Why Women’s Leadership Development?

Why in the world would we, the WMU Foundation, care about women’s leadership development? Why would an organization created to financially support missions invest in SHE leads? Shouldn’t we just focus on raising the money and making the grants?

Without women’s leadership development, the WMU Foundation would not exist. The women who founded WMU made a commitment to support the spread of the gospel no matter what challenges stood in their way.

Women in 1810 didn’t have jobs. But Hepzibah Jenkins Townsend, a wealthy South Carolina woman, defied her husband’s wishes and sold gingerbread at the market to raise money for missions. She found a way.

Early WMU leaders who organized women in support of global missions did so in the midst of a society that did not welcome or encourage women to lead anything. This did not stop them.

Eliza Broadus, one of those early leaders, said, “God demands not success but effort, leaving the results to him.”

The women in WMU’s history were Christ followers who were unwilling to allow anyone but God to define their mission in life. Their call was to go into the world and make disciples. We are committed to continuing their legacy.

Through the Second Century Fund (SCF), over $2.5 million in grants since 1988 have allowed women in the United States and around the world to receive the missions leadership training they needed to respond to God’s call. Women like Lisa in Uzbekistan, a SCF grant recipient who has fought against human trafficking and made disciples in the former USSR for the past 15 years.

We support women’s leadership development because it is part of our history and vital to our future. We will invest in helping women respond to God’s call because it helps fulfill the Great Commission.

Why in the world do we care about women’s leadership development? Because Jesus told us to go into all the world and make disciples, and we believe in helping women do exactly that.

Here’s how you can join us:

  • Pray for the women God has placed in your life to mentor and disciple you. Write them a thank you note.
  • Think about who you could mentor and disciple. Write them an encouraging note and reach out to them as you see their leadership potential.
  • Take a leadership course through the Christian Women’s Leadership Center.
  • Serve through national WMU’s MissionsFEST or FamilyFEST.
  • Volunteer at your local Christian Women’s Job Corps site.
  • Start missions education in your church. National WMU has curriculum available for preschool through adults to help pray for and support IMB missionaries around the world and NAMB missionaries and ministries in the States.
  • Give to the Second Century Fund. Your donation helps provide leadership development for generations of women to come.

Zachariah Seanor

Director of Mission Advancement