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Men and Women Partnering

Summary: Our history is complex, sometimes emotional. To generalize is to invite criticism. It was natural that our military flavor carried forward into the years after World War II. To the extent that resistance persisted to the fullness of ministry by women, it was cultural in some places and theological in others. Continuous debates on what biblical restraints, if any, are still normative for women have reverberated in The Navigators for at least fifty years, sometimes painfully, especially in the US.

Gratifyingly, the general focus has shifted from what women may do to how men and women should partner together. Our emphasis has slowly moved from men as the protectors to men as the colleagues of women, from the welfare of single women to their full-orbed engagement in our ministries.

This article does not address partnership in marriage. However, in Latin America and some other influential ministries such as in India and South Korea, cultural factors placed ministry among women in the hands of wives.

In recent years, as God has blessed us, we have seen a resurgence in our ministries by and among women around the world.

In the Lord, woman is not independent of man, nor is man independent of woman.
1 Corinthians 11:11


Historical Perspective
Early Influence of Women in The Navigators
Developments in the 1970s and 1980s
Navigator Men and Women Partnering, 1940s to 2000s
Developments in the Worldwide Partnership, 2000s

Historical Perspective

First, what has been the overall trajectory as regards the broader missionary service of American women? Let’s start with a summary.

Single women have clearly had a most prominent role in American overseas missions. The first single woman to go out was Betsy Stockton in 1823, as a domestic assistant, closely followed by Cynthia Farrar in 1826, who developed native schools in Bombay.

Women’s support societies–raising money and prayer for the men–were extremely popular, the first arising in Boston in 1800.

From 1861 onwards, women began to organize in separate boards, impatient of the controls and limitations imposed by the existing boards. Men continued to resist the competition vigorously: amongst other things, it was said that sending single women overseas “degraded and coarsened the fine tone of female character.”

By 1900, American boards had on the field 1291 wives and 1015 single women. By 1923, the singles outnumbered the wives.

From the 1920s onward, one women’s board after another (despite their low costs and high success) yielded to masculine pressure for integration. Their peculiar zeal and fruitfulness was often stifled or, at best, not cultivated. Single American women missionaries numbered just over 4800 in both 1925 and 1955, but the total missionary force doubled in this period to around 28,000 persons.1

Early Influence of Women in The Navigators

Now, as regards the early Navigators, how did women feature? Dr. Bob Ridley has prepared an inspiring account2 of our US ministry among nurses during the 1940s and 1950s. However, though we lack sufficient material to provide a continuous and more general account, we can nevertheless extract comments directly from our staff communications to gain a flavor of who was involved. The picture is of much blessing in the ten years up to 1965, followed by a reduction in scope in the US.

Here are some quotations about ministry in the US, in date order, followed by some on ministry overseas.

References to Women in Ministry in the US

1953: At our US conference, there was evidence of a buoyant ministry among women:

How stimulating it was to become acquainted with many new girls this year who not only expressed a willingness to follow Christ wholly and unreservedly, but also seemed to have a keen desire to learn new ways of reaching other girls. A wonderful staff of seventeen dorm leaders made it possible to provide a more personal touch to the life of each girl. . . . Many personal needs and problems were met as cabin leaders gave unselfishly of their free hours to counsel with girls.3

1955: “Detroit’s smooth-running female diesel, Joyce Turner, reported on the activities of the five key girls with her in the home. Other Works is a strong point with them (Child Evangelism, Voice of Christian Youth, Christian Business & Professional Women, Inter-Varsity and Christian Nurses’ Fellowship). The girls want now to take responsibility for Joyce’s part so that she may devote full-time to the ministry . . .”4

1955: “Delores Moen, with a platoon of (well, five anyway) top girls in Minneapolis has worked toward infiltrating hospitals, a girls’ residence, and the university.”5

1955: “Sug Anderson and Ouida Arnold had many opportunities during their week in New Orleans; Sug was asked to speak twenty-two times. Ouida visited the girls in Chattanooga briefly. After leaving New Orleans they had the joy of seeing about seventy-five of Sug’s girls in Houston, almost all of whom received the Savior through the study of the IBS last year. Now these girls have taken over the leadership and responsibility of reaching other girls.”6

1961: “The August conference has 114 girls registered. Dr. Henry Brandt of Detroit, guest speaker, also had some very helpful sessions with our staff and trainees. Addie (Rosenbaum) planned a special seminar for the girl area leaders, and I feel the work among the girls is moving ahead on schedule. We surely thank him for these consecrated women who are recruiting and building for the Lord.”7

1963: Pat Nelson sent a good report on the Bay Area girls’ activity, with a summary called “plans to strengthen” and another, “plans to lengthen,” based on Isaiah 54:2:

I’ve been overwhelmed with all the Lord is doing in the lives of many girls. We have six apartments this fall, offering six spheres of influence. The girls are secretaries, teachers, nurses, students, and each is encouraged to use her apartment for evangelism. One is next to the Cal campus, another next to San Francisco State campus, one a few blocks from the Highland Hospital. The thrilling thing is to see girls who are being reached in these six places. In the two Bible studies at the Evangeline Residence girls have been coming to Christ steadily over the past two years. Highland Hospital student nurses had thirty-six sign-up for study groups. Several other IBS groups are under way in the apartments. Our bi-weekly study, which involves the apartment girls and their contacts, totaled thirty-two last Monday night. The Lord is opening doors at San Francisco State and Cal in Berkeley as we’re doing both friendship evangelism and cold contact evangelism on these campuses.8

1963: “The area girls’ leaders plan to meet December 27-31 at Berkeley with Addie and LeRoy.”9

1963: “Leola Nelson heads the publication department since the departure of Pat Knight for California. . . . Carolyn Stuhrman is taking an important place in the secretarial end of things. The contributions these co-laborers can make at the Glen due to their overseas experience is indeed valuable.”10

1964: Girls’ apartments in Dallas and Oklahoma City closed (marriages).

1964: In a collection of photos from our May 1964 staff conference, there is one of eight area girl recruiters: Alyce Raduenz, Jeanine Field, Carolyn Peterson, Jody Baker, Pat Nelson, Marilyn V., Shirley Atwood, Pam Holt.11

1964: “Addie will take a leave until the end of the year and be with her family in Yakima. Her dad’s health makes it timely for her to be at home now. Then I have asked her to spend some time in the Bay Area girls’ ministry and also prepare for next summer’s Glen training. She will be at the Glen by May 1 to reopen the Pink House and help with the new conference and training programs.”12

1964: “Some of our transplanted Glen secretaries are witnessing in the workaday world: Carolyn Stuhrman works for White’s Stores in Wichita Falls, Texas and ministers to girls at the YWCA. . . . JoAnne Roberts in Kalamazoo. . . . Betty Graham with Indiana University. . . . Shirley Atwood in Lincoln . . . all part of local Nav teams. Natalie Gates is in Washington, DC . . . . Joan Miller and Dorothy Davis in Minneapolis. . . . Carolyn Peterson’s team in San Jose leads the San Jose girls who have three Bible study groups going for collegians and three for business girls.”13

1964: “In Oklahoma, a dozen girls met in Stillwater for a seminar with Pam Holt.”14

1965: “Maryetta Ayers is starting a year’s leave from her responsibilities for the girls’ ministry in Los Angeles.”15

References to Women in Ministry beyond the US

1953: Gien Karssen wrote16 from the Netherlands as follows:

. . . the work is growing one-sided. I see that more clearly since a few more key girls are coming to the front and growing in maturity. . . . It is much harder to reach men than women for Christ. For example, in classes at The Hague, those who study seriously are girls. . . . Out of the class of around twenty, I hardly know of one man who could be a good counselor for the April campaign. . . . Here in the Netherlands, those who could be real winners are in fact girls.

