The Table Podcast

How Can Women and Men Better Minister Together?

In this episode, Drs. Darrell Bock, Sue Edwards, Sandra Glahn, Jeanne Ballard and Michelle Woody discuss how women and men can better work together in ministry.

Timecodes
00:15
Bock introduces the topic and guests
02:13
Edwards’ ministry experience
02:59
Glahn’s ministry experience
03:42
Ballard’s ministry experience
05:09
Woody’s ministry experience
07:21
Teaching interests of each guest
10:05
Women and men working together in ministry
10:45
How the image of God affects the male and female ministry relationships?
16:53
How can men better affirm women’s value in ministry?
22:43
Unique contributions of women in ministry
29:39
Actions which marginalize women in ministry
36:05
Empowering and encouraging women in ministry
40:56
Issues women face that are often overlooked by men
Transcript
Dr. Darrell Bock
Welcome to The Table where we discuss issues of God and culture. If you’re looking at this table you probably have a suspicion about what the topic is about. I have with me four esteemed colleagues that I work with here at Dallas Seminary and they all share one fundamental trait they’re all ladies. So we are really, really pleased to have you all with us today to discuss the role of women in ministry and how women and men work together in ministry from a decidedly female point of view. So thank you all very, very much.

I’ll introduce the panel. I’ve got over here to my right is Sue Edwards, Associate Professor of Educational Ministries and Leadership here at Dallas Seminary. Sue how long have you been at the seminary?

Dr. Sue G. Edwards
I was a student in the ’80s. I was on staff in the ’90s in the Student Services and then as a professor about 15 years.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay very good. Then to my immediate left is Sandra, I call her "Sandy” Glahn, Associate Professor of Media Arts and Worship. How long have you been on faculty?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
On faculty since ’99.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Seventeen years.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay. And Jeanne Ballard is on the edge of the table over here, Adjunct Professor in Educational Ministries and Leadership and Associate Director of DMin Studies and how long have you been here Jeanne?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
About eight years now.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay. Then by the miracle of Skype okay we have Michelle Woody, Assistant Professor of Biblical Counseling at the Dallas Theological Seminary DC Campus. Michelle you’re the youngest of this crew in terms of service, but when did you come onboard here at the seminary?
Dr. Michelle Woody
Came onboard in July of 2013.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay. So we’ve got a variety of women here doing a variety of things and I want to open up by just talking about how each of you ended up in ministry. We’ll just go in order here that I introduced you. So Sue how did you end up being at Dallas?
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
I grew up in a pagan home and I was a mess. A neighbor invited me to a women’s bible study and those women brought me in, spent 15 years mentoring me and I learned to teach the bible and that opened the door. Women made such a difference in my life that I wanted to pass on just the influence and power that women can be in other women’s lives.
Dr. Darrell Bock
So you came to seminary and then got trained and then we scooped you up.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Yes, yes and I love being at this place and it’s been a dream. I never dreamed I’d be here as a professor but it’s been wonderful.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah well it’s been a pleasure to have you a part of the team. Sandy what’s your story?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
I was putting my husband through seminary working at a financial services corporation and had a boss who believed I could write and some corporate money getting some training for me. So I started coming to seminary just to get a few theological classes to make the crossover from secular to sacred with no intention of ever graduating from seminary, let alone ever teaching. I had very, very narrow views of what women could do and teaching at a seminary wasn’t one of them.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay and so then what happened?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
I had to eat my words. [Laughter] The Lord opened many doors for publishing. I started training writers as an adjunct professor and eventually we ended up with a media arts program here.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And the rest is history right?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
The rest is history.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Very good. Jeanne how did you end up here at Dallas?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Well it’s a long story, because my affiliation with DTS has been over 30 years now. But when I came to Christ my Young Life leader led me to the Lord and as far I knew it was an all-in proposition so I knew from that moment on I was supposed to go into ministry and I had no idea what that meant. But over the time the Lord led me to attend Biola College. Then after that it was just one step after another and He brought me eventually to seminary.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Hmm. How did you end up at Dallas? I mean how did you end up doing what you’re doing now?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Well like I said when my husband graduated from DTS in ’82 and we met here and we did 28 years in pastoral ministry. As he was in his last pastorate I started seeking the Lord to see if I could come back and finish my degree at DTS and he indicated that that was okay. So actually I came back to pursue the DMin and was told that I needed to finish the Master’s of Christian Education first.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah it does take a master’s to get to a doctorate so yeah.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Yeah. I had another master’s but that didn’t qualify.
Dr. Darrell Bock
No, no, no. So that’s how that happened.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
That’s how that happened.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Michelle what’s your story? You’re our counselor so you know how long have you been feeling like this?
Dr. Michelle Woody
You know I’ve been feeling a little bit low for a while. [Laughter] The weather here is such that I’m happy to be on this recording and I need you to know that I started in business. I grew up in a Christian home. I started my career in business. I worked on Wall Street and as a result of multiple moves with my husband and my family I ended up with them moving to Texas.

