ARTICLE: Ministering Women, Part 1

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What does God want from Eve's daughters? A forum with Jill Briscoe, Mary Kassian, Jean Thompson, and Miriam Adeney

Times have changed in the hall-ways of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. In the past two years we have added to our ranks an assistant editor, an associate editor, and a design team who have strengthened the "feminine voice" in our magazine. CT, like many aspects of evangelicalism, has incorporated women into its structures in greater numbers.

Women in all sorts of Christian service are finding new avenues of ministry. Jill Briscoe highlights below the unprecedented number of women entering seminaries today. Mary Kassian affirms that women are discovering and exercising their spiritual gifts in inspiring innovative ministries. However, both concur that ambivalence about women's roles still exists: seminary-trained women don't always receive a call to a church; women gifted in leadership are not always encouraged to lead.

Last December associate editor Wendy Murray Zoba and assistant editor Helen Lee met with Miriam Adeney, Jill Briscoe, Mary Kassian, and Jean Thompson for a live forum on women's issues. These participants represent a broad scope of perspectives, ranging from advocacy of women in ordained leadership roles to submission under a male headship model. But rather than focus on the "debate" about who says what women can or cannot do, they explored affirmations that can be agreed upon regarding women's roles as active members of the kingdom of God.

HAVE WE "COME A LONG WAY" AS WOMEN IN THE CHURCH?

Kassian: In the early church, ministry was something that belonged to everybody. Everyone was a minister. Everyone was commissioned and "called by God" to have a ministry. And so women were very involved. But as the church became ...

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