A few years ago, after returning from speaking in the Women in Apologetics Conference at Biola in La Mirada, California, I thought about what I had enjoyed about the conference. Most memorable was my interaction with several hundred women who were passionate about learning and sharing the evidences supporting the truth of our Christian Faith. This passion has gained momentum among Christian women across the nation, and I am so excited to be part of this groundbreaking movement.
The Changing Apologetics Scene for Women
Even 15 years ago the landscape looked quite different. At the time, our women’s apologetics conference at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, North Carolina, was one of the first apologetics conferences designed especially for women. More unusual, all sessions were taught by female Christian apologists, such as Patty Tunnicliffe and myself.
Today, the doors are wide open for women who want to study apologetics at whatever level they wish. They can take a course at a Bible college for self-growth, pursue a certificate or undergraduate degree in apologetics. or tackle seminary level studies to attain a Master’s, Doctor of Ministry, or PhD degree. In fact, when I graduated from the PhD program at SES in 2021, about half of our PhD student body was comprised of women.
Educating Christian women who want to learn and teach apologetics is a good thing. The harder it becomes to live as a Christian in our culture, the more Christian women want to know and understand their Christian Faith, including why Christianity makes the most sense of reality and how to respond the false ideologies pervading our nation, our communities, our schools, and our homes.
Is There Such a Thing as Women’s Apologetics?
Do you wonder why we need apologetics conferences just for women? It’s a legitimate question. The content of apologetics as a field of study is comprised of a single body of knowledge. In that sense, there is no distinct “women’s” apologetics. Though several apologetics approaches exist, each distinguished by its starting point and view on how and which evidences should be included, the general body of knowledge includes lines of evidence for the existence of objective truth, existence of the theistic God, the possibility of miracles, biblical reliability, culminating in the gospel message of Jesus’s atoning sacrifice for our sins and subsequent physical resurrection from the dead. Further, whether we present apologetics evidences to show a skeptic the good reasons for believing Christianity is true or learn the evidences to strengthen our own and other Christians’ faith, the gospel serves as both the reason for and the purpose of doing apologetics.
Yet, while the content of apologetics is the same for men and women, the way that women learn and teach these truths is distinctive. For example, many Christian women avoid apologetics because they see it as a argumentative and academic, with very little connection to their daily lives. Some also believe that the content is just too hard to learn or they cannot bear the thought of adding one more to-do to their already overloaded plate of commitments.
So, when they hear compelling reasons for believing Christianity is true in a woman’s voice and with the relational concerns of women at the forefront, Christian women realize what a wonderful tool this knowledge can be. It’s a treasure chest from which they can draw to build their own spiritual strength, as well as to share with others, whether that’s their loved ones or a stranger on an airplane.
Apologetics Reignites Hope
This knowledge does one more thing: it reignites hope. Christian women who learn the evidences for their Faith get in the game and dialogue more confidently rather than sitting on the sidelines wringing their hands while watching loved ones being sucked into the vortex of deceptive and destructive ideologies bent on destroying everything good and true and just. They can teach their kids, grandkids, and other little loved ones how to think critically, and how we can know what truth is, that God exists, that miracles are possible, that the Bible can be trusted, and why trusting in Jesus Christ makes more sense than trusting in any other worldview.
So, if you want to get off the sidelines and get into the game, ask questions, read and study resources like this blog, and check out the suggested resources! Let’s get going!