I started a bible study that now we all know is bible study fellowship, one of the best bible studies I’ve ever been a part of, I ended up being a teaching leader. I was not familiar with Dallas Theological Seminary until I had to go for teaching leader trainings and several professors from Dallas Theological Seminary did the training, so as a result of that I was familiar with Dallas.

My husband passed a few years ago and I thought I needed to change my career from what I was doing so that I could spend more time with my family and decided to get a counseling degree and I did that at Dallas Theological Seminary.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Oh. Then they invited you back eventually huh to come teach?
Dr. Michelle Woody
Yes they did. I was invited back because number one I started working with a group of children, at-risk children trying to help them with therapeutic interventions. In the process of doing that the district although they were happy to hear what I had to say they thought I should have a teaching credential or at least a doctorate degree. So God was gracious, allowed me to go and get a doctorate degree and now I’m back. I still want to help them in the State of Texas and now I have a doctorate degree and God willing the district will talk to me about that. [Laughter]
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well good for them. I mean I think it’s interesting that we see a little bit of the range of ministry that’s represented at the table. I’m going to work in reverse order. Michelle obviously you’re doing counseling and also trying to help advise in the context of school district and certain kinds of children in ministry. Jeanne what are you doing these days in terms of your teaching and interests? What is your main interest?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
My main interest right now is in mentoring and coaching with discipleship focus. My dissertation was on disciplining younger women in the church and so that’s been my focus. I meet one-on-one with a number of different women, some on staff, some just other women that are students here.
Dr. Darrell Bock
So you’re mentoring women who are also headed towards ministry or are there laywomen involved or is it strictly ministry focused?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Both.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Both?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Yeah both, mm-hmm.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay. Sandy you’re a writer, right?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Writer, mentoring men and women who are wanting to communicate through writing, but also gender is a very important part of what I do here. I teach a course on that and looking at gender in the church and the roles of men and women and what are those hard verses talking about?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Exegeting some of those, but also looking at sexism, but not just as it applies to women but men and looking at justice issues in the church.
Dr. Darrell Bock
You did a doctoral work in related to New Testament studies. Why don’t you talk a little bit about that?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
So I had three exam fields that came together in Esthetic Studies. You have to choose a period of history, so I choose 100 B.C.-100 A.D. in Ephesus, 1st Century Ephesus. You have to choose a history of ideas about something, so I choose gender. I wanted to know what was masculine in Paul’s world for example. Then art was the third one and I choose writing. So as part of my dissertation I had to write a novel but weave the three together in addition to the academic work on that.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay. Then Sue what are they having you doing here in terms of teaching?
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
I teach men and women to teach.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
That’s basically it, how to do ministry in very practical ways.
Dr. Darrell Bock
So it’s pedagogy and mentoring and discipleship and andragogy.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Andragogy, adult, how to each adults, how to create ministry. I think one of my favorite courses is teaching women to actually teach the scriptures and how to exegete a passage and then bring it alive. Just watching those women find that they can take what they’ve learned here and teach it to others is just such a treat, I love that as well.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well it’s a marvelous array of gifts we have assembled around the table here. Let’s dive in and talk about your approach to certain questions that relate to ministry, particularly ministry together in relationship to men. I’m going to issue a confession at the start and that is that men sometimes are blind or unaware or insensitive or however you want to say it, I know this is true of me, of not seeing certain things simply because inevitably many times men have a set of concerns that in their world and their lives takes them to places that make them unaware of other things that are going on in the world.

