Hedgerow Initiative | The Strength of Her Witness: Jesus Christ in the Global Voices of Women

The Hedgerow Initiative offers sustained, systematic programming in feminist theological education, spiritual integration, and leadership for a just and holy world. In a particular way, the Initiative highlights the scholarship of women who since the 1950s have worked to reclaim women’s presence and significance in scripture, church, history, theology and culture. The Initiative takes its name from the hedgerow schools in Ireland that kept alive the language, faith, culture and community of the people during the time of the British penal codes. A hedgerow is a biosphere and a haven.


September 26 - December 12, 2016
6:30 - 8:30 pm

For over a half century the worldwide women’s movement has led women into theological study, including the field of Christology that seeks to understand who Jesus Christ is.  In The Strength of her Witness, editor Elizabeth Johnson collects the transforming insights of 25 women theologians from six continents.  The Fall Hedgerow Seminar will launch the book and Wisdom Ways Center for Spirituality Fall Soul Conference will bring several of the women theologians to speak in person, including Elizabeth Johnson.

Women’s resilient faith sustains and enlivens the Christian community.  It’s time to hear what women have to say and teach.  It’s time for a renewed Body of Christ to burst forth with full, diverse, inclusive transforming potential in our world. 

Mary Magdalene by Dr. He QiTwo gospel witnesses help name the book.  The strength of her witness leads the Samaritan woman’s whole village to meet and believe in Jesus (John 4).  The strength of her witness leads Mary Magdalene to linger at Jesus’ grave and become the first to proclaim his resurrection, the apostle to the apostles (John 20).  A multi-cultural, inclusive Christology evolves in the witness of the 25 women theologians in this book.

Women identify with Jesus in fresh and diverse ways—as friend, birthing woman, breast feeding woman, insignificant one, suffering woman, Christa, surrogate, abandoned, forgotten, enslaved, subject to empire.  Their witness demonstrates the full humanity of women and the robust faith women live despite sexist, racist, elitist, colonial mindsets.

Join in exploring and transforming the Christian doctrine too often used to oppress women.


The Strength of Her Witness study questions

Sept 26: Resilient Faith Born of Women’s Experience
Resilient Faith, Mary Bednarowski
Samaritan Woman, Joan Mitchell

Oct 3: The Easter Experience: Mary Magdalene (John 20:10-18)
: Sandra Schneiders (USA), Teresa Okure (Nigeria)
Presenter: Joan Mitchell

Oct 10: Women and Christ: Toward Inclusive Christologies            
Read: Joy Ann McDougall (USA), Ellen Leonard (Canada), Kelly Brown Douglas (USA), Carter Heyward (USA), Francine Cardman (USA)          
Colleen Carpenter

Oct 17: Women’s Contexts for Christology: A Symphony of Voices
Maria Clara Lucchetti Bingemer (Brazil), Maria Pilar Aquino (Mexico/USA), Astrid Lobo Gajiwala (India)
Presenter: Joan Mitchell

Oct 24: Fresh Takes on the Body of Christ
M. Shawn Copeland (USA), Jeannine Hill Fletcher (USA)
Presenters: Colleen Carpenter, Mary Lowe

Oct 28-29: Soul Conference (Friday 10/28 included with Hedgerow class fee; must register for Saturday 10/29)

Oct 31: Reflecting on the Soul Conference
Teresa Okure (Nigeria), Astrid Lobo Gajiwala

Nov 7: A Symphony of Voices: Surrogacy, Subjectification
Delores Williams (USA), Jacqueline Grant (USA), Loida I. Martell-Otero (USA)
Presenter: Colleen Carpenter

Nov 14: A Symphony of Voices: Constructing Christology
Teresia Hinga (Kenya/USA), Mercy Amba Oduyoye (Ghana), Dorothee Soelle (Germany)
Presenters: Susan Hames and Joan Mitchell

Nov 21: A Symphony of Voices: Constructing Christology
Read: Elaine Wainwright (Australia), Lee Miene Skye (Australia), Ni Judith Vusi (Vanuatu),
Cathy Steffens

Nov 28: Fresh Takes on the Body of Christ
Chung Hyun Kyung (Korea/USA), Kwok Pui-lan (Hong Kong/USA), Kathryn Kleinhans (USA)
Presenter: Barbara Lund

Dec 5: Fresh Takes on the Body of Christ
Teresa Berger (Germany/USA), Judith Plaskow (USA)
Presenter: Mary Kaye Medinger           

Dec 12: Celebration of Participant Insights

The Strength of Her Witness study questions

Required Texts:

The Strength of Her Witness: Jesus Christ in the Global Voices of Women
Elizabeth Johnson, 2016, Orbis Books
Available from www.goodgroundpress.com or Wisdom Ways




Mary Bednarowski, PhD


Colleen Carpenter, PhD




Susan Hames, CSJ, ABD




Rev. Barbara Lund




Mary Kaye Medinger, Consociate, MA




Joan Mitchell,CSJ,PhD





Cathy Steffens, CSJ.



Mary Lowe, PhD




WHEN: Mondays, September 26 through December 12, 6:30 - 8:30 pm

COST: $240.00 for the 12-week series. $25.00 for a single session.

If you would like to RSVP for the 12/12 Hedgerow Session, please contact 651.696.2788. This session does not have a fee.