VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 9/24/13)—The Wake Forest University School of Divinity has invited Rev. Christine Smith, Pastor of Covenant Baptist Church in Wickliffe, Ohio, and author of Judson Press book Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling: Equipping and Encouraging Female Pastors to participate in the Access and Equity for Women Clergy Conference, scheduled this fall in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The conference planning committee also selected her book for participants to study in preparation for the conference.
Leaders from eight Christian denominations will gather at the fall conference at Wake Forest School of Divinity to plan strategies for creating culturally diverse churches where clergywomen have increased opportunities to serve as pastors. The strategic planning session will be held October 25-26, 2013.
Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling has gained international recognition through Ireland Newstalk radio’s Sean Moncrieff show. To listen to the interview, visit http://www.judsonpress.com/audio/PastorChris_Interview_with_SeanMoncrieff.mp3.
Additional acclaim for the book has come from Molly T. Marshall, PhD, President and Professor of Theology and Spiritual Formation at Central Baptist Theological Seminary. “This book is forthright and practical,” Marshall asserts. “Not only does it offer current statistics about the percentages of women serving as senior pastors, but it also offers concrete steps for those who are called to pursue their rightful place as the congregational leader. Educating the church and prospective female ministry candidates is unfinished work, yet this volume moves that project forward in a powerful way.”
Rev. Patricia P. Hernandez, National Director of American Baptist Women in Ministry and Transition Ministries ABCUSA, has similar praise for the project. “Drawing from hard data and daring stories of hope, Beyond the Stained Glass Ceiling is a clarion call for clergywomen to persevere, push through, and pursue the call to pastoral ministry, against all odds and beyond all barriers. With incisive analysis and trenchant thought, Rev. Smith not only clarifies the nature of the ‘ceilings’ but also offers savvy strategies, heartfelt encouragement, and words of wisdom to move beyond. This book is for every woman in ministry and every minister called to make a difference. It is also a rich resource for those in positions of influence and authority to help change the vocational landscape and make room for women who gifted and called to serve God and God’s people in the pastorate. Read it! Then pass it on!”
Rev. Smith is the first female and first African American pastor of Covenant Baptist Church, and only the second female Baptist pastor of a mainline denomination in the greater Cleveland area (American Baptist Churches USA). Under her leadership, the congregation has doubled in weekly attendance, new ministries have developed, and spiritual vibrancy has flourished.
In 2009, Rev. Smith organized Women Together in Ministry of Greater Cleveland, a network designed to connect, encourage, and support women in ministry. She also produces a weekly blog, “Shepastor,” dedicated to equipping female clergy.
Founded in 1824, Judson Press is the publishing ministry of the American Baptist Home Mission Societies, American Baptist Churches USA. It is committed to producing Christ-centered leadership resources for the transformation of individuals, congregations, communities, and cultures.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA (ABCUSA)—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community, and justice.
American Baptist Churches USA is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with more than 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.