So I want to start off first with kind of theological base of how you see certain things and then we’re going to talk particularly about that interaction. The first question I’ll have for you all is: How does the doctrine in the image of God, your understanding the image of God inform your ministry? In particular I think what I have in mind in asking this question is thinking through how you see the early chapters of Genesis and the issue of male and female relationships as portrayed in the creation. I guess Sue I’m going to start with you.

Dr. Sue G. Edwards
The beauty, the beautiful creation is two parts and I think the Lord did that out of his love for diversity and seeing them come together. The command is to rule the world together. I think that’s what we’ve missed and without both the masculine and the feminine we don’t have the whole image of God. Too many churches look like one parent families and I think that’s part of the issue is that for so many years we’ve had a strong male voice which is good, but we’ve missed a female counterpart, so we have single-parent churches.

Especially because the church is by and large are made of more women by far, Barna says about 60 percent.

Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
So with that in mind it often can happen that the person at the helm doesn’t hear what 60 percent of the congregation values or doesn’t give them an opportunity to actually develop their gifts and serve and that I think has really hampered the church.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay. I’m going to develop that, but I’m going to let everyone else speak too, so Sandy?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Sure, yeah I certainly echo that. Sue and I definitely share that. Just that original image in the garden of male and female partnering together and it’s not necessarily married male and female. I think we make a mistake sometimes and we try to separate what does the woman bring and what does a man bring? I think we’re getting into mystery and that’s counterproductive sometimes and that can even lead to stereotypes.

But I’m trying to always in my ministry make sure that it’s not segregated. Even when I was doing women’s ministry we involved men in the process just because we felt like we’re made in the image of God and we need to partner.

So when I have a teaching assistant I usually try to find a male just so that we’re modeling in front of the students a healthy male-female interaction doing ministry together. I can’t tell you exactly what it brings, I can just say that it brings something beautiful.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Jeanne?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Well I echo the same things, I agree. I think historically we’ve kind of erred in seeing it as a patriarchal system and then we’ve gone the other direction, kind of shifted over to a power struggle.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
And so I think what God designed originally was a partnership. So I think that’s the model is that we are the image of God together, both parts, in partnership with each other and how that works out is you know that’s what we have to figure out and work on.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah and that’s why we’re having the conversation. Michelle?
Dr. Michelle Woody
Sure and I agree with what everyone has said, but I’d like to emphasize the partnership or co-laboring together. Adam and Eve were to co-labor together and she was a gift to Adam. So in that regard I see that not just as women have to be married as was said earlier to be in a partnership with a man, but women have particular gifts that men don’t have and so we are to exercise those.

What I spend a lot of time doing in counseling is helping women to understand that they have value even in this male-dominated society, even though they’re so many men who are the managers certainly in corporate settings where I’ve worked and even to some degree in the educational setting. The men have more dominate roles, but women have gifts that need to be exercised. So we have to be freer to go ahead and exercise those gifts.

Dr. Darrell Bock
You know it strikes me when I think about Genesis 1 in particular that really the climatic act of creation that God engaged in wasn’t just the creation of humanity, it was the creation of a woman to compliment the man. I mean compliment in a more neutral way than the way some people mean it. And that is in a very much and a completion kind of idea that really God wasn’t done with his creation of humanity until we had the male and the female together operating. I think you all are correct to highlight the fact that the assignment was that together they were to carry out the mandate that God had given for people to live out in the world side-by-side in relationship to one another, supportive of one another and that that’s a very important dimension of ministry.

Michelle you mentioned something I want to come back to and that is the idea of women feeling valued. I think the way I want to walk into this conversation and this topic is to say that I’m assuming that in the midst of that and in the need to do that that it’s easy for women to feel less than valued and that’s why that exhortation is necessary.

Now help me understand that need and the flip question is and what kind of advice would you give particularly to men in ministry to make sure that the women that they minister alongside don’t struggle with the question of being valued or not?

Dr. Michelle Woody
Okay. One of the things Darrell that we see for women always there’s some need to define what their role is. There are so many women, especially women even if they started as independent professionals, once they get married now there’s the question of, “Who takes care of the kids?” “Who takes care of the house?” “How do we divide the roles?” Invariably it ends up being that even if there is a sensitive spouse that really does try to participate and help with children, help with the housework and other things that go on goes back to the woman. So in that regard the women feel that they bear the brunt of all of the work inside the home, as well as working outside of the home.

