A Long Way to Go
You may have heard that last Friday, Dannielle Barry and I got on a plane.
Melbourne is a long way to go for a one day conference but, to quote Dr. Ellen Stofan, “You can’t be what you can’t see.”
The Evangelical Women in Academia conference is a chance to see the bigger picture of the positive impact evangelical women are making in ministry, theology, and academia in Australia and around the world. It is a grace-filled, encouraging conference where we all spur each other on towards love and good deeds, whilst using our gifting for the Kingdom of God and His glory.
Her Small Voice
Currently, the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) disciplines have a representation of women at 25%. In Theological disciplines, the Society of Biblical Literature has a female representation of 24%. However, in the Evangelical Theological Society, this representation drops to 6%.
The annual EWA conference was begun in 2017 by three female faculty members of Ridley Theological College in Melbourne in response to such dismal statistics.
The conference connects, inspires and develops female theological students, lecturers, tutors, and ministry practitioners in the church and the world.
Keynote speakers were Katya Covrett, Executive Editor at Zondervan Academic Publishing and Rev Dr. Katy Smith, lecturer in Old Testament at the Bible College of South Australia. Their addresses and workshops all geared towards informing and enabling women to ‘find their voice’ in writing and speaking.
Having gone last year, I was ready for a day and a half of rigorous networking, conversation, and learning. I gained so much; tips on how to lay out my sermons, new insights into the world of academic writing and a serious expansion of my ‘Books-I-Need-to-Read’ list.
I’m reinvigorated to keep going in my studies and my ministry. God needs more women in Evangelical Academia — maybe even me?
”God desires us to have life, wholeness, resting in him…he can transform our brokenness, weakness and sinfulness.” These words were spoken by Rev Dr. Katy Smith in her presentation on Genesis during the conference, and they stuck with me during the whole day.
There is something powerful about bringing women together, and in a room full of women with a passion for their faith in God, for theology, for teaching theology and making it accessible to everyone, Dr Smith’s words were spot on. God really can use our brokenness, weakness and sinfulness, and coming back from the conference refreshed and inspired, I am excited and ready to see how he might be able to use me.
Listen to Her Voice
There is something for everyone (men and women!), in the keynote addresses from the conference. You can listen here.