Women in Ministry & Missions
Did you know that the Church of God (Anderson, Ind.) has affirmed women in ministry from the very beginning of the Reformation Movement? We stand firmly with the Apostle Paul when he wrote, “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28); and, “For he (Christ) is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us” (Ephesians 2:14).
It is in this spirit that Church of God Ministries, Christian Women Connection, and the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry have encouraged the formation of Qara: Church of God Women in Ministry and Mission. Qara is the Hebrew word meaning “God has called.” Our mission is to affirm God’s call on the lives of women to serve in vocational ministry.
The strategies and goals of Qara are to support, educate, advocate, and network women in ministry. If you are a clergy woman or a woman experiencing a call to ministry, we hope you will consider Anderson University.
Statement of Affirmation
Since its inception in 1950, the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry has supported women in ministry. This seminary faculty statement is an affirmation of our ongoing commitment to women in ministry in the church’s life and leadership at all levels.
Each year, the graduate theological school enrolls gifted women who sense God’s strong call on their lives to prepare for pastoral ministry. This faculty and many women in ministry or preparing for ministry know that challenges to their authentic call still exist. As a seminary faculty we recognize, however, that many churches affirm the calling of women at all levels. We also acknowledge that wonderful articles and books have been written, workshops have been developed, and consultations have been convened around this important topic.
As seminary faculty members of Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry, we affirm our resistance to any decision that marginalizes, minimizes, or militates against women fulfilling their divine assignments in ministry — especially when such decisions are cloaked in uncritical biblical and theological interpretations. It is the commitment and resolve of the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry faculty to aid in educating the church in this and other matters germane to the church’s collective life.
This section of the Anderson University website provides important information not only for the church but also for any person desiring to understand and affirm the role of women in ministry.
In Christ’s Peace,
The Faculty of Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry
A Thread of Hope
A book edited by MaryAnn Hawkins and Juanita Evans Leonard.
Amelia Earhart. Isabella Bird. Sally Ride. You’ve probably heard of these intrepid women explorers who blazed new trails for women in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. But have you heard of Daisy Maiden, Ann Smith, or Jewell Hall? They, and other daring women like them, chose to obey God’s call to “go into all the world” (Mark 16:15).
In an era that had little faith in women, they responded with great faith in God and became Church of God missionaries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and beyond. A Thread of Hope traces the lives and ministries of nine women who followed the move of God’s Spirit around the globe.
Anderson University Press and Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry released A Thread of Hope in June 2009 during the North American Convention of the Church of God. MaryAnn Hawkins and Juanita Evans Leonard have worked with graduate students at the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry, who themselves have served and are serving in intercultural settings, to give to the church a gift of hope for the future at a crucial time in the history of mission.
A Thread of Hope will be a vital help to pastors and leaders who want the history of mission to be known by those who want to know how God has and is at work to get the love of Jesus known.
Special thanks are due to the Women of the Church of God who have helped to underwrite this important book. This is a resource that communicates to a new generation how God can and will work in women’s lives if they, too, give their lives.
The cost is $12.95. Proceeds will go to the Women in Mission Endowment at the Anderson University School of Theology and Christian Ministry.
This book may be purchased from the Christian Women Connection website.
Resources and Articles
- Qara is pleased to offer this six lesson curriculum on women in ministry. This material is a helpful guide for congregations as they understand this important element of the church. The curriculum is based on the revised book, Called to Minister, Empowered to Serve (2013).
- Congregational Curriculum [PDF]
Recommended Books and Websites
- A Thread of Hope (2009)
A book edited by MaryAnn Hawkins and Juanita Evans Leonard
- Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy Website
Articles on Women in Ministry
- Theological Position Paper on Women in Ministry [PDF]Position Paper by Kyle DeHaven
- Rooted Among the Broken: A Christian Reflection on Reconciliation [PDF]Paper by Scott Schomberg
- Women and Proclamation: Understanding 1 Timothy 2:8-15 [PDF]Position Paper by Amity Rees
- Reclaiming the Church of God Heritage of Women Pastors [PDF]2009 Doctrinal Dialogue Presentation
Doctrinal Paper by John Stanley
- Women and Men: Guarding Our Sacred Partnership in Ministry [PDF]Text: 1 Timothy 2: 11-15; Genesis 1:26-27: Galatians 3:26-28
A Sermon by Dr. David Sebastian
- A Biblical Theological Reflection (on Women in Ministry) [PDF]Ethics Paper by Jonathan Frymire
- Women in Ministry: Prophecy, Principle, Practice [PDF]Paper by Rev. Kirk Bookout
- Wesleyan Holiness Women Clergy Scholarship Application [PDF]
Women in Ministry
From the very beginning of the Church of God, women have been validated as equal partners in the leadership of the church.
By the early 1930s, more than 40% of the lead/solo pastors of Church of God congregations and about 65% of all Church of God missionaries were women. This was opposite of the general cultural context of the United States in the late 1800s-early 1900s. Unfortunately, by the mid 1970s the percentage of women as lead/solo pastors dropped to almost 4%. By the turn of this century that percentage gained only an additional 2%, resting currently at 6%.
23% of all commissioned, licensed, and ordained pastors in the Church of God are women, but many of these women have not been accepted into a place of ministry. This video, developed by the Women in Ministry Task Force of Church of God Ministries, is a call to the church to remember our heritage of gift-based (rather than gender-based) ministry leadership.