1961: “Lu Stephens is heading out to Japan this fall to be our first full-fledged girls’ worker in a foreign-language culture. Secretaries have gone out and have had a ministry with girls, but this will be the first time that we have sent a girl out to work with girls in a foreign-language culture. Of course, Joyce Turner is in England, which may be a foreign language to some, but we don’t consider it such! Joyce, by the way, has been doing a tremendous job. . . . Doris Diddams will be leaving soon for England to join Joyce and assist her in the work.”17

1962: Walt (Henrichsen) and Megan (Pickock) have completed the first session of Jungle Camp and are swinging into the second. Walt wrote: “The girls outnumber the fellows almost three to one. This is disheartening—not because of the small number of fellows, but because this is only a picture in miniature of Christendom. The mission fields fill up with gals because the guys refuse to heed the call of Christ.”18

1962: Report from George Sanchez: “In London, Joyce Turner has been consolidating many of their contacts by getting them into an aggressive evangelism program. This was not too keenly received at first, but fear is melting into enthusiasm. Training sessions were blessed of the Lord and the girls went out presenting the Gospel to hundreds door-to-door in the London County Council flats. There was much opposition the first week, but prayer helpers were enlisted for the next time and one teenage boy came to Christ, a complete change from the attitudes of the previous week.”19

1963: “The Lebanese visa for Ida Honey (originally a nurse from San Francisco) was extended, enabling her to return to the Scotts for a time after a temporary visit to Jordan.”

1964: “Doris Diddams returns to the States from London on May 15, having completed three years’ hard work in the British office and work with girls. More and more British young women are coming up to take part in the ministry there. Leola Nelson will join the Europe staff in July as a secretary to Doug Sparks in European headquarters.”20

A Hiatus in the Late-1960s

Resulting from the departure of Addie Rosenbaum and a resistance among some of our leaders to appointing single women as staff, we reached the end of the 1960s with only a smattering of women who were considered Reps. These included Americans Joyce Turner, Lu Stephens, Helene Ashker, and JoAnn Ray; and Dutch Rep Gien Karssen.

In 1966, after twenty-two years with The Navigators, Addie Rosenbaum left the organization to take up residence in Yakima, Washington with her family. Lorne commented that: “Sentimentally, it is difficult to think of her not being with the work after these years of faithful service, first as Daws’s secretary and then for eight years responsible for the girls’ work. . . . She leaves a staff deeply grateful for her co-laborship and indebted to her in many, many ways.”21

The following month, Lorne wrote to the Gang22 as follows:

After Jerry Marshall’s transfer to Penn State last summer, we looked into possibilities of a new assignment for Jody Baker. This is in line with our policy of having the girls’ work only in an area where there is an area Representative. In March, we discussed with Jody several possible assignments, both in the US and overseas. She has since written that she would like to continue with The Navigators, but she feels the Lord is directing her to stay in Minneapolis. We too would prefer to have her remain with us, but it is apparent that the Lord has led her in her decision. We have accepted Jody’s resignation from The Navigators, and I believe God will continue to use her significantly in the lives of girls.

At our World regional directors conference in November 1968, our policies were presented. Personnel policy B was on women staff members. As follows:

  1. Women staff members working in an area are under the area representative’s supervision. There normally will be no girls’ work where there is not an area representative. Exceptions may be allowed when adequate supervision exists and when approved by the continental director.
  2. When an area representative is replaced, a Nav woman staff member serving under him should normally be transferred though the new representative has the option of asking that she be retained.
  3. As a general guideline, we will not have a girls’ work in an area that is primarily a servicemen’s work.
  4. We will normally send overseas only girls to whom we have a long-term commitment.

Beyond the borders of the US, however, there was more liberty. Our divisional directors, Doug Sparks in EMA23 and Waldron Scott in PAN, recognized that Sanny delegated24 more of the conduct of their divisions than was his custom in the US.

Thus, Joyce Turner, supported by Doug Sparks, had been raising up women of high caliber in England and beyond. Indeed, also in 1968, Lorne had written to the gang25 as follows:

Joyce Turner . . . is returning to England in a few months. Before leaving the British Isles in December, she turned over her responsibilities to a girl she had personally trained, Pat Lawler. Pat is now responsible for the Nav ministry among girls in the Greater London Area. One hundred girls meet regularly for Bible study plus two hundred more are involved in other studies led by Nav-trained girls in London. Upon her return, Joyce will assist Roger Anderson in the Great Britain region and have increased responsibility among girls throughout Europe.

In the Pacific Areas (PAN), Waldron Scott was also advocating for our emerging women leaders. Looking back on his tenure as our director in PAN, he wrote: “I had worked hard to build up the girls’ work in PAN. We had managed to place a full-time girls Representative in almost every one of the ten countries in which we were ministering. The three most experienced were Lu Stephens in Tokyo, Jo Ann Ray in Singapore, and Maureen Dawson in Sydney.” In that year, Scotty presided over our first (PAN) girls conference for some thirty female disciple-makers.26

The women came from ten Asian countries to the Palm Beach Hotel in Penang, Malaysia. Scotty pushed, successfully, for more of the Asian women to lead workshops. They concluded that the conference was a deep encouragement, as Lu Stephens later said: “The 1972 Penang conference gave us a sense of unity that was never lost.”27

In presenting his “Strategy for the 70s” in December 1972, Scotty noted that “with few exceptions, our girls work is weaker than it should be, particularly in the United States.”28

Partly as a result of the blessing of God upon the London ministry, Doug secured Sanny’s agreement29 in 1972 to the renewed appointing of women as Representatives (WRs). This led to a rapid increase, both in the US and overseas.

During the years from 1972 to 1979, the number of women Reps increased from five to forty-five, an increase of 25 percent per year. Women Reps went from 4 percent to 12 percent of our stock of Reps.30 (See the link to Table 1 below.)

Table 1: Numbers of Women Representatives, 1950s to 1983

The essence of our aim during the years that followed the first edition of the Fundamentals of the Navigator Ministry in November 1978 continued toward the raising up of new disciple-makers. For the nine years31 starting in 1975-1976, we have a consolidated count of the number of new disciple-makers that was raised up each year, broken by gender (as shown in the link below)

Table 2: New Disciple-Makers, 1975-1984

This revealed an upward trend in the relative number of women disciple-makers, from 31 percent in the first three to 39 percent (388 ex 998 average) in the last three years.