So that’s placed a strain on relationships, it’s placed a strain even on women as they think through, “What type career path should I have and should I seek?” Recent studies have shown that so many women who work outside of the home even though they don’t shy away from managerial positions they’re not always thinking about taking a top-level position because of the demands that they have outside of their profession.

So I would say for men especially and it’s not just for companies but also in ministry as well I think there needs to be a sensitivity to the fact that women have a contribution to make at work, but there has to be some discussion and an open discussion without apology that there’s times when somebody’s going to have a temperature at school and I may have to run and pick that child up and take them to the doctor.

Dr. Darrell Bock
You’re talking about the guy in this case. [Laughter]
Dr. Michelle Woody
No, no. So many times we see that women don’t feel that they can – that they have that right or that permission to do that in their workplace. It just seems that it’s just not always acceptable.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Hmm.
Dr. Michelle Woody
So men on the other hand will say, “Oh no, no, no we do value that,” but if there’s a deadline that has to be met and you have to leave there’s sometimes tension. So those are some of the things that I like to work through with women and also with couples.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well I’ll ask the ladies at the table and maybe we can speak up to this. What are other ways that value can either not be communicated or communicated by the way women are treated?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
I think to bounce off what Michelle said the assumption that it’s the female’s job to care for the children and that’s a very post-industrial revolution sort of dichotomy of dad’s in the factory or away from home and mom’s at home. So we tend to say it’s ideal for mom to be at home with the kids, but the ideal is mom and dad are home with the kids.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
This is a good development I think in technology and a lot more people can work from home and share some of those responsibilities. Kids are better off if they get – I read recently kids have a better sense of humor if dad’s around.
Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs]
Dr. Sandra Glahn
It’s just better for everybody if they have both parents present. So you look at the idea of woman in Proverbs 31 and she’s a hardworking woman and she’s selling belts and she’s involved in industry and she’s looking beyond her home and she’s stretching forth her hand to the needy. I think sometimes we think of the 1950s America as the ideal biblical model, rather than realizing that’s a very American post-industrial revolution. It doesn’t really translate really well when I go to Kenya either.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Darrell Bock
And we could look to the passages in Proverbs or you could look to the passages where the home and parents and the children are addressed and it’s interesting the assumption is not that this is mom’s job.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
That’s right.
Dr. Darrell Bock
It’s very much the assumption that this is also a very much a man’s responsibility in the home. Jeanne were you going to mention something?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Well a couple of thoughts. One just I think just the terminology that we use. I was thinking just recently I would rather hear people, women self-identify themselves as work-at-home mothers instead of stay-at-home mothers, because they’re working at home and many of them are working a job at home, as well as working in the home just doing the work.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
But when we call them “stay-at-home moms” I just think it communicates something a little different and so I think that would be you know just something to rethink just kind of the way that we identify ourselves and we are identified.

The other thing I was thinking about too is that Oprah Winfrey when she was leaving her talk show she was interviewed and she said she interviewed 30,000 people and the thing that they all had in common was the need to be validated. She said that what everyone was looking for was to feel like they are seen, they are heard and what they have to say matters. I think that’s really that’s heart of women that we want to be seen, we want to be heard and we want to know that what we have to say matters. So I think that’s…

Dr. Sandra Glahn
A human thing.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Well and we might bring something to the table a little different for that to be respected.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Darrell Bock
So what is that women bring to the church that perhaps we’re slow to recognize and yet it’s important for the _____ _____ ______ [crosstalk].
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Well I think we have to careful with stereotypes initially, because women they have every personality type, they have every gift, they’re different. Actually the differences within femininity are just as broad as in many ways as the different between men and women. We had the book about Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus as if they were two entirely different species.

I think there are differences but I think it would be a lot more accurate we’re of the same species to say, “Well maybe men are from North Carolina and women are from South Carolina,” there’s some difference, but we have all the gifts, we bring so much to the table. Now I do think if I were to say there are some things that are different, there is some brain research out that shows that are brains are actually made a little bit differently. I think women bring a sensitivity at times. They bring a caring and sometimes an insight that is very, very helpful when you’re ministering to people and that’s what the church is about is ministering to people.

