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Kristen Padilla: What the Church Is Missing When It Comes to Women in Ministry

kristen padilla
Photo courtesy of Kristen Padilla

Kristen Padilla has an M.Div. from Beeson Divinity School in Birmingham, Ala., and serves as Beeson’s marketing and communications director. In early 2021, Kristen launched The Center for Women in Ministry at Beeson, and she is the author of “Now That I’m Called: A Guide for Women Discerning a Call to Ministry.”

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Key Questions for Kristen Padilla

-What is your spiritual and denominational background and how were you raised to think about women in ministry?

-How do you personally deal with complementarian and egalitarian questions and how would you encourage church leaders to to deal with some of those issues?

-What needs and challenges do you see women who are called to ministry facing? Why is there a need for The Center for Women in Ministry?

-What can churches do to support women in ministry? 

Key Quotes From Kristen Padilla

“I was raised in ministry, raised in the church. And so nothing was necessarily said about what women could or could not do. But my lived experience showed no women in ministry on a church staff.”

“I was trying to figure out to navigate, what do I do with my gender as it relates to serving the Lord? And especially as I grew in discipleship, I just had a love for God’s Word in the church.”

“If I had not had [supportive parents], I don’t know that I would have pursued any kind of formal ministry leadership role.”

“If I was going to be in ministry, I felt a very strong conviction that I needed to be theologically trained…I need to be an astute teacher. I need to do the same training that men are doing in preparation for ministry.”

“I think the first thing that we have to do is to see each other as brothers and sisters in Christ. And what does it mean to love one another? And I don’t find labels helpful more often than not.”