In March 1972, Lorne sent to our staff an outline of “assumptions, objectives, and a three-year strategy for the girls’ work.”32

His six assumptions were:

  1. The Navs want women disciples and disciple-makers in every nation.
  2. Qualified women are needed to help train disciple-makers.
  3. Women staff members will be responsible to male leadership.
  4. Women with leadership gifts need special training and career planning.
  5. Girls’ ministry schedules should not be as intensive as the men’s because of emotional makeup, pattern of living, and/or responsibilities in the home.
  6. A mutual attitude of giving and serving needs to be stimulated and developed among women and men in the areas.33

His three objectives were:

  1. To raise up women who fit the Navigator disciple and disciple-maker profiles.
  2. To help women find their most effective place in the Body of Christ:
    a. By assisting them in discovering and developing their God-given gifts.
    b. By encouraging them to acquire a vocational skill.
    c. By imparting the heart, vision, and know-how of disciple-making in the context of any role in which they are called to serve.
  3. To supply the projected needs of The Navigators for women laborers. These are wives, helpers in homes, girls’ workers, and office workers.

On the same date, Lorne prepared a list of twenty-five women in “independent” ministry within the US divisions. For the record, these are shown in the table linked below.

Table 2A: Women in US Divisions

Two years later, in July 1974, Lorne sent to our staff a report34 on the progress of the Navigator work among women, in which he comments on each of the above six assumptions from 1972. As he wrote, “the net result is most encouraging. We have seen considerable progress in just the past two years . . .

As evidence that there was a buoyancy in our grass roots ministries among women, internationally, during the 1970s, we may look at this comparison, as shown in the linked table below.

Table 3: Percentages of Single Wome

What we see above is, as would be expected, the relative presence of women declining as we move up the ladder of organizational maturity, but a relatively high level of productivity: Twenty-three percent of the staff produced 35 percent of our new disciple-makers.

Developments in the 1970s and 1980s

In the US especially, the late 1970s were a time of increasing debate among evangelicals as to the role of women in the church. How best to expand the influence of women and what biblical limits, if any, existed? The influential text Man as Male and Female by Paul Jewett had appeared in 1975. Another very detailed treatment was Man and Woman in Christ by Stephen Clark (1980).

At least two treatments of evangelical sexism appeared in 1979. Christianity Today exposed sexual bias in our Bible translations and Gospel in Context devoted an entire issue to sexism and mission.35

At the end of 1977, Sanny took soundings on a proposal from Doug Sparks that we appoint an international women’s Representative. Though this was not explicit, he probably had in mind a fruitful role for Joyce Turner who would soon be returning to the US and would no longer be able to team with him because he would be appointed as PAN Director.36

Sanny reported that representatives from the US, Latin America, and PAN were “strongly against the concept of an international women’s Representative37 resource person.” Their consensus was that such a need be best handled at a divisional or regional level. The US already had several regions which had a designated woman Rep to work with the regional director and his team. Additionally, the majority view was that such a person would only be needed infrequently for planning and input regarding ministries among women; thus, she might not be fully employed.

Sadly, the majority opinion proved to be correct. Joyce Turner became our international women’s Representative in 1981 and recounts that it was a discouraging and frustrating experience. Several divisions saw no need for her to visit, and, collectively, our international leaders had not yet learned how to draw on her considerable gifts beyond the rather circumscribed area of “women’s ministries.” In July 1986, she transferred to the US to become the national women’s coordinator.

During 1978, the recommendations of some our leading women were collected, as regards requisites for women staff. Most recommended that these be distinct38 from those for men.

The approach of the International Leadership Conference (ILC) in early 1980 stimulated questions about the work among women. For example, Joyce Turner posed five in her response39 to our survey:

  • Why are we not reaching more women with leadership ability?
  • Does our present structure give scope for developing women of this caliber?
  • Is our ministry approach tailored to meet women’s needs?
  • Is there freedom to adapt methods and programs specifically to women?
  • What part should a woman play in the overall work?

When this historic conference convened in February 1980 at Glen Eyrie, twenty-two of the 165 participants were women. During the conference the women met for an unplanned session in the Bighorn building with Sanny, Sanchez, and McGilchrist, during which they expressed various concerns as to the place of women in The Navigators. This exchange gave impetus to several developments during the 1980s including the production of an international paper entitled “Women: The Biblical Bases.”40

During the ILC, participants discussed and adopted seven strategic global imperatives, of which the sixth was:

We must continue to enhance and strengthen our worldwide ministry by defining and applying a biblically-based philosophy and strategy for women (Philippians 4:3).

When the International Leadership Team (ILT) met in June 1980 to review the implications of the ILC and how we should proceed with each of our strategic global imperatives, they had before them the action steps for imperative 6, proposed by Joyce Turner:41

  • A statement should be included in the FOM that evangelizing, establishing, and equipping apply to both men and women.
  • Appoint a small multi-cultural representative task force of men and women with the following job description: A) To work out a biblically-based philosophy together with the appropriate strategy in principle. B) To recommend the guidelines to educate our staff, both present and future.

Our recommendations:

  • That Donald McGilchrist head up this task force.
  • This task force should draw on the advice and expertise of a few other Christian leaders outside The Navigators.
  • This task force should include the following issues: function of men and women; colaborship; responsibility-authority; relationships.
  • Develop guidelines in our overall strategy that will ensure the raising up of women laborers throughout the world.
  • We recommend that the philosophy and strategy is incorporated into the FOL42 and FOM where appropriate and applicable.
  • Each division should take responsibility to apply the guidelines for educating and training their staff.
  • Lorne and the ILT should evaluate the worldwide progress made in applying the philosophy and strategy for women regularly during the 1980s.

At our first International Navigator Council (INC), which met in December 1981, Oswald Sanders joined us, teaching out of 2 Corinthians and advocating for an expansive approach to the ministries of women.43

A very successful Navigator women’s international conference took place in Austria in July 1981,44 attendance being limited to those who had led a small group and demonstrated an ability to make disciples. Participants included 146 women from fifteen countries. Theme: “We make it our aim to please Him . . .” (2 Corinthians 5:9).

For many, this event served as a farewell to Joyce Turner who would soon be joining the team at International HQ after twenty-five years of fruitful service in Europe. She had led in building a strong ministry among women which spread throughout the UK and supplied missionaries to other countries. It produced a flow of women Reps.45

The second edition of the Fundamentals of the Navigator Ministry was distributed in April 1982. The introduction declared that “this seminar is addressed to the men and women who make up the Navigator staff around the world.” Also added was the statement, “masculine references include the feminine gender, unless the context dictates otherwise.”

Meanwhile, McGilchrist continued to lead work—alongside Joyce Turner—on the position paper entitled “Women: The Biblical Bases.” Draft 2 (May 1982) had been sent to twenty-nine staff of whom eleven had made extended comments.46 The minutes of INC 2 in December 1982 record the deletion of one conclusion, so that conclusions 1 to 12 remained.47 The minutes record:

We extended our discussion to explore more fully what we believed as regards the extent to which women can or may teach men. Our general consensus was favorable to an interpretation of Scripture which permits such teaching, provided that spiritual authority is not being usurped.

