March 2024

In March, several alumni and current doctoral students of the CGCM attended the World Christianity conference in Ghana on the theme of women. Given that this conference was the fruit of international collaboration and networking, took place in Africa, and focused on the theme of women—three priorities of the CGCM vision—this event had a special attraction for affiliates of the Center. The conference also offered the opportunity to celebrate the legacy of Dana Robert and Mercy Oduyoye in advancing scholarship by, for, and about women. Inspired by these two great scholars, the theological work of the Circle of Concerned African Women Theologians and the historical research of CGCM scholars together demonstrate that the story of the world church, whether couched in theological or historical frameworks, is only complete if it includes the narratives and the voices of women. Among Robert’s students who attended the conference, Gina Zurlo, author of the ground breaking book, Women in World Christianity: Building and Sustaining a Global Movement (2023), was part of a panel honoring her legacy. Three of her current doctoral students also were there, Samaila Ayuba (virtually), and Morgan Crago and Aixin Yi (in person).

Following the conference, Michèle Sigg, Dictionary of African Christian Biography (DACB) Executive Director, will lead a workshop, along with Ini Dorcas Dah, for writers of women’s biographies. As women are greatly underrepresented in the history of the African church, these workshops are part of a new DACB initiative to fill this gap in the historical record. The biographies will be published in a shared volume for use in theological education. This is but one of several projected books in a DACB series on African Christian ancestors for the African and the world church.

The CGCM is proud to be at the forefront of a movement to inspire change in the understanding of women’s everyday challenges in the world and in the church. It is our hope that this new awareness will lead to a more just reality for women in world Christianity.