Women in Apologetics?
by Rick Schenker
When I first started with Ratio Christi, I noticed that the all chapter directors were male. All the people I talked to about turning Ratio Christi into an independent organization were male. Most of the ministries I knew about were run by men. I wondered where the women were.
After only a month as President of Ratio Christi, I got an email from Julie Miller, a student completing her M.A. in apologetics at Biola. She told me she was interested in forming a Ratio Christi chapter at Rutgers. I was extremely excited to open a chapter at Rutgers, but even more excited that we had a woman in what seemed like a field heavily dominated by men. Since then, Julie has successfully started the chapter at Rutgers, and is using the experience as credit toward finishing her M.A. at Biola.
Over the last eight months, I have become aware of many women involved in the apologetics movement. I have read some great blogs that were truly amazing and informative posted by Sarah Ankenman, Melissa Travis, Mary Jo Sharp, and others. One of my friends told me that one of the women in a group called the International Society of Women in Apologetics (ISWA) was one of the best speakers he ever heard.
In an article on the ISWA web site, Sarah Ankenman, the group’s President, gives some very compelling reasons for all women to be involved in apologetics. Being a father, I especially appreciate this quote,
“…let’s bring it a little closer to home. Eighty-five percent of Christian kids are walking away from their faith in their first year of college, and some are making the decisions to walk away as early as nine-years-old. That is unacceptable. When your kids have questions, they are going to come to you for answers. If you don’t have them, Satan is plenty willing to fill in the gaps. He will do it through public schools, pop culture… he will use whatever means necessary to lead your kids away from Christ. YOU NEED TO HAVE THE ANSWERS! I cannot stress that enough. To go even further, you shouldn’t even wait for them to ask, you should be instilling the answers in them from when they are very young. Even in the world of equality we live in today, the majority of stay-at-home parents are still women. So guess what that means, Mom? You are responsible for teaching your kids the reasons for their faith. Dad is at work all day, and then he is tired when he gets home at night. Also, the kids have sports and dance on the weekends, so even if Dad has the answers, he doesn’t have the time to give them out. God is calling you, Mom, and you need to be equipped so you in turn can equip your kids.” – Click here to read the entire article.
Here is the mission of ISWA as listed on their web site:
- To encourage women to enter the field of Apologetics
- To encourage women to be defenders of the faith and to equip their children
- To fill a void in current Women’s ministry
- To connect women currently in the field of Apologetics
- To train women in the defense of the faith
The one thing I truly love about ISWA is their desire to provide training through ISWA U. At the end of October, they are going to be promoting their new curriculum. Here is what their web site says about ISWA U.
“ISWA U will equip and train you in basic Apologetics and provide you with the resources to go even deeper in your study of why you believe what you believe. In the world we live in today, it is crucial for women to engage in Apologetics, not just for the strength of our own faith, but that of our kids and others around us who are in desperate need of the truth.”
Everybody in this apologetics movement, men and women, needs to support the work of ISWA. I believe some of the future leaders in the apologetics movement are part of this group. Ratio Christi wants to reach out to more women in apologetics to provide opportunities to be a chapter director at universities, and to help promote the speaking and training ministries of the ISWA speakers.
Check out their web site and if you want more information on ISWA, or contact Sarah directly at her email [email protected].