But I am careful and I think possibly some of the stereotypes that all women are this way, all men are that way is partly and this is a controversial statement but has had an influence on our culture and the craziness of all people are doing crazy things with gender now.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
I think part of that is because we had this little box of men and this little box of women and children grew up and said, “I’m not quite like that.”
Dr. Sandra Glahn
“I don’t fit the norm.”
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
“I don’t fit the norm. There must be something wrong with me,” instead of realizing that God makes sensitive men and men who are so sensitive. God makes women who are too assert – we all have a sin nature and we all have gifts and we need to develop them and love each other and work together in biblical parameters and in ways that – we all need to live the fruit of the spirit.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Now Sandy you said you’ve done work in gender so I imagine this question is one that you’re also particularly sensitive to. So what’s your take on what women provide for the church? I can sign onto the sensitively part.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Yeah I share Sue’s concern. I don’t want to say women are more compassionate than men.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Like the minute you start saying or you can even say, “Yeah women do better on SATs than men,” I mean, “Men do better than women on SATs,” but you’re only talking about like 1 percent, you’re not talking about 3 percent of women down here and 97 over here.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Well women make better grades.
Dr. Darrell Bock
[Laughs] Yeah.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
So you’re right on both sides.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Then you’re like, “Are we making better grades because we have fewer responsibilities typically?” I mean who knows the reasons and I think the minute we start trying to assign something an innate is when we get in trouble.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
I think one of the things that women bring to the table is what any minority brings to the table is just I’m from a perspective that is different from the majority view or the power view or whatever. We all benefit the more diversity that we have.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Jeanne?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
This is what I love about this time in history for women in the church, because this is the first time in the history of the evangelical church that we have women who have been theologically trained and what we are bringing to the study of scripture and the interpretation of scripture, the eyes that we’re bringing to verses that have been taught to us from a particular perspective it’s exciting, it’s exciting. I love seeing our young women students and what they’re seeing and that it’s informed by study of the scripture and the languages. So that’s what I – what we’re bringing now is really exciting for this time in history I think.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah I agree. I mean I think that there are inevitably questions of – well I’ll tell you a story. There’s someone who does New Testament work who I respect very much at another school, who has looked at what I’ll describe as and this will sound stereotype but it isn’t meant that way, who has looked at issues of everyday life, okay, and I’m sure that part of the reasons she’s been drawn to this kind of study is because she understands elements of everyday life that generally speaking a man wouldn’t even be thinking about.

It opens up the study of the scripture in the way in which people lived and functioned in ways that you just didn’t even wrestle with or think about very much.

Michelle I’m not passing you by here. You have something to add to the question on what women bring to the table?

Dr. Michelle Woody
Sure I did. One of the things I think we need to also talk about is just the practical, positive nature of women in a church setting. Women are very good at filling in the gaps. There are so many things involved in ministry particularly with larger congregations, programs, ministry, things that are going on all the time and oftentimes at least I’ve seen it in my context and as I’ve moved around the country I’ve seen it, women can just get in there and just whatever needs to be filled in whether that be working, transporting kids, taking care of kids, helping with decorations, helping with whatever needs to happen to help the ministry go forward they’re there. I think that that’s one element of this that we need to consider.

The second is just women are very good at community and just being a part of community, bringing people together. It’s interesting that even though Jesus had male disciples it’s interesting that it was often women who kind of came together on their own to walk alongside of him in ministry.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah and they’re often portrayed at least in the gospels in a way that shows that sometimes they’re more sensitive in getting what’s going on than the men are. So that’s an interesting – I mean you know who are hanging around the cross when Jesus is being crucified. The men have gone elsewhere. So it’s an interesting question.

I’m going to shift gears a little bit here and I’m going to say it this way, it may not be the best way to ask the question, but what are some innocent things that male coworkers do that can make you feel marginalized? So this is the time to help us. Sandy I’m going to let you start.

Dr. Sandra Glahn
So treating the woman as the temptress. You know you walk on an elevator and a man walks out because he’s not going to be alone with you on an elevator. You know like, “Really am I that threatening?” It’s an insulting. Would you treat your mother that way? Treat us like sisters. So you can certainly appreciate the deep desire to have moral purity, but often that deep desire ends up excluding women. It means you can’t be at the conversation. It means you can’t be in the office. Not only that you have so much going on with same-sex attraction, it’s not just men and women that are tempted by each other, right? But it tends to be women that sort of get pushed to the side.