Conclusion 12, at this stage, asserted that, “the general perspective of the New Testament is one of freedom and fulfillment for all in Christ—with an unambiguous call for all to serve as laborers in the harvest fields—with gifts and capacities effectively engaged.” This was qualified in only two important contexts, namely that men should be the heads (conclusions 8 and 9) in marriage and in “spiritual worship and service.”48

In the swirl of comments surrounding the draft paper, some strands were prominent:

  • Headship or leadership? Dangers of cultural bias.
  • Headship created or corrupted by the Fall?
  • Does headship extend beyond family and church?
  • What implications flow from the maleness of Christ?
  • Teaching and prophesying
  • Distinguish teaching from learning
  • What does being under male authority imply?
  • How much significance in examples of women used by God in the Scriptures?

The draft paper generated a robust discussion. It aimed to draw out the biblical principles, but not to apply them as yet to The Navigators. This would come later, with Sanny’s strategic affirmations.

Sanny’s Strategic Affirmations

In January 1984, INC 3 met. Sanny distributed the final version of the paper, edited by McGilchrist, on “Women: The Biblical Bases” and affirmed that he had accepted it as a statement of our biblical philosophy. He told the council that he would send the paper with a cover letter to our country and state directors and such others as members of the council might request. Subsequently, it would be freely available to Nav staff who asked for it.

Then, separately, Sanny presented five strategic affirmations49 regarding our women’s ministry. There being no opportunity for discussion, it was agreed that these would be further considered during 1984.

These five affirmations were his applications from the theology of the international paper.

  1. The Great Commission applies to both men and women. We want women converts, disciples, and disciple-makers.
  2. The Navigators is a global society for both men and women. Our FOM applies to both men and women. We expect to raise up women not only as laborers but also, when they’re gifted, as equippers.
  3. As to spiritual leadership in The Navigators, women may not be in authority over men, nor do men have unlimited authority over women. However, there will be situations not involving spiritual authority where women may assume authority over men.
  4. Women may teach men in the Navigator context with the authority of the Bible, experience, and reason, but not with the authority of position. For instance, a woman may say to men “we should,” even “we must,” but not “we will.”
  5. We should utilize the gifts and insights of women in our overall work, not only in matters pertaining to women. Their contribution should be welcomed in our leadership teams.

Affirmation 4 was confusing to some. What was the difference between we must and we will? Clearly, Affirmations 3 and 4 drew some parameters.

Part of the context was that Nav leaders in several segments of the world viewed ministry among women as the prerogative of wives. For example, Nabeel J. gave four reasons for focusing on wives, Petersen had spoken of this as the norm in Latin America,50 John R. practiced it in India, it was the standard in South Korea.

During 1984, concerns about the partnering paper came from Europe (too conservative, unduly limiting) and parts51 of the USA (too liberal, a spin-off from feminism). Was this a top-down mandate? Who was consulted? What was the history of our work among women?

One of the most thoughtful requests came from Gert Doornenbal as Europe director. He proposed to Sanny:

  1. That you withdraw your strategic affirmations
  2. That McGilchrist rewrite some portions of his paper to provide more obvious opportunity for study rather than a worldwide Navigator view on the position of women in the Body of Christ

Gert’s basis for this request was that, because we have a specific limited objective which allows for broad application, we should adopt an embracing attitude “when it comes to doctrinal issues of less importance such as the position of women, baptism, etc.”

  1. If we have to come to some conclusions in these matters, let it be as low in the organizational structure as possible (unity and diversity).
  2. We are a missionary movement and, because of this, should continue to be very careful with international Navigator doctrinal statements which might restrict our outreach in some parts of the world.

He pointed out that, in many countries, there was already disagreement in evangelical circles. Also, he argued that biblical principles and ethics are sometimes conflicting. Example: Rahab and the spies in Jericho juxtaposed the principles of telling the truth and preserving lives. Specific situations require particular decisions. He ended by quoting 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.52

Sanny returned to this subject in his “Dear Staff” letter of December 20, 1984. He referred to the Paper on “Women: The Biblical Bases”:

It was presented to the International Navigator Council and received general acceptance. I too felt it was a fair statement of what I personally believe the Scriptures teach. It was ready to distribute to the staff. Not as a policy or final statement, but as the next step in our commitment to imperative VI and for further interaction.

As I wrote the cover letter for the paper, I realized that papers are often filed away and given little attention. So, in order to get the attention the subject deserves, I listed some implications from the paper, calling them “affirmations.” Well, this really got attention—more reaction than any letter I’ve ever written—most of it negative. . . . For instance, one phrase stated that ‘women may teach men.’ Some were disturbed that there was even a question and resented the word ‘may.’ Others believe the Scriptures clearly state that women may not teach men.. . . . Some think that to close any permanent position of authority in the Navs to women is unscriptural. . . . Still others object to our making an international statement on such a subject, even when it is not policy, and believe that each country should be left to decide for itself what the Bible teaches on this issue, and certainly left to make its own application.

. . . . So I am pleased that throughout the Navigators individuals and teams are re-studying the Scriptures on this subject. I’m asking the Lord to make plain what He may want us to correct.

Navigator Men and Women Partnering, 1940s to 2000s

At INC 4, the following month, Sanny traced the history of our work among women. What follows hews closely to the notes he provided for the Council.53

History of Nav Work among Women

A. Daws

  • Girls clubs
  • Women’s apartments (SF & LA)
  • Women’s conferences
  • Resistance

B. 1956 – 1971

  • In 1956 women workers asked for a representative at headquarters and suggested Addie Rosenbaum who then reported to the president.
  • Much resistance (e.g. – “There is no place for single women in The Navigators.”)
  • By 1965 there was nothing to do but dismantle the formal women’s work in the US
    and let it grow as it would. The women’s ministry prospered or not according to the
    local leader.
  • 1966 exegesis of the Navigator Aim: “In raising up laborers our main thrust will be toward young men between the ages of eighteen and thirty. However, we will also minister to women, businessmen and others.”
  • Meanwhile there was a flourishing women’s work in London with Joyce Turner.
  • During 1965-1971, women’s work in the US languished.

C. 1971 – 1980

  • 1971 talk, tape and “Dear Staff” letters on “Help These Women”
  • Women appeared on leadership teams.
  • Began appointing women as Reps.
  • Number of women Reps grew from five to forty-six.
  • July 15, 1974 “Dear Staff” (appendix A).54
  • To me (Sanny) – things looked good.

D. 1980 – present

  • 1980 ILC meeting with twenty-two women Reps who signaled universal dissatisfaction with the general Nav staff attitude toward women.
  • They drafted and recommended imperative VI, and we accepted it.
  • “We must continue to enhance and strengthen our worldwide ministry by defining and applying a biblically-based philosophy and strategy for the women’s ministry (Philippians 4:3).
  • They also specifically requested that Donald McGilchrist draft a philosophy paper.
  • Donald’s draft 3 was submitted to the INC in December 1982 for reaction.
    • Minute 6.3: “We agreed to a number of improvements in these conclusions . . . and to the deletion of one of them . . . resulting in 12 conclusions.” (appendix B)
    • Minute 6.4: “We also extended our discussion to explore more fully what we believed as regards the extent to which women can or may teach men. Our general consensus was favorable to an interpretation of scripture which permits such teaching, provided that spiritual authority is not being usurped.”
  • Draft 4 was submitted to the INC in January 1984 for approval.
  • In the April 1984 “Dear Staff” letter the paper was offered to the staff.
  • The paper with a covering letter and set of affirmations was sent to those requesting it, labeled “For Navstaff use only” (appendices C and D).
  • In April 1984, a women’s strategy committee met at Glen Eyrie chaired by Jerry White, and drew up some recommendations (appendix E).
  • There are now ninety-seven women Reps and contact staff.

