resources for further study..
Books we Love
Finding Your Voice: Engaging Confidently in all God Created You to Be
by Jennifer Turner
This book invites you to know yourself and enjoy the delight your Creator has in you. By finding your voice you will be able to engage more confidently in the life that lies ahead of you and welcome generous relationships with those who share the journey with you. So whether you are just starting out on life or sensing a later change of direction, you are encouraged to explore your creation and spiritual gifts and make your contribution around the table of leadership, participating fully in joining your voice to the conversation. The God who created you, and now redeems you, purposefully gifted you that voice and invites you to uncover it and offer it to the world in service as well as in self-expression. From her own lifetime of discovery, the author shares many stories of her journey and tackles some of the obstacles that are more acute for women on the way to finding their voice. But because we all need people around us understanding and encouraging us, the hope is that men will read these pages too in the spirit of #HeForShe, and so offer women their whole-hearted support.
Buy it here!
Emboldened: A Vision for Empowering Women in Ministry
by Tara Beth Leach
Pastor Tara Beth Leach presents a strong case for why the church cannot reach its full potential without women using their God-given gifts. Leach provides practical advice and expertise to help women find their place at the table, quash imposter syndrome, face opposition, mentor others and much more. An excellent resource, especially for women in pastoral ministry.
Holding Up Half the Sky
by Graham Joseph Hill
This book, written by Australian pastor, professor and theologian Dr Graham Hill presents a compelling case for women ministers in the church. He presents a very clear and readable introductory biblical case for women teaching and leading in the church and provides very practical advice for men and women who wish to amplify the voices of women and honour their gifts.
This is an excellent resources for church leaders, women who are exploring their own ministry calling, and for church members who want to better understand the case for the equal inclusion of women in pastoral, leadership and teaching roles in the church.
Developing Female Leaders: Navigate the Minefields and Release the Potential of Women in Your Church
by kadi cole
In this extremely practical book, you will learn how to identify the roadblocks that need to be removed to help women lead well in the church. You will understand the challenges that female leaders face and learn how to navigate them. Cole presents the eight best practices that leaders can implement to start accessing and maximising the gifts of women in their churches.
Cole also offers many online resources on her website. Her ‘theological cheat sheet’ is a really useful tool.
The Blue Parakeet: Rethinking How You Read the Bible
by Scot mcKnight
You will see that we make reference to this book in the frequently asked questions section of this site. How we approach scripture, how we read and understand the Bible, is very important to the meaning we make from it.
The approach that McKnight recommends in The Blue Parakeet is one that we believe is most faithful to scripture as the inspired Word of God. McKnight shows how the Bible is best interpreted in community, with the wisdom of the history of Christian interpretation, and under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. He shows that every specific passage has to be read in the broad context of the overarching drama of creation/fall/redemption.
McKnight is a passionate advocate for women in pastoral ministry and works hard to use his own influence to promote and encourage women in ministry.
Buy The Blue Parakeet at The Book Depository.
what the bible actually teaches on women
by kevin giles
Complementarian theology teaches that in creation before the fall, God set the man over the woman and thus teaches that the leadership of man in the home, the church and the world is a God-given ideal. In his book, Giles deconstructs this theology and shows it to be without a biblical foundation.
Read this book for a very solid and convincing argument that the Bible does not support the theological principle that women should be subordinate to men.
Find it here at Book Depository.
Men and Women in Christ: Fresh Light From the Biblical Texts
by Andrew Bartlett
This book is an extremely thorough look into the arguments of both complementarian and egalitarian theologians. Written by a lawyer (with a theology degree) it aims to weigh up whether the opposing proposed interpretations accurately reflect Scripture.
It might be an overwhelming book for those who are new to this field, but it is readable, clear and thoughtful, and is a great reference book to return to when you need clarity around a particular passage of scripture.
Jesus Feminist: An Invitation to Revisit the Bible's View of Women
by sarah bessey
Using biblical exposition and personal reflection, Sarah Bessey explains how loving Jesus made her a feminist. By examining the biblical narratives of women in the Old and New Testament, Jesus’ interactions with women throughout the gospels and Paul’s revolutionary messages about women and wives, Bessey builds a strong case for Christian feminism as an appropriate and necessary stance for followers of Jesus.
Bessey’s style is warm, poetic, personal and engaging. This is an easy but powerful read.
The Vulnerable Pastor
by Mandy Smith
While this is not a book that will give you information about women and men in the church, we’ve included it here because it is a wonderful example of a gifted and called woman bringing her whole self to pastoral ministry. Mandy Smith unpacks the biblical paradox that God’s strength is revealed through our human weakness. She shows us that God uses both our strengths and our weaknesses as we lead others in what it looks like to have a relationship with Jesus.
Gifted to Lead: The Art of Leading as a Woman in the Church
by Nancy Beach
In the opening of her book, Nancy Beach offers the encouragement to women that, “No mistake was made in heaven when God gave you the gift of leadership or teaching.” This is something some women really need to hear- especially those who find themselves in environments where they are not empowered to lead. Nancy Beach is a wise, humble and experienced leader who has broken much ground as a woman leading in the church. In her book she offers personal reflections and practical advice to help women flourish in church leadership.