There are times too in the boy’s club when you know the men on staff will go out and play basketball together and you know it’s like –

Dr. Darrell Bock
Can’t be a cheerleader right? [Laughter]
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Yeah, yeah it’s like you know they’re going to have important conversations that you have something to say, but you know sorry it’s not the boy’s club, it’s like a family.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah. Now that’s interesting. So what you’re saying and I’m parsing this a little bit, what you’re saying is the events that you choose for ministry staff to participate in as kind of a group event you need to be sensitive to the fact that you have women in the group and that they’re a part of the equation.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Yeah.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Jeanne how do we marginalize you?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Well I had an interesting experience when I served as the acting director while my boss was on sabbatical. I was on the Academic Affairs Community and I believe that I was the first woman to sit as a department person, an academic department person in that community meeting. It just was interesting was because a few times where I made comments about something inevitably there would be response that, “Oh that’s because you’re a woman you picked up on that.”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
And maybe so and I think that was to be an affirmation. But sometimes just having you know your gender pointed out as –
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Maybe it’s because I’m Jeanne that I noticed that. [Laughter]
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Yeah, yeah.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah it’s interesting. Michelle?
Dr. Michelle Woody
Darrell I just have to say a couple of things. One, is oftentimes especially at lunchtime, just a simple example lunchtime, it’s time for the group to eat. I’ve had men at times to say if I’ve ordered a salad, “Well does that salad have manly things in it?” What is a salad with manly food in it?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Ooh man. [Laughs]
Dr. Michelle Woody
You have to have a salad with meat in it or else it’s not a salad that we can all eat. So that’s something that I’ve run across.

The other is –

Dr. Darrell Bock
Send me that list will you? I want to know what’s included in that salad. [Laughter]
Dr. Sandra Glahn
You want a bigger box, out of the box.
Dr. Michelle Woody
The other would be if my voice became elevated, “Are you being emotional?” “Is it that time of month” That’s a very insensitive comment that has been made. I would hope that most men now they don’t do that as often, but that’s something that I think is really something that men need to be aware of. Excluding women based on the sport that they’re talking about, you know Monday morning quarterbacking.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Some of us love the Cowboys actually.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Oh please. [Laughs]
Dr. Sandra Glahn
We can converse about it you know.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah.
Dr. Michelle Woody
Because I’ve gone to large school I do know sports and I really can talk about them and be in the pools and do fantasy football and it’s great, but not everybody can so they have to be _____ [crosstalk].
Dr. Darrell Bock
You know that’s interesting, you know if you watch ESPN these days or things like that there are a lot of women weighing in on what’s going on in sports.
Dr. Michelle Woody
Oh yes, oh yeah.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah. Sue?
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
There have been times when I have been assigned to do something by my department chair and I have interacted with men who I needed their input, I needed their participation and it’s been very obvious that they can’t. First of all they can’t really validate that they have to get my chair to let them know that I’m in charge of that and that can feel very I don’t even know the word, it just –
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Demeaning?
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Demeaning. I’ve had that happen several times. There have been times in meetings and if you end up being the only woman initially, when there are several women things begin to change a little bit, but when you’re that first woman in that staff meeting or in that prayer time it’s very typical that you will be completely overlooked.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah I’ve actually heard this story told me more than once by more than one woman where there’s been a staff meeting and people are introducing either to the new people brought on staff or whatever, the woman is completely passed over or when it comes time to give a testimony as the new people come the woman is completely passed over and that kind of thing.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Or she’s called, “The prettiest face in the room”
Dr. Darrell Bock
Right, right.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
But her credentials – I’ve heard the woman who was introduced and her credentials were not mentioned at all. She was called, “The prettiest face on the team.”
Dr. Sandra Glahn
The mother of…
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Yeah. And the men were all given all their degrees and what they did. Those kinds of things happen in churches and in institutions. It just takes a few of those little things to make to shut somebody down.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay let’s flip the image because I’m feeling beaten up. [Laughter]
Dr. Sandra Glahn
You’re doing good, we appreciate you.
Dr. Michelle Woody
Breathe in, you can breathe out. [Laughter]
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s right, slow, breathe slowly, okay now. Let’s flip it around and that is where are the situations where you felt empowered or encouraged by a male coworker?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Oh great question.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay so what are the things that get down where you go, “Yeah, I mean they get it and man is it a joy to be working with this crew.” Michelle I’m going to let you start with this one.
Dr. Michelle Woody
Okay I’ll start with just a recent example right here in Washington. You know we are beginning our counseling program, we’re starting our classes here in spring of 2017. I will say that my department chair came up to join me to encourage me in going out to talk to all of the various licensure boards in the DMV area. So rather than us being in Texas where we have one licensure board for all those students who plan to be licensed professionals after graduating from our program it’s a fairly simple process. We know it. Most of us are licensed in Texas and so that’s great.