INC 4 ended with six decisions, as a synthesis of group recommendations (appendix F of minutes) which included Sanny’s decision to withdraw his strategic affirmations as global statements.

He added this paragraph in his next letter:55

From the council I learned that there is more hesitation in the Navs about the idea of women teaching men than I had thought. At the same time there is less concern on the part of women that they have positions of authority but more that, as full members of the Body, they have freedom to initiate, participate in, and influence the total Navigator work and use their gifts, abilities, and experience to the maximum.

Having withdrawn the affirmations, Sanny added that the council “recommended minor modifications in the women’s paper, with its essential content remaining the same. It stands therefore as our background paper for continued study (Acts17:11).”

A US women’s ministry consultation took place in September 1985.56 The November 1985 USLT then endorsed their recommendations that:

  • Each field staff woman be shepherded by a qualified woman
  • There be women’s representation and participation in the decision-making process at all leadership levels

This second recommendation was consistent with US strategic affirmation five for women’s ministry that: “We should use the gifts and insights of women in our entire work, not only in matters pertaining to women. Their contribution should be welcomed in our leadership teams.”57

The USLT decided to invite Joyce Turner58 to join them and agreed to establish a women’s advisory committee which would “provide counsel for enhancing our ministry among women” to begin meeting by March 1986. Significantly, the USLT also delegated to this Committee “action plans regarding the provision of education regarding women in ministry and the meaning of men and women co-laboring.”

In 1985, as the debate continued among evangelicals, Terry Taylor gave the USLT a transcript of Michael Griffiths (then head of London Bible College) answering questions on the New Testament crux passages at our UK staff conference. Griffiths was “somewhat less conservative” than the average Navigator.59

This women’s advisory committee met in 1986 and identified several issues that deeply affected our staff women and the recruiting of younger women. The most vital issue was the matter of how men and women can and should co-labor in our ministry. Joyce Turner presented a paper, originating in work by Jody Baker and Rod Beidler, on “Men and Women: Co-laboring Relationships.” This contained practical advice60 and was considered by the USLT in March 1988.

Joyce sought to be a voice for women. Although normally reserved, we find her telling the USLT that “a perceived value that needs to be changed is centered on the narrow, legalistic, chauvinistic reputation of the organization regarding women. Another value, affecting all areas of ministry, is territorial thinking . . .”61 Therefore, it is good to see that the US strategy paper reviewed at the same meeting had as direction 4, supported by necessary actions: “We will win and equip women to impact their world for Christ.” A less ambitious goal was contained in the country summary presented to the IET the previous month, namely, “We will promote and stimulate a disciple-making movement among women.”

This country summary, nominally authored by Terry Taylor, included the following:

The women’s ministry presents unique challenges in the areas of staff recruiting and development, funding, as well as choice of ministry targets.62 In a range of ages from twenty-three to sixty-one, the average age of our women staff is thirty-four. . . . Each division expressed the difficulty of raising up women staff. . . . Our core of women staff appeared to be aging without sufficient numerical replacement in sight.

In the report63 on the national women’s ministry which Joyce had presented to the USLT in November 1987, we find proposals to address certain obstacles such as:

  • Past history of the Navs regarding women
  • Fear in senior staff women
  • Lack of experience in ministry with successful career women

Finally, they agreed that it would be best for each regional leadership team, with appropriate women’s representation, to determine whether “co-laboring with women” should be a critical success factor in regional strategies.

What seems to be in play here,64 in addition to good intentions, is a tendency to bureaucratized solutions and a male perspective (us) reaching out to them, namely women. It has echoes of our earlier question—how should we relate to the church?—which implied that we were not church! The hurdle to be cleared is developing a theology of humanity65 from which the distinctives of men and women might be extended.

We find Jerry White, as executive director, supporting the view that “no male leaders would be appointed at field director level or above who cannot endorse and apply the US Navigator affirmations and position on women.” As he commented, this would clearly get the attention of the men throughout the US work and would precipitate significant learning on co-laboring, because their job security would be affected.66

Joyce Turner became our US national women’s coordinator67 in July 1986.

By 1988, the US strategic directions were taking shape. Direction 4: “We will win and equip women to reach their world for Christ.” This direction had been strengthened by a brainstorming session in March 1988 at which the women present were Cinanni, Forbes, Mainhood, Sargent, Turner, and during which various names for this new ministry were proposed.68 At this time, Women of Influence (WIN) was forming within the US Navigators, launched and led by Mim Pain and Meri Macleod who were among about fifteen people who left International Students Inc., after a leadership change, to join The Navigators. Joyce Turner sponsored these two leaders. Mim was the national director and Meri was the more theological and somewhat assertive. She wrote a good study on “Radical Relationships.” Her responsibility within WIN was director of research/training.

In their publicity, WIN described their focus as follows:

We are breaking new ground as an innovative ministry in our changing culture. Our mission is to encourage and equip Christian women to intentionally follow Jesus in the marketplace, and influence others with His love and grace. Our vision is a partnership of women at home, in the church and in the workplace, all actively living a lifestyle of discipleship which influences women in the market place for Christ.

However, they expressed their mission more crisply in their briefing to the September 1988 USLT meeting. Namely, “to win and equip women to reach their world for Christ.”

WIN held their first North American women’s conference at the Glen in November 1987. Carol Kent and Joyce Turner were among the speakers. Attendees were wider than our staff.

WIN held a week-long conference at the Glen in June 1989. Ney Bailey of Campus Crusade was the speaker. The title of the conference was “Women Called to Influence.”

WIN also held a week-long conference at the Glen in October 1993 entitled “Making a Difference in the Marketplace.”

In February 1992, the US community ministry launched a women’s strategic forum, facilitated by Suzanne Goebel.69 Their objectives included preparing material on the theological issues, a network database, focus groups, non-traditional seminars. They hoped to influence the US Navs through their ongoing work. Their discussion helped define some distinctives, providing a clearer delineation between WIN and their forum.

Alan Andrews became US director in September 1997. Soon afterwards, WIN ended. Their primary vision had focused on the marketplace and metro, aiming to serve business women, but the sense was that they did not serve or empower our staff women with opportunities.70

To gain some perspective on the actual participants in WIN, I list71 below the women who were part of this initiative in 1991.

