ACWR 2021 Conference – Spirited Women



6 – 8 AUGUST 2021

NAZARENE THEOLOGICAL COLLEGE, 40 Woodlands Dr, Thornlands 4164, Queensland, Australia.

Spirited Women Conference will integrate online and in-person components for a blended conference experience.

Conference Website


Churches in the Wesleyan, Holiness, and Pentecostal traditions have sometimes congratulated themselves on the licensing and ordination of women for ministry and yet gender inequity remains an entrenched reality. Though John Wesley (somewhat reluctantly at first) gave limited permission for women to preach, it took more than a century for Methodists to begin to ordain women as elders/presbyters. The nineteenth-century Holiness Movement, informed by a Spirit-focused doctrine of ministry, gave rise to an unprecedented number of women preachers, evangelists, pastors, missionaries and teachers. A similar pattern emerged in early Pentecostalism. These were not only ‘Spirit-filled’ women but ‘spirited’ women – feisty, courageous, disruptive figures who were quite prepared to stand up to patriarchal authority in order to follow their calling. In the succeeding period beyond this radical beginning, there was a return to more male-dominated authority. Today, there are fewer women in positions of authority in Holiness and Pentecostal churches than in the earlier formative period. On the other hand, Methodist and Uniting/United churches have increased the number of women clergy and The Salvation Army has sought to address gender inequity.



Dr Priscilla Pope-Levison, an ordained United Methodist minister, is the Associate Dean for External Programs and Professor of Ministerial Studies at Southern Methodist University USA. Her interdisciplinary publications combine theology, gender studies, church history, and mission and evangelism. She is the author of Turn the Pulpit Loose: Two Centuries of American Women Evangelists and Evangelization from a Liberation Perspective. Her book, Building the Old Time Religion: Women Evangelists in the Progressive Era was awarded the Smith/Wynkoop Book Award by the Wesleyan Theological Society and was listed as an Outstanding Academic Title for 2014 by Choice magazine. She has co-authored and published several books with her husband, Jack Levison, including Sex, Gender, and Christianity.


Papers are invited that focus on the theme of ‘Spirited Women’ from a range of disciplines including gender theory, feminism, biblical studies, history, systematic theology and all cognate disciplines.

Monday, 17 May 2021 – Last date to submit the abstract online at acwr.edu.au/abstracts
Saturday, 5 June 2021- Successful applicants will be notified

Download Call for Papers PDF

Writing your abstract
Abstracts must be no more than 250 words. A useful abstract will include the following components:
– A clear statement of the question or issue to be addressed
– A summary of the position(s) to be presented in relation to the question or issue and/or an indication of key conclusions
– An indication of key sources of information to be drawn from – key writers, research, personal experience, biblical exposition, etc.

Submitting your abstract
You can submit the abstract either through the ACWR website or by email.
Online: Submit your abstract at acwr.edu.au/abstracts
Email: Your abstract in a Word document must be emailed to ijemila@hotmail.com. The email must have a short biographical statement, including:
– Your name
– Church, academic, professional and/or community affiliations relevant to your submission
– Any experience and/or qualifications which support your submission
– Any other information you consider relevant for selection panel deliberations

Final paper
Thirty minute presentations should be 2500-3000 words in length. Papers presented at the Conference may be published online on the ACWR website, in the ACWR Journal of Wesleyan Thought, or in a future ACWR Book Series. A desire to be part of the ACWR publication means that you are committing to take your presented paper and develop it into a solid academic work that is 6000-8000 words in length. We encourage emerging scholars, inviting postgraduate students, to forward a draft of their paper two weeks ahead of the conference for mentorship from the ACWR selection committee.

Selection criteria
The ACWR Conference is a safe and respectful space for theological conversation. It is expected that there will be a wide range of views expressed through papers and in responses from delegates. The aim of the Conference is to explore ideas rather than convince others of the rightness or otherwise of any particular position. Therefore we are looking for presenters who are able to clearly articulate their ideas in a respectful manner, allowing space for disagreement and discussion with others. We will also be selecting papers which represent a range of views. All abstracts will remain confidential to the ACWR selection committee.

Conference attendance
The conference will integrate online and in-person components for a blended conference experience. Overseas and local presenters unable to travel, may present their papers online. All presenters (including online presenters) are expected to register for the conference. Full conference attendance is encouraged. Funding may be available for those experiencing financial difficulties.

Submit your paper proposal online by 17 May 2021 at acwr.edu.au/abstracts

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