CCDA is committed to upholding the dignity of women and their contribution to all areas of ministry and leadership within our organization. We acknowledge that throughout our history women have not always been validated as equal ministry partners within our movement. As current leadership and board of CCDA we recognize and own this shortcoming.
In furtherance of CCDA’s commitment to the equity of women in ministry, we have established a Gender Equity Task Force to ensure that this work is prioritized.
Our Biblical Foundation:
The Bible is full of examples of women serving in a variety of leadership positions, in both the Old and the New Testament. These women served as leaders in the church and in the broader life of the religious community. From Deborah, Huldah, and Miriam in the Old Testament to a plethora of woman like the apostles Lydia and Junia, Anna the prophetess, Phoebe the deacon, Priscilla, Martha, Mary, Euodia, Syntyche, Tabitha (sometimes translated as Dorcas), and the nameless woman at the well in the New Testament — these women all represent a variety of different leadership roles that women are called to serve in throughout the Body.
Biblically we know that Genesis I:27 explains that men and women are both fully and equally created in the image of God. Moreover, in both the Old and Testament we see God at work, pouring the Spirit out upon males and females indiscriminately. This Pentecost is prophesied in the Old Testament book of Joel (2:28-32) and actualized in the Acts account (2:17-21). Biblical scholar Linda Belleville reminds us that during Pentecost “the women among Jesus’ disciples were enabled for witness just as the men were” (Acts 1:8, 14-15; 2:7-18).
Our history and our commitment:
We are in a watershed moment where churches and other ministries are finally having overdue conversations about gender inequality. In the past year, issues of gender inequity have dominated media headlines and have been elevated on the national stage. CCDA, as well as Christian organizations and churches everywhere are not exempt from these issues.
Gender inequity issues have been brought to the surface in more pronounced ways in recent years. These issues have taken a prominent role in our board conversations, and this is something that we as an association are committed to dealing with head on. Although CCDA has stated that we value the voice and leadership of women in ministry roles, the experience of many of these same women has not always reflected this. We have not been perfect in this regard, and we acknowledge that our missteps in this regard have resulted in great pain for some of our sisters, but we are committed to getting better.
We are aware that recent studies have shown that faith-based organizations are not exempt from the unequal treatment of women. As a board made up of women and men from the time of CCDA’s founding, we grieve this fact. We are compelled to wrestle with ways this still happens among us, lament, repent and create a space where the gifts of leadership, teaching of women are celebrated and utilized in ways that truly communicate this value.
Below are some ways we have begun to act:
- CCDA has promoted women within our organization into key leadership positions.
- Our board matrix includes balance as a value of women and men in board role (30% to 50%).
- In 2017 the CCDA Board created the CEO position and hired a woman of color for this position.
- In 2017 the CCDA Board developed the Gender Equity Task Force with female and male voices that span generations and involvement within the association from board, to cohort members, practitioners, pastors, and others in academia.
- A Women’s Equity Symposium will be a key part of this years 2018 CCDA National Convention in Chicago.
We are open to other ways we may engage in deep and meaningful ways that lead to change not only within CCDA, but we hope the work we do can be helpful to the church.
If you are interested in the current work we are doing on Gender Equity or have questions, please contact our CEO, Ava Steaffens, [email protected], our Board Chair, Mayra Macedo-Nolan, [email protected], or our Gender Equity Task Force Chair, Dina González-Piña at [email protected].