The following are select data about women in ATS schools and religious higher education. Originally compiled to inform conversations at the Women in Leadership pre-conferences to the 2017 Presidential Leadership Intensive and the Chief Academic Officers Society, these data points are worthy of discussion at any member school that aspires to greater representation and success of women among its students, faculty, or administrators.
Women in Leadership
The number of women faculty and senior administrators in theological education is growing, although their percentage remains smaller than the percentage of women students. In this targeted area of ATS work, the Association provides educational support for women faculty and administrators and assists schools in their efforts to include more women in leadership positions.
In addition to a listserv (requires a member school email address), the Women in Leadership in Theological Education program hosts two conferences: an Advancing Women in Leadership Conference in odd numbered years and an Emerging Women in Leadership Conference in even numbered years. Planning is also underway for activities, including a survey study of participants in past Women in Leadership programs regarding their experiences and a survey study of women currently in faculty and/or administrative roles regarding perceptions and opinions about their work in theological education.
Advancing Women in Leadership Conference: This conference is designed for women currently serving as presidents or deans in member schools. These are the most influential roles in ATS schools, and they bring both the greatest opportunity to guide the course of an institution and the greatest amount of stress. The conferences precede the Presidential Leadership Intensive Conference and the Academic Officers Conference, and they are designed to provide time for networking, reflecting, and strategic thinking.
Emerging Women in Leadership Conference: This conference focuses on emerging and advancing professional development, including attention to the distinctive skills needed by women to function effectively in theological schools. It provides a focused educational setting as well as the opportunity to network with other women. Participants are selected on the basis of letters of recommendations applications from ATS schools, and preference is given to women who have not attended this conference in the past.