This post is part 5 of a series of women’s ministry questions. Click here to read older posts.
Recently at a YOU Lead women’s leadership training, we had a panel answering questions submitted by attendees. Several past and upcoming posts will address those and try to help answer them.
Today’s question is: If God is leading you into doing full-time ministry, what advice would you give for receiving further education?
Great question! There are so many more opportunities today than ever before to be formally trained as a women’s ministry leader. Many seminaries offer this training at various levels: certificate, advanced certificate, bachelor’s , master’s and even doctorates with a focus on women’s ministry.
You can see information on programs offered through Southern Baptist Seminaries here. Some of the classes are offered as self-study and on line making them very do-able! I am also aware that Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon has a wonderful women’s program as well. Some Christian colleges offer women’s ministries programs as well such as Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia.
The main thing is to make sure you are busy leading and serving even as you study. I believe God gives us opportunities to lead prior to and during time of formal education. He doesn’t wait till we are trained and perhaps what He is doing is asking how we do in those small assignments on a local bases before opening other doors.
Also keep in mind, once you graducate, there is not necessarily a paid full tijme position just waiting for you. Be willing to be patient with the process, learning from each experience He moves you into along the way. These are ALL educational learning processes.
In addition to this, there are various other training opportunities. LifeWay offers YOU Lead training for women’s ministry leaders and the annual Women’s Leadership Forum. This blog is available to help you learn as you lead. Leadership books such as those you see at the end of this post, can be studied, then taught to your teams.
The funny thing is sometimes He moves us into places we feel totally unprepared for educationally, and if He does, you must be faithful. When the call came to me to move to Nashville and serve in women’s ministry at LifeWay (then the Sunday School Board of the Southern Baptist Convention), my first response was, I do not have the education for that. In fact back then, there were no seminaries offering women’s ministry training, and very few other places to receive any kind of training in this field because it was so new. I believe you cannot discount real personal experience in a field alongside the more formal training opportunities as ways God prepares us to serve Him.
Since none of us has all the answers, we need to hear from you! What kind of training has been helpful to you? Comment below.