The Best of the Internet
This brilliant blog contains many articles about the equality and mutuality of men and women in Christian marriage and ministry. With a theology degree and an MA in early Christian and Jewish studies at Macquarie University, Marg Mowczko unpacks the biblical passages that speak about men and women together with skill, insight and clarity. This is a great site for those who want to do a deep dive into passages such as 2 Timothy 2 and 1 Corinthians 11.
Christians for Biblical Equality is the go-to website for information, support and advocacy for women in church leadership. If you are looking to connect with others who are passionate about promoting a culture where women and men lead together and serve as equals, then CBE is for you. With local chapters from over 100 denominations and 65 countries, CBE is making an impact. Connect with CBE Perth on their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/CBEPerth.
God's Design Perth: Clarity, Healing and Encouragement in Christ
We might be slightly biased here but this is also a brilliant blog about women and the Bible. This blog is written by The Together Project team member, Bronwen Speedie and it delves more into many of the topics we touch on here. A great resource!
This free course by Seminary Now and taught by Tara Beth Leach is based on her book Emboldened: Empowering Women in Ministry. It is 12 sessions of 7-10 minutes each where Leach provides practical expertise for how women can find their place at the table, escape impostor syndrome, face opposition, mentor others, and much more.
Other Suggested Reads…
Bird, Michael F. Bourgeois Babes, Bossy Wives, and Bobby Haircuts: A Case for Gender Equality in Ministry. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2012.
Cunningham, Loren, David Joel Hamilton, and Janice Rogers. Why Not Women?: A Biblical Study of Women in Missions, Ministry, and Leadership. Washington, DC: YWAM, 2006.
Davies, Glenn. “Biblical Study Paper: 1 Timothy 2: 8– 15.” In Personhood, Sexuality and Christian Ministry, edited by B. G. Webb. Homebush: Lancer, 1987.
Dickson, John. Hearing Her Voice: A Biblical Invitation for Women to Preach. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2014.
Evans, Mary. Woman in the Bible: An Overview of All the Crucial Passages on Women’s Roles. Milton Keynes: Authentic, 2006.
Fee, Gordon D. Paul, the Spirit, and the People of God. Peabody, MA: Hendrickson, 1996.
Giles, Kevin. The Trinity and Subordinationism: The Doctrine of God and the Contemporary Gender Debate. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2012.
Grenz, Stanley J., and Denise Muir Kjesbo. Women in the Church: A Biblical Theology of Women in Ministry. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 1995.
Johnson, Elizabeth A., ed. The Strength of Her Witness: Jesus Christ in the Global Voices of Women. Maryknoll, NY: Orbis, 2016.
Kostenberger, Andreas J., and Margaret Elizabeth Kostenberger. God’s Design for Man and Woman: A Biblical-Theological Survey. Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2014.
Lederleitner, Mary T. Women in God’s Mission: Accepting the Invitation to Serve and Lead. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2018.
Mathews, Alice. Gender Roles and the People of God: Rethinking What We Were Taught About Men and Women in the Church. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2017.
McKnight, Scot. Junia is Not Alone. Patheos: Patheos.com, 2011. Kindle.
Murphy, Edwina, and David Starling. The Gender Conversation: Evangelical Perspectives on Gender, Scripture, and the Christian Life. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2016.
Payne, Philip B. Man and Woman, One in Christ: An Exegetical and Theological Study of Paul’s Letters. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2009.
Peppiatt, Lucy. The Story of Woman’s Freedom: Re-discovering the Mutualist Vision of Scripture. Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2019.
Pierce, Ronald W. Partners in Marriage and Ministry: A Biblical Picture of Gender Equality. Minneapolis: CBE, 2011.
Pierce, Ronald W., and Rebecca Merrill Groothuis. Discovering Biblical Equality: Complementarity Without Hierarchy. Nottingham: SPCK, 2005.
Saxton, Jo. Influential: Women in Leadership at Church, Work and Beyond. London: Hodder & Stoughton, 2012.
Sayers, Dorothy L. Are Women Human? Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971.
Westfall, Cynthia Long. Paul and Gender: Reclaiming the Apostle’s Vision for Men and Women in Christ. Ada, MI: Baker, 2016.
Witherington, Ben, III. Women in the Earliest Churches. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1988. Witherington, Ben, III. Women in the Ministry of Jesus: A Study of Jesus’ Attitudes Towards Women and Their Roles as Reflected in His Earthly Life. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1984.
Fee, Gordon D. and Douglas Stuart. How to read the Bible for all it’s worth (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2014).
Sheryl Sandberg, Lean in (London: WH Allen, 2015).
Lisa Sharon Harper, The very good gospel: How everything wrong can be made right (New York: WaterBrook, Penguin Random House 2016).
Alan F. Johnson, How I changed my mind about women in leadership: Compelling stories from prominent evangelicals (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 2010).
Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, Half the sky: How to change the world (London: Hachette Digital, 2009). This book has subsequently been re-published with the sub-title: Turning oppression into opportunity for women worldwide
Dorothy L. Sayers, Are women human? Penetrating, sensible and witty essays on the role of women in society. First published 1947. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans), 1971, Kindle, Loc 351.
Ross Saunders, Outrageous Women Outrageous God: Women in the first two generations of Christianity (Brunswick East, Victoria: Acorn), Kindle 2017.
Giles, Kevin. The headship of men and the abuse of women. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2020