There is a stained glass ceiling in Christendom as apparent as the glass ceiling in corporate and non-profit organizations.
Fuller Theological Seminary recognizes the importance of serving women by empowering them with all the same privileges afforded a man–in the workplace and the pulpit. Bringing this challenge once again to the forefront, Fuller announces it will partner with Christians for Biblical Equality for their 2015 international conference, “Becoming New: Man and Woman Together in Christ.” Held at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport Hotel this July 24-26, the conference will focus on issues central to CBE: breaking down prejudices and gender barriers in the home, church, and world. The theme of this year’s conference is based on 2 Corinthians 5:17: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!”
“It’s tragic that we still have to be having this conversation after all this time—I wish gender equality was something that had been achieved a long time ago, but that’s not the case,” said Ken Fong, executive director of the Asian American Initiative at Fuller and a plenary speaker at the CBE Conference. “More than half the students in Christian Higher Education are female; where will these seminarians go when they're done with their degrees? This conference is about trying to tackle these types of issues and work against these prejudices for the good of the entire church. We are hoping to equip people to fully pursue the calling that God has placed on their hearts.”
Established in 1988, CBE has been an advocate from its beginnings for biblical justice and community that sees men and women share leadership and authority equally. Taking verses from Paul as their starting point—particularly Galatians 3:28—CBE declares that “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.” Their passion is to see this enacted across the church.
Fuller Seminary has long been an advocate for the ordination of women, a practical and historically controversial step in affirming biblical equality. The decision to support the ordination of both sexes came with heavy consequences for the seminary. The backlash of the decision caused Fuller a great deal of public and economic harm, but the faculty at the time decided that this was a hill Fuller was willing to die on. That commitment still holds over 50 years later, and the resistance to declared and enacted gender equality is still pervasive.
“For Fuller, wrestling with this sexed/gendered partnership persists as a major aspect of our vocation and calling as a seminary,” says Erin Dufault-Hunter, assistant professor of Christian ethics at Fuller. “It has long been part of our history to equip men and women for the manifold ministries of Christ and his church, and it is part of our ongoing responsibility to reengage this bent-ness of our loves and lives time and again. We may grow numb to sin or weary of its effects, but we never move past it in any area. We must continue to seek with hope God’s new creation—a creation that includes treating every human with the dignity, respect, and opportunity fitting a person made in the image of God.”
To register for the conference, click here.
For more information on CBE, click here.