  • Helene Ashker
  • Joyce Turner
    Jo-Anne Cinanni
  • Bonnie Borgum
  • Ruth Fobes
  • Alice Byram
  • Marilyn Gnekow
  • Sharon Kenyon
  • Mim Pain
  • Dawn Modlin
  • Meri Macleod

In 1997, Alan Andrews asked Vollie Sanders to form a new ministry for women that would serve our women in all US ministries. Their goals were many. They intended to move towards at least one woman on the leadership teams of all our missions and they wanted to help staff men and women understand and embrace gender issues biblically, especially as regards how God has spoken to The Navigators concerning leadership and headship. It is significant that, during Vollie’s time of service in this position (1997-2001), she and her husband Darrell were the first couple to both serve on the NLT, though with different responsibilities.

The emphasis, during Vollie’s tenure, was to work with a team of women to offer training, roundtable forums, opportunities for service that would allow women to deploy their gifts and be acknowledged as staff, and to be valued as equal contributors to our vision.

The US women’s ministry held a National conference in Atlanta72 in April 2001 with 650-700 women attending from all our missions.

In 2002, Jane Berry succeeded Vollie Sanders, followed by Marilyn Coffield.

Around this period, the Five Aspects of Woman had a spreading influence in the US Navigators. It was a conservative study course73 presenting five characteristics, shaped by Barbara Mouser who, with her husband Bill, founded the International Council for Gender Studies.

This teaching was originally brought into the Navs by Phyllis Stanley and Vollie Sanders74 who wrote Bible studies for the first three Aspects. It took hold especially in our collegiate work and, to a lesser degree in our military entities. Over time, it was becoming the way in which we trained collegiate women. It appealed to a complementarian strand75 among Navigators.

The USLT became divided on the merits of this course, so that Alan Andrews asked Ray Hoo, Dave Legg, and Darrell Sanders to review the studies with him. Though the teaching undoubtedly helped many women, concerns included what was seen as the imposition of a tight framework on the Scriptures and a tendency to imply that single women and those employed outside the home were not fully experiencing their proper femininity.76

Because the Five Aspects did not fully align with our U.S. position on partnering, Alan decided that the studies should not be Nav-sponsored. We needed to be broader.

On the international front, Eight Strategic International Directions (SIDs) had been endorsed by our International Council in 1991 as areas of vital importance for our international leaders during the 1990s. When the International Council met in Langkawi in February 1993, we reviewed the focus statement for each SID. Paul Stanley had prepared the statement on “Manhood and Womanhood” which supported SID 1. His summary expressed the concern that “without a clear biblical understanding of manhood and womanhood, the evangelical communities will fall prey to the shifting winds of left and right-wing advocates. Already, there is general confusion caused by hermeneutical shifts and uncertainty which has led to multiple interpretations of the role of men and women in many societies, including The Navigators.” He continued:

Any international effort to understand manhood and womanhood must deal with the biblical teaching and not seek to make application for each culture. There are truths that transcend culture, but must be worked out in their application by the believers in each culture. We must clarify, understand, and teach what it means to be “created in God’s image” . . . to be male and female. . . . Male passivity in the church and home is increasing and many believe it is the result of the biblical fog that exists in most societies concerning manhood and womanhood.

Darrell Sanders77 then precipitated an intense and emotional discussion at this council on why SID 1 had not been rated by participants as one of the four most urgent SIDs. Some ensuing comments, from the notes:

  • Our women ask: Is there anything for us?
  • We need to repent, because we are not living out the Gospel.
  • We have a faulty view of the prerogatives of masculinity.
  • We are biblically deficient, when we operate only as men.
  • We must listen to women, and learn by listening.
  • We need a quantum leap in our understanding.
  • We must begin with partnership in grass-roots ministries.
  • Tokenism is inadequate: paradigms have to change.

This discussion caused us to go to prayer, acknowledging our failures and seeking God’s empowerment to change.78

The debate in the wider evangelical community continued in a profusion of books and papers.

One of the strongest statements of the “complementarian” position was the 1991 collection of essays entitled Recovering Biblical Manhood and Womanhood: A Response to Evangelical Feminism.79 These essays explicated the “Danvers Statement” (December 1987) which emerged in November 1988 as an authoritative summary of the complementarian position held by the Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood.

On the other end of the spectrum was a group named Christians for Biblical Equality who put out a statement on “Men, Women & Biblical Equality” in 1989 and who were broadly “egalitarian.”

US NavPress dared to enter these waters by producing an issue of Discipleship Journal in September 1993 which presented contrasting articles by Petterson and Bilezikian.

Internationally, our leaders in Africa were following through on their study of The Scriptural Roots of Leadership. In 1997, Mike Treneer and the Africa Team were moving towards Esther Waruiru as our leader for East Africa linking the relevant country leaders into the overall environment of the Africa Team. Mike’s view was that, “while it may not be the norm in The Navigators for us to appoint women to the kind of leadership role which we are proposing for Esther, I do not believe that the Scriptures make it unacceptable. Instead, I would hope that we can focus with joy on such scriptures as Acts 2:17-18 and 1 Peter 4:11 and affirm Esther in the exercise of her obvious gifts to the great blessing of us all.”80

Mike ends his letter with a general comment:

I agree that the key to the fruitful development of our ministry to women lies in the general climate and the attitudes and actions to encourage, develop and train women, I share your concern that all does not seem to be well in this area and I feel we need a stronger emphasis on partnership at every level of the work and a greater willingness as leaders to take initiative in encouraging and modeling this.

Esther went on, fruitfully, to join the USLT and then the IET.

In April 1997, the USLT reviewed a statement81 on “Partnership in Ministry.” The outcomes anticipated in this paper were a response to a menu of “the problems we’re trying to solve.” Namely:

  1. Confusion among our staff over the role and contribution of women in ministry and in leadership positions – especially on the issues of women leading, teaching, and having authority over men.
  2. Women in The Navigators not feeling they are treated with dignity, respect, equality and partnership. (Not shared by all women).
  3. Limited opportunities for women to contribute and co-labor and to develop and exercise their spiritual gifts.
  4. Limited effectiveness in reaching, discipling and equipping women as laborers and staff.
  5. The perception that The Navigators is a male organization/society which limits our ability to attract, recruit, and retain women laborers and staff.
  6. A segregated approach to ministry where men and women don’t function together in partnership in ministry to men and women.
  7. The lack of both the perspective and contribution of women on ministry and organizational issues.
  8. A stalled women’s ministry in the US and few women staff resources.

Sadly, this reveals the lack of progress that had been made, at least in the US, as regards addressing the need for true partnership. The USLT therefore developed some foundational commitments and applications, in a statement which helpfully distinguished headship from leadership.82 After discussion with the IET, Alan Andrews as US director wrote to his US staff in July 1998.

He told them that an NLT project team had been formed three years earlier and had engaged in a comprehensive review. The NLT “clearly understood that our staff fall into three historical positions: conservative, moderate, liberal.” Thus, they anticipated disagreement but were “determined to take an approach that was their best understanding of what the Scriptures teach and therefore the position we will take as an organization.”

Alan laid out both foundational commitments and applications. Among the commitments, he stated: “Headship is a position of overall responsibility given by God to men to provide loving care and oversight to their families and in the Body of Christ. Headship positions are limited to men, but both men and women may serve in leadership roles. . . . As part of the Body of Christ, the principle of headship applies in the Navigator ministry. . . . Men in general do not have headship responsibility over all women.”

