Black Women in Ministerial Leadership

The Black Women in Ministerial Leadership Program is a professional advancement and capacity-building program. Its purpose is to increase and sustain the presence of women in key positions of ecclesial as well as non-ecclesial leadership. The program promotes gender equity in the church, professional development, as well as resource development and networking among Black women in particular, and all women in ministry, in general.  Fellows are women who are women seminarians and or young pastors who are pursuing greater access to positions in church leadership.  Through the program, women’s leadership skills are developed and affirmed in a theologically enhanced, professionally informed, vocationally affirming and personally gratifying environment.


The program offers an unparalleled opportunity for African American women to develop and enhance leadership skills necessary for church and community ministry.  As participants in Black Women in Ministerial Leadership women become members of select a group of peers working towards personal and career development goals identified in their initial applications.  This year-long, highly structured, research-based program consists of five components: 1) The BWML Fellowship; 2) Gender and Race in Education Religion Course; 3) Leadership Seminar Series; 4) Networking Dialogues; and 5) Research Database.   The preparation of leaders for the 21st century and beyond is critical to the positive transformation of individual, family and community lives. With supportive development and equally committed communities, black women leaders in ministry will attain and remain in key positions and model strong leadership that will impact the future.  The program’s goal is to reverse the debilitating cycle of obstacles facing women in ministry by equipping them with value-added skills and experiences to sustain them in their pursuit of equitable access to opportunities in ministerial leadership.