Leadership Conference Focuses on Advancing Women

by University Relations

Recognizing the vital role of women in American history, Congress passed a resolution in 1981, designating March 7-12 as Women’s History Week. Congress renewed it every year until 1995, when the President permanently proclaimed March as National History Month. On March 24, 2017, celebrating the occasion and the contributions of women in academia, Azusa Pacific joined Biola University, Fuller Theological Seminary, and Pepperdine University, in collaboration with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), to host the second annual Advancing Women in Leadership in Christian Higher Education Conference.

Held this year on the Biola campus, the event drew women and men from all stages of life and professional development. Attendees included faculty, staff, and students from these and other institutions seeking to gain insight and perspective from the top women leaders in higher education.

The keynote speakers presented a duo of powerful leadership experience from Shirley Hoogstra, JD, the CCCU’s first female president, and Karen Longman, Ph.D., professor in APU’s Department of Higher Education and pioneer of women in leadership in higher education. Longman also co-edited a series of books titled, Women in Leadership. Research, Theory, and Practice (Informational Age Publishing, 2014), with Susan Madsen, Ph.D., and Faith Wambura Ngunjiri, Ph.D., aiming to enhance knowledge and application about the leadership experiences and development of women in different sectors, geographic regions, and personal or professional contexts.

In addition, Eugene Cho, founder and lead pastor of Quest Church, an urban, multicultural, and multigenerational church, in Seattle, Washington, and Mimi Haddad, president of Christians for Biblical Equality, spoke about the plight of women around the world. Hoogstra also moderated a panel discussion among college presidents from Azusa Pacific University, Biola University, and Houghton College. Breakout session topics included “2016 Research and Review of Women in Leadership: Have Our Campuses Made Progress?” and “Advancing Your Professional Development: Learn the Art of Negotiation, Proposals Preparation, and Personal Vision Casting.” Next year’s conference, slated for March 5, 2018, will take place at Azusa Pacific.