L–R: Michelle Ramage, Karina Woodruff, Elaine Nguyen, Kelsey Holloway, Jordan Stark, Marissa Johnson, and Stephanie Jenkins-Napoli.
"So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away, see, everything has become new!" (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This text served as the baseline assumption for a recent conference attended by School of Theology staff and undergraduate students. On April 27–29, Kelsey Holloway (staff, Center for Biblical and Theological Education) accompanied students Stephanie Jenkins-Napoli, Marissa Johnson, Elaine Nguyen, Michelle Ramage, Jordan Stark, and Karina Woodruff to a Christians for Biblical Equality (CBE) conference sponsored by the Houston chapter of this international organization. CBE International exists to educate and encourage the church through affirming "the biblical truth that all believers — without regard to gender, ethnicity or class — must exercise their God-given gifts with equal authority and equal responsibility in church, home, and world."
More than 20 young women from SPU applied for the opportunity to attend this conference, the result of new initiatives within the School of Theology to more intentionally support these students who are discerning calls to vocational ministry or theological academia.
The conference focused on the impact of the new creation on the ways that women and men ought to interact with one another in both the home and the church, as well as how Christians ought to read Scripture.
Personal stories of both the joys and the trials experienced by women in ministry were interspersed throughout the event, and seemed to make a lasting impact on the 200 people in attendance. The SPU constituency was by far the youngest and largest group in attendance. As a result, everyone wanted to meet "The Seattle Girls," and our students had many opportunities to share about their sense of vocation and call. The group also had the opportunity to spend time with CBE President Dr. Mimi Haddad, who subsequently tweeted about that conversation.
Please be in prayer for the young women who were able to represent SPU at the conference, that they may faithfully respond to the messages they heard. Likewise, pray for all our students in the process of discerning where God might be calling them in life and ministry.