – No Barriers: Women and Pastoral Leadership

20170713_095535For many years as a movement we have championed the place and contribution of women, we have accredited and ordained men and women, and we have affirmed the place of women in leadership.

Yet we recognise there is more to be done. We have not always articulated the biblical and theological foundations for what we do clearly. There are also some particular practical challenges women in pastoral leadership amongst us face.

Our keynote speaker, Dr Lynn Cohick, Professor of New Testament at Wheaton College in Chicago, presented a biblical perspective on the topic based on Apostle Paul’s writings in 1 Tim:2. Lynn has written two recent books exploring the stories of women in the formative centuries of the church, as well as commentaries on Philippians, Ephesians, and Romans. She is also part of the Langham Partnership International, a fellowship started by John Stott that seeks to train pastors, leaders and scholars in more than 70 countries. Lynn’s paper from the symposium is available below.

IMG_1800We were able to hear from some women in our movement alongside Lynn sharing their experiences of being in pastoral leadership and some of the unique challenges this can bring. It was a very special space in which members of our churches contributed with their stories to us all better understanding and embracing the position of women in ministry and pastoral leadership roles and why we do what we do in this space. We hope this will help us listen to one another well and recognise some of the unseen barriers that women in ministry can face.

The symposium also included a panel discussion and Q & A with leaders in our movement including State Executive Minister Mike Mills, President Jason Hoet, and Director of Ministry Accreditation Melinda Cousins. It was a great opportunity to explore how we have been and are continuing to address this topic, to respond to questions, and to share ideas for the future together.

You can download some short interesting articles about women in ministry below:

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Biblical Hermeneutics for Women’s Full Participation in Ministry – Lynn Cohick (paper presented at the Symposium)

The Biblical Basis for Women’s Service in the Church – N. T. Wright

Women in Ministry: A Biblical Basis for Equal Partnership – David M. Scholer

Women in the Church: A Biblical Survey – F. F. Bruce

Women and Ministry – Ben Witherington III

Women preaching, the Bible and 1 Timothy 2 – Melinda Cousins