Baptist Women in Ministry currently has 125 individuals, churches, and organizations that give monthly to our work. We would love to have 140 monthly supporters, and we hope to add fifteen more donors to our giving list! Monthly gifts provide dependable income for Mentoring Program! Small monthly gifts of $10 or $20 or larger monthly gifts of $50 or $75 make a significant difference! Read Jennifer’s story about how important the Mentoring Program has been for her, and join her in giving monthly to BWIM!

My seminary internship taught me the importance of beginning and finishing well. Baptist Women in Ministry’s Mentoring Program is a way for new ministers to begin well.

As the new associate general counsel at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty, I was a member of the first “Outside-the-Box” cohort in the Mentoring Program. During the year-long journey together, we experienced one another’s joys and disappointments, explored theological questions, and encouraged each other’s ministerial identity in our non-church contexts.

Specifically for me, I needed my cohort to help me discern the question of ordination. Although I was a seminary graduate and had previously held another non-traditional ministry position, I had never pursued ordination. Since I’ve never held a job where ordination was required, I struggled with what ordination would mean for me in my unique context. My mentor (the fabulous LeAnn Gunter Johns) and the cohort challenged me with new perspectives and fully supported me in my first forays into preaching. I have a better picture of my ministerial identity because of BWIM’s mentoring program.

In many ways, I’m a ministerial misfit: female raised in a conservative Baptist tradition, a licensed attorney and an ordained pastor, and a minister called to work in non-traditional church roles. The Mentoring Program enabled this misfit to find a home in my cohort and embrace her ministerial identity. Join me in being a BWIM monthly donor to ensure that all Baptist women called into ministry receive the foundation and encouragement they need to succeed.

Jennifer Hawks is the associate general counsel at the Baptist Joint Committee for Religious Liberty and participated in the 2017 BWIM Mentoring Program.