Think of Something Radical

"Women are entitled to equality of opportunity for employment in government and in industry. But a mere statement supporting equality of opportunity must be implemented by affirmative steps to see that the doors are really open for training, selection, advancement, and equal pay." -President John F. Kennedy, 1961
Mere statements are not enough. The Wesleyan Church also needs to make sure that the doors are really open for the equality of opportunity for women. What do you think would be an affirmative step? I dare you to think of something radical!


  1. For radical change to occur as the one you are advocating it will likely require a paradigm shift aligned with the generation of future leaders. The future leaders will be educated into what it means to be a minister through what has been modeled for them.

    My guess is the academic settings will bring about more positive change than individual congregations that are comfortable with the status quo.

    One radical step would be for denominational universities and seminaries to use gender inclusive language when referring to God and humanity in classes, assignments, newsletters, prayers and chapel. It is common knowledge that the language one uses shapes and reinforces one's worldview and therefore, I think the last option would be most beneficial. If Indiana Wesleyan, for example, intentionally conducted their weekly chapel services using gender inclusive language as well as reading from a gender inclusive translation of the Bible, I wonder what that would do for ministerial students and their perspectives? These universities are major pillars for the institututional church and represent both the past and the future of Wesleyanism. Chapel might be one of the experiences that shape how growing students picture ministry due to it being "endorsed" by the institutional pillar and along with their experiences at their home Church and internships. (As a side note, it would be quite interesting to conduct a study of students entering the university and their views of women in ministry and revisit student views, using a survey at the end of the semester/year/academic program to see if there was a shift and if use of language impacted their worldview.)

    Another option would be to have annual symposiums on the topic of women in ministry at these universities, which give an opportunity for students to gain a larger perspective than the doctrine of their home church and the Wesleyan tradition as it is.

  2. I agree. Inclusive language is one of the major keys to educating people. Language reflects and forms our opinions. And another key is getting our universities to be at the front line in modeling and teaching about women in ministry.