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SEBTS Cultivate Conference trains women for missional leadership

WAKE FOREST, N.C. (BP) – Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary welcomed more than 450 women on campus March 8-9 for its annual Cultivate women’s leadership conference designed to help women discern their callings, grow in faithfulness to God and His Word, and lead out as disciple makers. This year’s theme was missional leadership, encouraging and equipping women to leverage their lives to make disciples in their contexts.

The Great Commission mandate to go and make disciples calls every believer into a life of missional living — a life of surrender to Jesus in pursuit of their neighbors and the nations. That is why Southeastern is committed to training women leaders and why Southeastern celebrates the unique role every Christian woman plays in the mission of God.

“The Cultivate conference is an important and needed time of training and mobilization, inviting ladies from around the country who are invested in ministry to come together for worship, fellowship, encouragement, and learning from God’s Word,” said Candi Powers, women’s life coordinator at Southeastern.

Challenging attendees to live on mission and lead other women on mission, this two-day conference featured talks from Bible teachers and authors Jacki King, Elizabeth Woodson and Julia Higgins as well as a panel discussion and breakouts with other women who are missional leaders in their contexts.

On Friday, Julia Higgins, assistant professor of ministry to women and director of women’s degree programs at Southeastern, taught on how to discern a call to missional living. Drawing from 2 Corinthians 5:14-21, Higgins reminded attendees that Jesus and their identity in Him should fuel their resolve to serve Him and guide them as they discern their call to ministry.

“The best motivators for ministry are understanding Christ’s love for us, who we are in Christ, and the ministry that we’ve been given for Christ,” Higgins said.

She also challenged attendees to marvel at the reality that God is writing a story of reconciliation, with Jesus at the center and with believers like them as ambassadors.

Following Higgins’ session, attendees enjoyed a panel discussion on how to grow as missional leaders and how to take practical steps toward leveraging everyday rhythms and relationships to make disciples. Later that evening, attendees also shared in a time of fellowship and connection before choosing from one of several breakouts designed to help attendees live missionally at church, in the home, at work and in society.

Throughout the next day, attendees enjoyed additional breakouts and two more main sessions led by Elizabeth Woodson and Jacki King, both of whom challenged them to grow as missional leaders who teach and enable other women to live on mission.

Every other year, the Cultivate conference offers women an opportunity to be refreshed by God’s Word and to be equipped in community as Great Commission leaders.

“The Cultivate conference is important because it gives women who are serving in our churches a chance to explore topics unique to their specific callings and ministries,” Powers said. “As ladies come together for a weekend like this, they leave encouraged that they are not alone in their desire to invest in the Church. This fits perfectly with the mission of Southeastern to equip students to serve the Church and fulfill the Great Commission.”

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