This year we have much to celebrate as NOBTS turns 100, and the Women’s Ministry Program turns 20! Not only are we rejoicing over 100 years of ministry training at our beloved school of Providence and Prayer, but also for 20 years NOBTS has been able to offer programs specifically designed for ministry to women. With that, NOBTS Women will be celebrating through our blog this year, Centennial Centiments. You will hear special testimonies and anecdotes from some of our alums and women in the Women’s Ministry program about what God has done in and through their lives as a result of receiving ministry training at NOBTS. With that in mind, I will share with you a little bit about how God led me to be equipped for ministry to women through NOBTS.
Perhaps you have received a clear call from the Lord for ministry to women, or maybe you’re like me, and the Lord’s will for your life seems to be unfolding one step at a time. As a young seminary student, I wasn’t really thinking about ministry to women. At the time my focus of training was on adolescents because I had a heart for ministering to that age group. In my mind, at 22 I barely considered myself old enough to be an adult woman, much less be able to minister to them! However, God impressed upon my heart the need to be prepared for whatever type of ministry He may have for me. So during my course of study, I took several women’s ministry classes so that I would be prepared for any calling God may have for me. Fifteen years later, I am so grateful that I took advantage of the opportunity I had to be equipped to minister to women. What I found is that as I got older, so did the young women to whom I was ministering! Naturally, over the course of time, God continued to place me in more and more settings where I had the opportunity to minister to women of all ages.
Maybe you find yourself in a situation where you don’t know exactly what kind of calling God has placed before you. Perhaps you feel burdened to minister to children or adolescents through the local church or through social work or counseling. One thing to consider is that wherever there are children and adolescents, there are moms! You will likely find yourself ministering to women in some way, shape, or form. My encouragement to all of my God called sisters in ministry is this, equip yourself for being able to minister to whomever, whenever God may call you. As a woman, naturally you will find yourself in many situations where you will be ministering to other women. Thankfully, since 1997 God has given us the opportunity at NOBTS to train and equip women for ministry to other women. Take advantage of that blessing! As you hear from more women who have had the blessing of receiving training in ministry to women at NOBTS, be open to new directions God may be leading you. Women have come for the last 20 years from all different backgrounds with different callings but united in purpose to be equipped for ministering to women. Now we are looking forward to the next 20 and beyond! To God be the glory! Great things He has done!
Dr. Emily Dean serves as Adjunct Faculty and Coordinator of Women’s Programs at NOBTS. You can follow her @emilywdean or emilywdean.com.