But this is a new venture here having to work with the various ones. He said, “Look you go for it. I want you to get out there. You’re the best person for it since you’ve worked on the East Coast, you know this area, I want you to take the lead to do it.” That’s encouraging. That helps in knowing that you know there’s support there both from the office, the campus here and also in Texas and that’s great.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
That’s great.
Dr. Michelle Woody
That’s unusual though, not everyone has that type of support.
Dr. Darrell Bock
That’s true yeah. Jeanne what do you find affirming?
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Oh well when I got my DMin I went in and talked with the department head and asked you know, “What are my possibilities for teaching here at DTS?” He said, “Well you know it’s not a lack of intelligence, it’s not a lack of ability, it’s a lack of opportunity.” So he said, “Let’s think about what we can do to get you opportunities.” So he then took the initiative to – he gave me ideas, people to talk to and places to –
Dr. Darrell Bock
So he really came alongside you and affirmed your ministry.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Absolutely. It’s the men who opened the doors here and so I am very grateful for the men who have been willing to open the doors for me and there have been a few that have really gone to bat for me.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Sandy?
Dr. Sandra Glahn
I can echo that that multiple times it’s required somebody with influence, even to you doing this, like somebody uses their influence and says, “I’m going to spend part of my cred opening a door and adding other voices.”

I can think of a specific time thought that I also appreciated. I was walking down the hall with the professor who was mentoring me and another professor said, “Every time I see you you’re with that woman.” It was this awkward moment. He just didn’t miss, the guy I was with didn’t miss a beat said, “And isn’t she a blessing” and just kept – like he wasn’t going to let it go there and he wasn’t going to let me feel demeaned by that, just let it bounce off and I really appreciated that. I was just his colleague.

Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Yeah.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Hmm. Sue?
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Oh gosh and I’ve got two I want to talk about.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Okay.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
One is in the church. It was an executive pastor who hired me and I’ll never forget – well he would come sit in my office, he’d just lounge in the chair and he’d say, “What is it that you need?” It was – he was there, he was open, I could – he cared so much that I succeed.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Here at DTS I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for Mike Lawson actually who was, who sponsored me, who brought me in and who sat in a class for two years while we were getting our credentials because we didn’t have them and he sat in that class, a very busy man and just so we could teach.

My boss now goes to bat for us in incredible ways. I can’t tell you – there have been many men who have come alongside and made a tremendous difference and I will bless them until the day I die I am so grateful. They are really the ones that make a difference. We thank you for even doing this.

Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Yes.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Yes.
Dr. Michelle Woody
Yes.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
That shows that I mean it’s really the men that are going to help us overcome this.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well now I feel so much better I don’t know what to ask next. [Laughter] That was a great three minutes, can we go through that again? [Laughter]

Let me move on and ask this question: Name some of the issues that you think women face that are often overlooked by their men counterparts? What I have in mind here is kind of the things that we teach and talk about that end up being kind of not on the table. Let me give you one that I’ve become sensitive to, maybe I’ll give you two quick ones that I’ve become sensitive to.

One is the whole area of infertility, okay? To be honest what 60 years of my life I probably haven’t thought very much about it other than when I meet someone’s whose gone through that and extend sympathies, but I don’t think about what the impact of that is, where that comes from, where that deep concern lies. It’s become clear to me as I’ve interacted more and more particularly with my female colleagues here at the seminary, interacting with the women on our staff how important an area this is and how it’s almost never directly addressed other than by women. I think it would be fascinating to watch a man step into that conversation and see what they have to say.

Several
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Darrell Bock
So that’s certainly one of example. The second example comes from Linda Martin and I’m giving her credit. There’s an illustration that I love to do about faith at work and it starts with how we can appreciate what it takes to have Wheaties at the table. I shared this in faculty just a few weeks ago. [Laughter] You all are laughing because you were there.

