Leadership/Career Training and Development
One of the primary goals of the Women’s Resource Center is career and leadership development for women in all professions. This includes learning how to be assertive, competent communicators, balance family and career, take risks, negotiate salary, deal with sexism, develop professional networks, and nurture the soul of their leadership. Career and leadership resources are available on the Women’s Resource Center website. [more information]
Seventh-day Adventist Women's History Project
The positive history of women and women's leadership in the Seventh-day Adventist Church is not well-known. The WRC has a large collection of articles, primary documents, and other historical material. The aim of the History Project is to collect Adventist women’s history and make it available to the general public. The theme of 2011 is “Our History is Our Strength,” following the National Women’s History Project, a nationwide constituency with the aim of writing women back into history and promoting March as women’s history month.
Thematic Bibliography and Online Resources
One important aspect of the Women’s Resource Center is to educate the church and community about important issues related to the lives of women. Library resources help to share the truth about an inclusive God who values both genders equally. Automating the library will make it more accessible to students, professors, and pastors writing sermons, research papers, preparing seminars, and so forth. Promoting the availability of these resources will help women considering a career as a pastor find her place in ministry, as well as helping men find ways to affirm and value the role of women in ministry. The Center has an impressive and diverse book library; thousands of print material in the form of sermons, articles, theses, statistics and data, unpublished manuscripts; and many media resources in the form of VHS, audio, and DVDs. College students, graduate students, ministers, and independent researchers frequently use these resources. However, the material lacks a useful method of categorization to allow for efficient research. It is imperative that the Women’s Resource Center compile an online thematic bibliography of all the resources available in order to make research easier and allow individuals to access bibliographic information from the Center’s website. Another aspect of this bibliography project will be to make a large portion of the articles available on the website in the form of PDF files. The project will also gather international resources by Adventist scholars who research in the area of women in the church and society. The resources will be translated and made available in English and the original language. [more information]
Student interns collaborate with the Women’s Resource Center and La Sierra University faculty to conduct a wide range of research in their area of interest. Past internship research has included women in management and the workplace, as well as women in ministry.
Support the Gender Studies Minor at LSU
La Sierra University offers a gender studies minor through the Department of History, Politics, and Society. Academic requirements for the program include courses in communication, history, psychology, religion and ethics, and sociology. The Women’s Resource Center supports the gender studies minor by providing faculty support and co-teaching opportunities; research material, primary documents and material related to women in the church and society; and coordinating internships for students.
Women and the Word
The Women and the Word conference fulfills several purposes. Speakers are invited to explore timely topics within the context of Scripture. The gathering stimulates dialogue among Adventist men and women church members, administrators, educators, and pastors. It provides an opportunity to hear, meet, and network with other Adventist women who are on the front lines of their fields, professions, and ministries. The conference encourages attendees to find common ground and explore differences between women leaders in business, higher education, and church administration with those who are pastors, chaplains, evangelists, and religion teachers. Women and the Word is also a call to hear the Spirit speaking through women and men’s theological insights.
Young Women and the Word
This conference is coordinated by and geared for young adults, though elements of the conference appeal to a wide audience. The event is an opportunity to empower a generation of women leaders, connect women leaders across professional lines, explore biblical models to inform and encourage facets of young adults’ lives, and support and listen to the voices of young women. Conferences in 2008 and 2009 explored themes on leadership and care for the earth, respectively.
This dynamic conference is an opportunity for women to shape their soul and career. Past conferences in 2008 and 2009 partnered with the Center for Women Clergy at Andrews University and featured studies of Bible women and themes related to women, practical workshops for career and leadership development for women in all professions, and workshops for women clergy.
Community and Mentorship
The WRC Film Club is open to all students, staff, faculty and friends of La Sierra University. The club meets once per month to screen a selected movie together. The group is led in a vibrant, interactive discussion of the showing and all its emerging issues following the screening. This allows the group to explore ways that members can initiate change in the discussed areas through their own personal influence.
The WRC Reading Group is open to anyone interested in reading a book together and relating the content to Adventist concerns.The reading group works in two formats. The online reading group is available to any person with access to the Internet. The local reading group is open to all students, staff, faculty and friends of La Sierra University. The local book club meets once each month to critically discuss a book and enjoy socializing. Books lead into substantive discussions and explore ways for members of the group to initiate change through their own personal influence. The Reading Group creates an environment in which sensitive issues in gender relations can be discussed, and possible steps toward improvements explored.
Featured Speakers and Lecture Series
The Women’s Resource Center hosts lectures throughout the school year. Featured speakers from different fields talk about their professions, research, and engage in discussions. This provides students, in particular, with the opportunity to ask career questions, network, benefit from mentorship, and learn more about current research on women.
An editorial team solicits blog content and feature a range of contributors, both established and fresh voices in Adventist leadership. Blog articles address a range of topics and follow the overall aim of the WRC (“educate, advocate, and celebrate”). The WRC blog encourages online dialogue and participation, links with the WRC Book Club, creates an environment in which sensitive issues can be discussed, and women are inspired and informed.
Health Awareness and Safety
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Awareness, Response, and Prevention
This project powerfully shares the love of Christ through education and services that affirm and extend God’s concern for the whole person. This initiative follows the example and spirit of the EndItNow campaign, itself a joint partnership by the GC Women’s Ministries Department and Adventist Development and Relief Agency (ADRA). The church is uniquely positioned to provide a religious underpinning to the healing process. The purpose of addressing sexual violence in the Christian community is to raise awareness of sexual violence; to be a voice for the presence of God in the midst of the crisis of sexual violence; to wrestle with the most challenging spiritual questions that accompany the experience of sexual violence; to open the church as a safe place for victims of sexual and domestic violence, those needing refuge, compassion, and healing within a religious community.
Education about sexual and domestic violence within the religious community will pursue four primary goals: (1) to learn basic information about the crisis of these types of violence, (2) begin to understand the experience and consequences of sexual and domestic violence, (3) critically examine the Scripture’s contribution to this issue, and (4) examine helpful ways to respond to the crisis in our religious and wider communities. The Women’s Resource Center is developing a referral list of providers.
Eating Disorders Awareness Week Activities (February)
The aim of Eating Disorders Awareness Week is to ultimately prevent eating disorders and body image issues while reducing the stigma surrounding eating disorders and improving access to treatment. Eating disorders are serious, life-threatening illnesses — not choices — and it’s important to recognize the pressures, attitudes and behaviors that shape the disorder. In the United States, as many as 10 million females and 1 million males struggle with an eating disorder, which includes a significant portion of the La Sierra University student body. The WRC partners with the National Eating Disorder Association and the counseling center to coordinate a number of activities during Eating Disorder Awareness Week, including hosting a film screening, workshops, and information dissemination.
Sexual Assault Awareness Month Activities (April)
April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. The Women’s Resource Center partners with the LSU counseling center and spiritual life to coordinate a worship service, film screening, creative activities, such as creating T-shirts with slogans about sexual assault awareness,, and hosting Denim Day. Denim Day is a rape prevention education campaign, where community members, elected officials, businesses and students are asked to make a social statement with their fashion statement and on this day wear jeans as a visible means of protest against misconceptions that surround sexual assault.
Breast Cancer Awareness Month Activities (October)
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. The Women’s Resource Center partners with La Sierra University's student association to coordinate a film screening and other activities.