One of the listed applications was that , “The US president, and entity leaders, where the entity ministers directly to both men and women, will be men.” Lest this seem more restrictive than was intended, Alan goes on to say that, “Women may serve in leadership roles, not involving headship, over men and women. . . . Women may serve on the National Leadership Team and entity leadership teams, under the headship of the US president or a national entity leader.”

His letter ends with the affirmation that partnership between men and women is essential in spiritual reproduction.83

Developments in the Worldwide Partnership, 2000s

The International Team returned to the topic of partnering when they met in May 2000 in Hungary.84

Mike Treneer opened with a brief overview of the need, anchored in a reading from Romans 16:1-16 in which “men and women are identified as heroes of the faith.” True partnering will “adorn the Gospel.” However:

He recalled that this was a crucial issue when we met in Langkawi in 1993, but had subsequently been largely ignored. We have not helped, honored, affirmed the women who are partners with us. We must find better ways of using the perspectives and gifts of women. He quoted from Paul Tournier to the effect that it is impossible to underestimate the immense need that every person has to be listened to, to be taken seriously, to be understood.

He later added that the IET was the first team on which he had served that comprised only men—it was “a strange place.”

Our recent history, from the notes of the meeting:

An intercultural women’s consultation had been arranged by Susan G., in March of last year. Then, the IET met with Susan and Neil to listen . . . and had asked Mike and Chris to sponsor our progress in partnering. Neil gave an account of the consultation. There was a most positive spirit. This contrasts with occasions in the past which have been focused on prolonged analyses of our failures. The women who met do not want a separate women’s network, but partnership.

After the consultation, Carrie Payton did a similar thing with some of our Latin women. Small gatherings have also taken place to other contexts. Women are looking for influential men to move forward with this need: they do not want a women’s agenda or a women’s network. However, they do need a signal from leaders such as us that they are accepted and needed.

Badu S. commented that the problem is largely with us men. We need help, before our women do.

Aldo Berndt observed that our women come together and discuss how to love their husbands, but we never find that men do the reverse.

Mike then presented an IET proposal. Namely, to commission Susan G. and Chris Treneer and three or four other women to take the initiative to organize a consultation for around twenty women as well as some male leaders, in the days preceding our next International Council. We would take time to listen to them, as an International Team, and some of these women would naturally stay on to participate in the council.

In response, Alan Andrews drew attention to his upcoming US women’s conference in April 2001. He had some delicate issues to finesse within the US. Because we already had a US network, an international consultation might send contrasting signals.

At the time of writing, we may note that women have served as country leaders or equivalent as follows:

  • January 1996: Nel Blokland appointed co-leader for The Netherlands resigns in November 1997
  • May 2000: T.Y. chosen as team leader for Ethiopia
  • 2007: Martha L. appointed country opener for country in Eurasia
  • July 2008: Claire B appointed as country leader for MENA country.
  • January 2015: F. and M. (wife and husband) selected as leaders for Ethiopia

In 2000, our International Team agreed that they were unanimous in committing ourselves to partnering. The old commitment expressed at the ILC in 1980, was to women, whereas the new commitment was to see partnering between men and women.85

Although The Core in 2002 does not explicitly mention partnering between men and women, it witnesses to the importance of colaborship and community in our ministries.

Link to Attachments
Appointments and Resignations of American Women’s Representatives: 1952 – 1983
Appointments and Resignations of non-American Women’s Representatives:1960 – 1982
Women: Some Events and Milestones: 1948 – 2013

See also articles on:

Ministry Among Nurses I
Ministry Among Nurses II
Global Planning: 1966 – 1975
The Scriptural Roots of Our Ministry
Surge and Stress in the Seventies
Profiles & Requisites
Our Enabling Global Society