Of course I start with the farmer, okay, who plants the grain and then it goes through a sequence and there’s a huge sequence of workers, all kinds of people you know go through the grain, the milk, the bowl, the table, the house that you’re in and think about the myriads of people that make it possible for you to sit and have a nice bowl of Wheaties in the morning.

She walked up to me after it was all done and she said, “You didn’t mention the wife okay who fixes the meals and takes care of that farmer, who plants that grain, who gets the whole thing going.” I looked at her and I said, “That’s good Linda you’re right.” [Laughter]

I mean and I’m sitting here going, “Man I mean think about how much of the world takes place without that person whose there lending their support and really serving in a major way so that other things get freed-up so that they can be done.” In one sense that’s a bad stereotype, but it also is a helpful one because it shows how much we take that particular activity for granted.

Now we’re short on time so these have got to be brief but go ahead, go for it Jeanne.

Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Well I was just thinking about this this week as we’re getting ready for Christmas and I wanted to bring up okay who makes Christmas happen at your house?
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah, it’s not me, I’m a scrooge. [Laughs]
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
That’s my husband actually.
Dr. Jeanne Ballard
Yeah but everything from the costumes the kids have to wear, to all the cooking, the shopping, all of it, but who gets the credit? Santa. [Laughter]
Dr. Darrell Bock
Yeah that’s a rip-off, I agree that’s an absolute rip-off.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
I’ll throw in spiritual gifts. I think we tend to think of women as having the gift of encouragement. If you have women with a gift of leadership, women with a gift – you know men with a gift of helps. In our home I have a gift of teaching and my husband has helps and sometimes people think we’re messed up gender-wise, because he’s going for the coats in the closet and I’m one to pray over the guests before they leave. What sometimes is assumed as gender confusion is actually just a confidence in how God has gifted us in ministry.
Dr. Darrell Bock
I actually think it’s important for couples to work out those roles and to have it work out in terms of their own relationship to one another. That sometimes we get a mixing or an expectation layered over us. I know I had this when I was an elder at our church and I give Sally space, I mean it’s the simple way to say it and I try and get her to affirm. So she was doing certain things that traditionally would be something a man was supposed to do, but I was quite pleased to say and she feels very affirmed in doing it. So I’m not going to let them dictate to me how my marriage works.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Exactly, exactly.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Right.
Dr. Darrell Bock
You know I’m going to say, “This is how we work together and how we function together.”
Several
Mm-hmm.
Dr. Darrell Bock
Well I’m sitting here talking fast because our time is literally running out. I just want to stop and thank you all for taking the time to come in and talk about this.
Dr. Sue G. Edwards
Thank you.
Dr. Sandra Glahn
Thank you.
Dr. Darrell Bock
It’s an important topic. We have just – I say this all the time, but I really mean it in this case, which is also what I say all the time, we have just scratched the surface on this topic, but you ladies have helped us get oriented and I appreciate you taking the time to come in and be with us. We appreciate you for being with on The Table and hope to see you again soon.
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Darrell L. Bock
Dr. Bock is senior research professor of New Testament and executive director for cultural engagement at Dallas Theological Seminary. He has authored or edited more than 40 books, including Jesus according to Scripture: Restoring the Portrait from the Gospels, Jesus in Context: Background Readings for Gospel Study, Studying the Historical Jesus: A Guide to Sources and Methods, Jesus the Messiah: Tracing the Promises, Expectations, and Coming of Israel’s King, Who Is Jesus?: Linking the Historical Jesus with the Christ of Faith, and Key Events in the Life of the Historical Jesus: A Collaborative Exploration of Context and Coherence.
Sandra Glahn
Dr. Glahn serves as associate professor in Media Arts and Worship and is a multi-published author of both fiction and non-fiction. She is a journalist, and a speaker who advocates for thinking that transforms. Dr. Glahn’s more than twenty books relate to bioethics, sexuality, and reproductive technologies as well as ten Bible studies in the Coffee Cup Bible Study series. She is a regular blogger at Engage, Bible.org’s site for women in Christian leadership, the owner of Aspire Productions, and served as editor-in-chief for Kindred Spirit from 1999 to 2015.
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