PORTLAND — North Portland Bible College has announced the opening of the Urban Center for Women’s Ministry, a new initiative focused on providing a variety of practical resources and training for Christian women who desire to serve other women.
The new center, according to Earnestine Cellestine, academic vice president at the college, is intended to be a place where women can benefit from interaction with each other and find resources that serve their distinctive needs. According to its mission statement, the center exists to serve as a resource for women in church leadership by enhancing ministry development, strengthening leadership skills, and providing networking and mentoring support.
The Urban Center for Women’s Ministry will make available events and tools to help women who are actively engaged in ministry to other women. Among the resources offered will be periodic seminars and workshops led by experienced urban ministry specialists, as well as a means of connecting women in need with women equipped to help.
“We see the center as providing opportunities for mature women, as mentors, to come alongside younger women and offer guidance and support,” said Cel-lestine.
“The church is becoming more aware of the need to provide not only the tools for basic spiritual growth, child rearing, and care-giving, but also support for women in such tragic situations as domestic abuse and sex-trafficking. We believe that lasting transformational ministry happens through the application of relevant biblical principles.”
The center also hopes to be a catalyst for identifying issues of critical concern to the church and the community. Aware of the scope of women’s issues facing today’s culture, the center will actively draw on the significant pool of experienced leaders in women’s ministry available locally as well as nationally.
“This concept grew out of extensive conversations with pastors and women’s ministry leaders in the city’s urban core,” said James Sweeney, president of North Portland Bible College. “We believe that this new resource center can serve a distinctive purpose in the city, with its commitment to addressing the needs of women by strengthening the hands of pastors and church leaders. We want to stand with them and provide resources to assist them.”
Serving on the center’s leadership team are Cellestine; Beverly Edman, volunteer associate with JOIN, a resource center for the homeless; Trisa Kelly, chaplain and associate minister at Maranatha Church; and Cheryl Hamilton-Jefferson, adult protective services specialist with the Oregon state government.
For more information on the new center phone North Portland Bible College, 503-288-2919.