By Donald McGilchrist
11,425 words


  1. Waldron Scott’s 1973 message at Star Ranch looks at the history and importance of women in the Church and in Nav history. His title was “These Women Knew the Lord.”
  2. Placed on under the title “A Pedestal of Influence.” I refer to this as “Ministry Among Nurses I,” which I follow with an account in “Ministry Among Nurses II,” which describes the burgeoning work in England and beyond from the 1960s onward.
  3. Report from Irene Johnson in “Dear Gang” July 30, 1953.
  4. “Dear Gang” January 13, 1955.
  5. “Dear Gang” January 13, 1955.
  6. “Dear Gang” March 28, 1955.
  7. “Dear Gang” August 26, 1961.
  8. “Dear Gang” October 31, 1963.
  9. “Dear Gang” December 12, 1963.
  10. “Dear Gang” July 4, 1963.
  11. “Dear Gang” June 12, 1964.
  12. “Dear Gang” September 18, 1964.
  13. “Dear Gang” November 27, 1964.
  14. “Dear Gang” December 11, 1964.
  15. “Dear Gang” August 6, 1965.
  16. Memo from Daws to Nav staff, April 13, 1953, quoting Gien’s letter of February 27, 1953.
  17. “Dear Gang” April 5, 1961.
  18. “Dear Gang” January 31, 1962.
  19. “Dear Colaborer” April 13, 1962.
  20. “Dear Gang” May 1, 1964.
  21. Memo to staff: Sanny, March 16, 1966. We presented her with a new Ford Fairlane 500. This entry projected backwards suggests that Addie began to lead in 1958.
  22. “Dear Gang” April 15, 1966-6. Jody served admirably as Leroy Eims’s associate director for the ILC in February 1980. In 1970, by no means withdrawing from ministry, she described her objectives and practices for the women in training apartments. See her lengthy letter to Jim Downing on February 8, 1970 in M038.
  23. EMA: Europe, Middle East, and Africa; PAN: Pacific Areas Navigators.
  24. Scott provides an interesting glimpse of the perceived imbalance between Sanny’s detailed attention to US affairs and his looser guidance of other ministries. Around 1971, Sanny asked his seven closest associates to rate his management style. Scott and Sparks found him a good delegator, but the US-based men graded him only “fair.” Source: Double Helix, p. 552.
  25. “Dear Gang” March 15, 1968.
  26. In addition to the three missionaries mentioned, resource persons were Joyce Turner, Helene Ashker, and George Sanchez.
  27. See description and photo in Double Helix, p. 582-584.
  28. Introduction to “Strategy for the 70s,” p. 5.
  29. Sanny’s advocacy of ministry by women is seen also in his letter of March 2, 1972 to the three US directors. Extracts: “The girls who met here over a week ago to discuss the direction of the Nav work among women have given us some good help. . . . The material covered in the new staff institute would be profitable for new girl staff workers.”
  30. Source: Ministry performance analysis for ILC: McGilchrist and appointments and resignations, by name: Hopkins. This Table ignores resignations.
  31. Source: “Historical Series to 1983-1984,” McGilchrist, January 1985.
  32. Enclosed with “Dear Staff” letter of March 17, 1972.
  33. A seventh draft assumption was omitted. It read: “Because of marriage, more women should receive leadership training than are needed for leadership.”
  34. “Dear Staff letter of July 15, 1974. Notice the transition from “girls” to “women,” although both descriptors were still evident in 1974.
  35. In 1979, the Nav task force on leadership proposed a threefold biblical role for a leader: shepherd, steward, servant. Subsequently, “various groups of male leaders around the Nav world proposed adding the role of soldier.” This was several years after we had arranged to change the masculine “banding together” in our requisites for women Reps. See McGilchrist letter to Treneer of October 15, 1979.
  36. Doug became PAN director in July 1979, Jim Downing having replaced him in EMA in April 1978 until the end of the divisions in June 1981.
  37. In 1977, Leroy Eims used the title of international ministry Representative. He had been appointed director of evangelism in June 1974 and, later, was appointed deputy president in May 1979. A summary of the discussion on this proposed slot for an international women’s Rep may be found in the December 1977 ILT agenda, under miscellaneous.
  38. The requisites that then existed, dated November 1976 did distinguish between men and women. Then, a December 1977 committee proposed amalgamating them, which would have led to the placing upon women of masculine activities such as “banding” a team. This is what prompted McGilchrist to consult our leading women, as above.
  39. Choat to McGilchrist of April 19, 1979.
  40. As the principal author, I now regret this title. It suggests that, if only we could map a way forward for our women, our problems would evaporate. However, much of what was needed (and needs to be done) is dependent upon men.
  41. Recommendations by Turner of March 11, 1980 in June 1980 ILT agenda, section on global planning.
  42. Fundamentals of Leadership.
  43. A June 1982 transcript of a talk by Sanders on “The Role of Women” exists in McGilchrist, “Women 1985.” It is largely disappointing and rather casually argued.
  44. At Schloss Klaus, July 27 to August 7 with messages from Ann Horsford, Paul Stanley, Joyce Turner. The rapid growth of ministry in Europe—and the location—saw twenty-eight participants from each of Great Britain and the Netherlands. Director: Beryl Stannard.
  45. For more on this chapter in our history, see my article on “Ministries Among Nurses II.”
  46. Nine women and two men. See progress report in agenda for INC 2 (sixteen basic members plus four others, all men) and, with specific critiques, in McGilchrist file Women April 1982 to December 1983.
  47. Appendix M of December 1982 INC minutes.
  48. Conclusions in appendix M of December 1982 INC.
  49. Text of affirmations dated April 26, 1984, as presented to INC 3 on January 23, 1984.
  50. In May 1981, Petersen went so far as to opine that the disintegration of Western cultures causes a separate women’s ministry to arise, such not being seen in the New Testament. In the West, he believed, such ministry is a useful response to a cultural problem.
  51. There was a Midwest Women’s Ministry Consultation in February 1984 in Chicago (10 women, 3 men) followed by gatherings of Central Division Wives (8) and Single Women (9) in September 1984 which recommended ideas to their Field Directors.
  52. Doornenbal letter to Sanny of December 11, 1984. In McG File Women 1984.
  53. These are not placed earlier in this article because it seems more helpful to review Sanny’s perspective on our history as a whole, from our beginnings until 1984.
  54. The appendices A to E mentioned in this statement of Sanny’s notes on history are available from McGilchrist.
  55. “Dear Staff” letter, 1985-1.
  56. Twenty-two participants: seventeen women, two men plus Taylor, Sheffield, Hoo. In February 1986, Taylor wrote to the participants that the USLT had discussed their recommendations at their last three meetings and listed six decisions that they had made so far. Accessed in Biedler file on women’s ministry, July 2016.
  57. The NLT noted that, because authority for any part of the ministry is vested in an individual and not in a team, this affirmation is consistent with affirmation 3: “As to spiritual leadership in The Navigators, women may not be in authority over men, nor do men have unlimited authority over women.”
  58. They agreed in November 1987 that Roger Fleming should be her supervisor, with access to the USLT.
  59. Accessed in Beidler file on women’s ministry, July 2016.
  60. Joyce recommended to the USLT that they endorse this paper and that it be incorporated in our new staff institutes and the Leadership Development Institute. Dated September 8, 1987. Accessed in McGilchrist file Women: 1986-1991.
  61. November 1997 USLT minute 5.2.
  62. These were concerns identified in the 1985-1986 country summary as well.
  63. This report stated that those available to resource the national women’s ministry included Ashker 50 percent, Baker 90 percent, Mainhood 75 percent, Gnekow 25 percent, Turner 85 percent. Joyce commented in the report that, “to many, I have become a focus for encouragement and a symbol of hope.” Around that time, the “Jesus and Women” studies by Ashker were being well received.
  64. Extracted from section 8 of USLT minutes.
  65. The same tendency, largely unrecognized at the time, shows in the title of the international paper accepted in January 1984, namely “Women: The Biblical Bases”!
  66. White to Taylor: memo of September 20, 1985.
  67. Her job description may be found in March 1988 USLT minutes, appendix C.
  68. Brainstorming March 1988, USLT minutes, appendix H, overall responsibility transferred from Roger Fleming to Darrell Sanders in August 1988, a full draft of the paper “Men & Women Colaboring” having been furnished in June 1988.
  69. See minutes of launch meeting in McGilchrist file Women 1992. Those attending were Aller, Ashker, Coffield, Goebel, Hall, Kittleson, Martin, Robinson, Solter, Singletary with Norm Purdue as the lone man.
  70. Although some staff thought that WIN was advancing what was called the women’s liberation movement, this was not true. However, the WIN approach was causing some dissension in our core ministries.
  71. Taken from the WW staff census of September 1991.
  72. By the time of this successful conference at Callaway Gardens, WIN had ended. In the words of one of our leading women, the conference “helped us to recover from WIN.”
  73. These are Mistress of the Domain, Helper-Completer, Lifegiver, Lady of Wisdom, Glory of Man.
  74. Vollie moved away from advocacy of this teaching, later.
  75. Inter alia, this seemed to imply that God the Father is masculine, in contrast to the orthodox Christian position that Jesus was a man, but that God is Spirit.
  76. Christopher Morton prepared an analysis of the Five Aspects in 2004 and, by 2006, Andrews decided to ask the collegiate entity not to use the course in training staff.
  77. For further discussion on Headship and Leadership, see McGilchrist memos to Sanders of August 23, 1996 and March 4, 1997 in McGilchrist file Women 2.
  78. See notes of February 1993 IC, section 11.
  79. Edited by John Piper and Wayne Grudem, Wheaton, Crossway, 1991. This book was assessed in the autumn of 1994 (12:3) issue of Evangel, the British Evangelical Review, p. 84-98.
  80. Treneer to White: letter of January 3, 1997.
  81. Observe that, although this article generally uses “partnering” as the term, while reserving “partnership” for marriage, the two terms were somewhat overlapping in Navigator practice. One sees a similar mixture as regards the use of “people” and “people groups.”
  82. Alan’s presentation on “Men and Women Partnering in Ministry” (undated: see his papers collected by McGilchrist) presents headship as “positional with final decision-making authority” and leadership as “a gifting; the ability to influence people; can be embodied in a role.”
  83. Letter of July 1, 1998, with eight commitments and seven applications. Text accessed in McGilchrist file Women 2.
  84. IT notes, section 5.
  85. Quotations from notes of May 2000 International Team, 5.2/4/6/8, 12a & c and 17. 
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