Originally developed by Pamela Heim (previous Director of Women’s Ministries at the Baptist General Conference US, now Converge) for women involved in leading women’s ministries, this training was launched in Canada in 2002. Since the first Canadian school in Langley, BC, over 100 women from a range of Christian denominations and diverse ministries across Western Canada have graduated from the school with a Women in Ministry Specialist certificate.
Graduates from this certificate program exhibit a deeper spiritual awareness of the call of God on their life and, for the most part, become ‘innovators and expanders’ in various areas of church and community life. For some, SWM’s educational component spurred them on to higher education and a deep resolve to teach others of God’s love and saving grace.
Why Have Training Tailored To Women?
In most career positions, there is an expectation of professional development that is either required or expected. Yet, within the church setting, we have a host of volunteers who have little or no training for the ministry in which they serve. Many women currently involved in church programs long for coaching and training opportunities; others are hesitant to become involved as they feel unprepared for a leadership role. Often, because of family responsibilities, time and financial constraints, many women in leadership are unable to seek out formal bible college or seminary training. If the church is to fulfill Christ’s mission, women want and need excellent training to increase their competence and confidence in ministry. The School of Women in Ministry is specifically developed to offer an affordable, accessible and applicable way to meet these needs.
We believe that women are important in God’s eyes and are vital in advancing His Kingdom in the home, in the church and in various communities, e.g., local, cultural, missional. We believe in unity within diversity and caring cooperation through the inspiration and power of the Holy Spirit.
Biblical support for our foundational statements:
Colossians 2: 6, 7 As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, having been firmly rooted and now being built up in Him and established in your faith, just as you were instructed, and overflowing with gratitude.(NASB)
Philippians 2: 1, 2 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. (NIV)
Hebrews 13: 20, 21 May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Galatians 6: 9, 10 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
- we value women as people created by God in His image; redeemed by Jesus Christ; and indwelled, gifted and empowered by the Holy Spirit
- we value wholeness and holiness in women
- we value the gifts, skills, and resources of women
- we value the Great Commandment and the Great Commission and women’s responsibility, in variable partnership with men, to fulfill these missions
- we value learning and the wisdom of applied knowledge
- we value the Church
The purpose of SWM is to glorify God by challenging committed Christian women
- to grow in Christ-likeness and prepare or encourage others to similarly grow
- to effectively use their knowledge, skills, spiritual gifts and support others to do the same
- to research and resource opportunities that support and win others to a faith walk with Christ
- to model acceptance, love and prepared service to or for others in the church, within the local community or elsewhere as God directs
- to gain capacity and confidence in teaching biblical truths
The Mission of the School of Women in Ministry is to train leaders to advance God’s kingdom through the church by motivating, equipping and activating women to minister effectively to women, the church and the world.
Our vision is competent, committed Christian women fully using their God-given abilities and gifts for maximum kingdom impact.
The work of the School of Women in Ministry is in partnership with the Baptist General Conference of Canada, BGC Women. You can learn more about BGC Women at www.bgc.ca/ministries/bgc-women.