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Nine Alumnae Contribute to Forthcoming Book, We Pray with Her, A New Devotional Book for Women Who Lead

August 28, 2018

Nine alumnae of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary have joined with nearly 70 United Methodist clergywomen (elders and deacons) to write the devotional book We Pray with Her: Encouragement for All Women Who Lead. This devotional is a collection of 100 entries that explores themes such as call, vocation, persistence, resistance, and struggle. Two of the Garrett-Evangelical alumnae involved with this project, Rev. J. Paige Boyer and Rev. Jen M. Tyler, served as editors. The forthcoming book from Abingdon Press will be released in September 2018.

Each clergywoman who contributed to the book was under the age of forty. They serve all over the United States, from upstate New York to the West Coast to Atlanta to rural North Dakota. They also serve in a variety of ministerial roles in the local church, chaplaincy, academia, and more.

“Leading while female is truly a unique experience, and many of us have wished for a resource like this in the past,” said Tyler. “Now, we finally have it! A devotional for women in leadership, by women in (church) leadership. It has taken a lot of hard work and collaborative effort to put this together, but what results is a book full of words that will make you laugh and cry, and ensure women everywhere know they are not alone. I could not be more proud that we are able to give that gift to the world.”

The devotion series originated when lifelong United Methodist Hillary Clinton was nominated for president in 2016. Clinton was the first female major party presidential nominee in the history of the United States, and for women around the world that was one of the biggest cracks heard in the glass ceiling. Young clergywomen came together to offer a series of devotions for Clinton while she was on the campaign trail.

When the project in its original form came to an end, those clergywomen realized it was time to re-envision this project and intentionally seek a way to support all of the “hers” leading in our world today — at home, in business, in the church, and in communities. Whether breaking glass ceilings or just starting up the ladder, We Pray with Her reminds women that they are not alone and there are others who are praying with and for them.

Though the origin of this project could be deemed partisan, for the clergywomen who contributed to the devotion series it went far beyond politics. Leading while female can be incredibly life-giving and spiritually fulfilling, yet lonely and difficult. Those who contributed to the book hope this solidarity and encouragement by women in all types of leadership roles will offer a unique kind of support to women leaders in a variety of contexts.

Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary alumnae who contributed to the book include:

  • Rev. J. Paige Boyer (G-ETS 2015): Pictured below second from right
  • Rev. Sarai K. Case (G-ETS 2010): Pictured below far right
  • Rev. Mary R. Ward Dicken (G-ETS 2014)
  • Rev. Heather S. Dorr (G-ETS 2014): Pictured below far left
  • Rev. Brooke E. Heerwald Steiner (G-ETS 2007)
  • Rev. Jennifer Zeigler Medley (G-ETS 2009): Pictured below in middle
  • Rev. Leslie G. Stephens (G-ETS 2002)
  • Rev. Katie L. McKay Simpson (G-ETS 2007)
  • Rev. Jen M. Tyler (G-ETS 2009): Pictured below second from left

All royalties from the forthcoming book will support scholarships for young women who are certified candidates enrolled in a master of divinity program at one of the 13 United Methodist seminaries. Additional donations to this scholarship fund are being accepted online at the website of the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church, who is administering the scholarship on behalf of the project. To donate to this scholarship fund, click here.