Third Reformed Church Center Colloquy Looks at Women in Theological Education
Our ongoing Understanding Theological Education in the RCA colloquies reflect on what theological education has been in the RCA and what it could be. For our third session, on Tuesday, November 17, we will discuss women in RCA theological education. Until the 1970s, women were not ordained to offices in the Reformed Church in America. It has only been the last forty-one years that the idea of women ministers of the Word and Sacrament have been acknowledged in the church order. But that doesn’t mean women weren’t involved in theological education before that, nor does it address how such an idea has been accepted since then. Our discussion will reflect on the past and present of women in RCA theological education, and maybe speculate on what the future could be and how it could happen.
Lynn Japinga is a professor of religion at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, and was the 2019-2020 Hazel B. Gnade Fellow in RCA Women’s Studies at NBTS. An RCA minister of the Word and Sacrament, she holds degrees from Hope, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Union Theological Seminary in New York. In addition to her teaching at Hope, Lynn has been a prolific author of books, articles and resources for the church, and a busy preacher, teacher, and workshop leader. Most recently, she is the author of Loyalty and Loss: The Reformed Church in America, 1945-1994 and Preaching the Women of the Old Testament: Who They Were and Why They Matter.
Elizabeth (Liz) Testa is a pastor, visionary leader, community builder, and sister in Christ. A minister of Word & Sacrament in the RCA, she currently leads RCA Women’s Transformation and Leadership, a ministry that encourages, equips and empowers women to embrace their gifts, honor their stories and live into their God-given callings. Prior to joining the RCA staff in 2014, she spent 12 years on staff at Marble Collegiate Church in NYC. Raised bi-culturally in New York and Spain, with degrees from Syracuse University and Drew Theological School, Liz is passionate about building bridges between diverse cultures and contexts and is certified in Unconscious Bias Training through the Cultural Intelligence Center (CIC). She lives with her husband, Nick, a NYC high school teacher, and their two teenage daughters in South Orange, NJ.
Liz and Lynn will each present, briefly, looking at the history of women in RCA theological education and where we are now, after which we will have time for questions and discussion.
There will be two more programs in this series during 2020-21: