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AGTS News: AGTS to host evening for Women in Ministry at General Council, Orlando

Women in Ministry Event

AGTS and the Network for Women in Ministry will host a unique event targeting female credentialed ministers. It will undoubtedly be a night to remember at General Council 2013, Wednesday, August 7, 7–9:30 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, Florida. Tickets are $30.

Award-winning author, sought-after teacher, conference speaker and founder of the Transforming Center, Ruth Haley Barton will be the keynote speaker. Ruth authored Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership and Pursuing God's Will Together. She will speak on the importance of the practice of discernment for leadership groups. In addition, nationally-known comedienne, Anita Renfroe has been invited to bring the lighter side. With her unique brand of musical comedy and blend of wit and "keeping it real in ministry" jokes, Anita will engage the audience with laughter.

In 2011, sixty-three percent of newly credentialed AG ministers were female. This new emergence of leading women is definitely not going away. We know that God is more concerned with gifting and character than with gender, race, age or context. With this in mind, AGTS intends to be the leading institution within the Assemblies of God, to equip and empower female ministers. This event is one of many strategies to execute that goal.

Sizeable bodies of current research confirm the vital need for women to be highly engaged in the art of leading in the modern day church. Women Matter 2, an extensive study conducted by McKinsey and Co. demonstrate that having women in top leadership positions significantly improves organizational performance. They argue that women ought to be at the forefront of the religious and social scene. This, they assert, will ensure that the very best minds of both women and men are brought together to address church leadership needs.

Women should embrace their call with enthusiasm and confidence because in today's leadership matrix, the best the entire global talent pool – male and female – are radically essential to match the needs of the 21st century church!

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Ruth Haley Barton

RuthRuth has been a student, a practitioner, a teacher, and a leader in the area of Christian spirituality and spiritual formation for twenty years. A trained spiritual director and retreat leader, she is the author of numerous books and resources on the spiritual life.

Ruth holds a Doctor of Divinity from Northern Theological Seminary (Lombard, Illinois), along with a Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College (Illinois) and master's studies at Loyola University Chicago Institute for Pastoral Studies. She received her training in spiritual direction through the Shalem Institute for Spiritual Formation (Bethesda, Maryland) under the guidance of Tilden Edwards, Rosemary Dougherty, and Gerald May. She's also a student of family systems theory as it relates to congregational life (Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, Illinois) and has studied the Enneagram with Russ Hudson of the Enneagram Institute.

Ruth travels widely, teaching and consulting with leadership teams in the areas of leadership transformation, corporate discernment, and spiritual community. She has served on the pastoral staff of several churches, including Willow Creek Community Church. Ruth has taught at the Wheaton College Graduate School, Denver Seminary, Northeastern Seminary, and Mars Hill Graduate School and is a senior teaching fellow for the Renovare Institute. She has recently joined the faculty of Northern Seminary as an adjunct professor of Spiritual Transformation.

The breadth of Ruth's study and learning in a variety of settings contributes to the strength of her teaching and writing. While she values all that she has gained from the teachers and institutions in which she has studied, this does not imply endorsement of everything taught in these environments. Ruth's teaching and writing have been most profoundly shaped by her commitment to "examine the Scriptures to see if these things are so." (Acts 17:11)

Anita Renfroe

RuthShe has been described as "a triple shot of espresso in a decaf world," but there isn't a latte cup big enough to hold the party that Anita Renfroe brings. Her inventive blend of musical comedy and inspiration leave audiences with cheeks that hurt and hearts infused with humor and hope. The moment she takes the mic, you can be sure truth will arrive in Technicolor—as different as Kansas is to Oz. As a comedian, musician, author, and speaker, Anita stretches each experience beyond the normal boundaries. (Who wants to be normal, anyway?) She is decidedly original, bodacious in her faith, and unashamedly real.

With the ease of your best friend, Anita brings practical wisdom paired with fall-off-your-seat humor. "Laughter breaks down walls. It disarms people. It allows extraordinary truth to be communicated in unexpected ways," says Anita. "Laughter really is the shortest distance between two hearts.

"When Anita takes the stage, few subjects are off limits—and she has a refreshingly honest, flat-out-funny take on them all. The hallmarks of her ministry are summed up in the words of her own song, "Keeping it real, keeping it simple,keeping it true." Anita's high-octane messages (Life is funny! Age is a reason for celebration! God is passionately in love with you!) resonate with audiences, engage hearts, and supply truth in one vibrant, hilarious package.

Anita is a multifaceted creative artist, and her projects reflect the remarkable diversity of her gifts. Books, comedy concert videos, and CDs, both vocal and instrumental, all convey Anita's insuppressible joy that lightens the hearts and feeds the souls of her audience.

Anita and her husband, John, make their home in suburban Atlanta with their semi-grown children, Calvin, Austin, and Elyse.



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