What is Young Clergy Women International?
WHO WE ARE
Young Clergy Women International is a network of the youngest ordained clergy women, defined as those under forty.
YCWI started out as The Young Clergy Women Project (TYCWP) in November 2006 as just an idea about getting young ordained women together to talk online. In 2007, TYCWP received a grant from The Louisville Institute that supported our preaching conference, board meeting, and web page. Energy begets energy, and these initial funded programs have generated more ways for young clergy women to connect.
Our energy initially led us to publish an e-zine by, for and about young clergy women. This publication, now known as Fidelia, began on October 1, 2007. As a community that began through the network of a series of bloggers, we were eager to share our stories in one publication – but we quickly discovered that our relationships flourished when we gathered off-line. We seek to offer an annual opportunity to gather for young clergy women at our conferences and encourage our members to host regional gatherings.
We have been grateful for the support of many supporters including the Center for Congregational Health and The New Media Project at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. As a community that primarily gathers on-line, YCWI partnered with the New Media Project in a collaborative project to understand how social media boosts community resulting in a case study on our ministry. As part of this relationship with the New Media Project, YCWI received a grant which helped create a newly designed website with Faith Growth that would allow us to include all of the dynamics of our energetic community including our publications, our conferences and our thriving conversation among young clergy women around the world.
While we know that we cannot provide a place for every young clergy women, YCWI has identified the need for nurture and support of those that are discerning a call into the ministry. To this end, we created a group for Future Young Clergy Women to encourage those pursuing the ministry.
We are our members. The young clergy women that join our project make us the dynamic group we are. Our membership includes:
- Over 1600 young clergy women in number.
- Women from across the US, as well as women who call Australia, Canada, Nigeria, Sweden, Mexico, and the UK (Scotland, Wales, and England), home.
- Sisters serving in these denominations:
African Methodist Episcopal (AME), Anglican (Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Australia), Assemblies of God, Baptist (American, National, Cooperative, Alliance, and Australian), Church of Sweden, Church of the Brethren, Church of the Nazarene, Christian Reformed Church, Cumberland Presbyterian, Disciples of Christ, The Episcopal Church, ELCA, ELCC, Moravian, Mennonite, Pan African Orthodox Christian, PCUSA, Presbyterian Church of Canada, Church of Scotland, Quaker, Reformed Church in America, Roman Catholic, Scottish Episcopal, Swedenborgian, United Church of Canada, United Church of Christ, United Methodist, United Reformed Church, Uniting Church in Australia, and Unitarian-Universalist
YCWI seeks to provide members with opportunities for online relationship-building and wisdom-sharing. Our members are invited to share in a password-protected community with other young clergy women on Facebook and on our website. Twitter and Facebook foster this password-protected community and further provides members and friends of YCWI with the opportunity to catch up on the latest news.
We encourage our members to gather together in their area for regional meet-ups. We offer support and nurture in-person meet-ups gatherings in local churches, at coffee shops and at denominational events. In these gatherings, our members meet for coffee or a meal and transition their online connections into real-life friendships.
YCWI also offers community to those young women discerning a call into the ministry. Future Young Clergy Women is a password-protected online community for young women waiting for ordination found both on Facebook and on our website.
YCWI publishes new, fresh and evocative articles every Tuesday and Thursday written by members of our community on Fidelia. This publication began on October 1, 2007 for young clergy women to explore our identity as young clergy women and the ministry we share.
This e-zine led to an invitation in 2008 to collaborate with Chalice Press to develop our own YCWI imprint. Through this imprint, we partner with Chalice Press to publish a series of books by our members.
YCWI offers conferences for continuing education and in-person fellowship. Cathedral College in Washington, DC, was the site for preaching conferences in 2007 & 2008. We hosted our own Conference in 2010 at Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta, GA followed by our conference in 2011 at Duke Divinity School in Durham, NC.
Since then, we have hosted the following conferences:
2012: Chicago, IL
2013: Nashville, TN
2014: Minneapolis, MN
2015: Austin, TX
2016: Boston, MA
2017: We go international as we meet in Vancouver, BC!
Registration for conferences is open to all young clergy women and future young clergy women.