This story first appeared in the October 2017 edition of The Hilltop.
A 6-year-old girl pushed a note under her mother’s door that said, “Do you still love me?” There were two boxes to check: yes or no. This moment with her daughter helped launch Angie Hilker to help other women discover their worth.
“My goal is to unleash women into purpose by empowering and equipping them to live more abundantly, fearlessly and authentically in who God has called them to be,” Hilker said.
Women in Ministry, a new class taught by Hilker, who received her doctorate degree at Corban, is a class that evaluates the expectations society and the church have put on women and realigns those expectations with biblical truth.
“Women are viewed a whole lot differently than what the Bible actually says about them,” Daniel King said.
“God reached out and told me being a godly or biblical woman is not what I thought it was,” Allison Herrin, who hopes to create a magazine for young women, said. “I thought I couldn’t be passionate, but God showed me that’s not why He made me a woman. I’m not supposed to suppress my nature.”
During class time, the students discuss issues such as historical views of women, dating, homosexuality, transgenderism, ministry opportunities and the psychological differences between males and females.
“Women are viewed as they can only weigh this much or they have to look like this,” King said. “You can see by how the ladies in the class talk and how the teacher talks that they’re kind of tired of being treated like that, and, as a guy, you start to see maybe this isn’t right.”
One activity the class did was create a ministry based on a Bible passage about a woman.
“My group had the passage about the girl who was dead, and Jesus came and told her to wake up and told them to go get her food,” Herrin said. “From that, we were like, ‘Well, we could make this whole ministry of bringing homemade food to children who are hospitalized.’ … It’s less about ‘this is what a good women’s Bible study teacher does,’ and more about who are you, how God created you and what you think some of your strengths are that he could use in the church.”
On a life map, the class mapped out the different significant events in their lives.
“People were actually crying because they told their stories about things they went through, but they got through it,” Hope Frye, an aspiring youth pastor, said. “The critical moments that shape who you are today are huge to remember.”
One topic that has been paradigm-shifting for Frye and Herrin was the discussion on singleness and marriage.
“Singleness is not a curse,” Herrin said. “Singleness is good. Singleness is fine. And if you never ever get married and if you never have kids, that doesn’t lessen who you are as a woman. That doesn’t lessen who you are as a Christian.”
“We’re not just single because we have to be,” Frye said. “We’re single because we choose to be.”
Hilker’s primary goal for this class is for women and men to understand they are all called into ministry.
“Often, we think ministry is within the walls of a church, and it isn’t that way,” she said. “Ministry is every opportunity that is right in front of us to influence someone else’s life.”