By Carl Stagner
Women in ministry face different challenges than their male peers. Of course, there’s the challenge of equal opportunity in congregations—even in the Church of God. But, another challenge tests the tenacity of women divinely called by God and, at the same time, demonstrates their uniquely gifted abilities to balance multiple assignments. How do these women in ministry, many of whom were called after their college years, find time to hone their craft amid jobs, community involvements, and parenting, for example? Thankfully, a trusted voice in the Church of God now offers a solution: Preacher Girl School. CBH ViewPoint co-host and Anderson University professor Kimberly Majeski convenes the online experience, led by women in ministry, for women in ministry, all to help take their preaching to the next level.
The six-week course is manageable, affordable, and accessible for any woman called to ministry. Effective sermon preparation and delivery are the goals, and resources include training material, weekly live sessions taught online, one-on-one coaching, sermon review and, as Kimberly puts it, “support of sisters in the trenches with you.”
But what about Anderson University and the School of Theology and Christian Ministry, for which she also teaches? Are they duplicating efforts?
No. “I’m a professor of biblical studies and Christian ministries,” she explains. “I would absolutely recommend the traditional route of higher education in preparation for ministry. However, many of my friends are in ministry and leadership positions who are also moms, community leaders, PTO presidents, and CFOs, and they are not able to access preparation for ministry through the traditional track. Many of these women have roles where they preach/teach/lead on a regular basis but, for many good reasons, haven’t had the opportunity to learn how to craft a sermon, study Scripture, or connect with a contemporary audience. So, Preacher Girl School is unapologetically for women, by women. It is no secret that the traditional graduate studies have been dominated by men across the generations. Preacher Girl School wants to deliver the same quality opportunity for women in accessible, manageable format, so they are supported, equipped, and encouraged.”
Many of the women who have enrolled at Preacher Girl School already have ministry education and experience. They can still benefit from what Preacher Girl School offers, and already have. “Many of them,” Kimberly explains, “have never had the benefit of a course specifically dedicated to exegesis, sermon craft, and delivery in the female voice.” Even those who have been in ministry for years find the course valuable, if simply to better their preaching or learn other ways to present the Scripture and become familiar with the latest in biblical studies resources.
Sometimes they just need community. This is the most rewarding part of the experience from Kimberly’s perspective. “The gift of holding space for women who are called is sacred,” she reflects. “The camaraderie of shared experience, common frustrations and barriers, and the blessing of walking through hard things together is extra special for me. I believe our gifts are not just for us, but also for the world. I’m a preacher and I’m a relational leader. In Preacher Girl School, I get to share these gifts in direct and humbling ways, and that makes it all worth it.”
Preacher Girl School caught the attention of many pastors and laypeople in June, as the new ministry made an already great Convention 2019 experience even better. During the Convention, many were blessed by Preacher Girl School’s Facebook Live video interviews with several women in ministry, two of whom were featured speakers at the Convention: Lori Salierno-Maldonado and Erin Taylor.
Continuing Education Credits (CEUs) are available through Preacher Girl School.