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Growing Women in Ministry

Seven Aspects of Leadership Development

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While many aspects of leadership development are similar for women and men, women face different cultural expectations and have different experiences than their male counterparts. Anna Morgan's own experiences in pastoral ministry leadership launched her search for a holistic way to grow the skills, influence, and authority of women who are gifted and called as leaders.

This book provides a positive, comprehensive, research-based model for developing women in church and ministry leadership. Morgan identifies seven aspects of leadership development that form a woman over her lifetime. Three work inwardly as a woman grows in leadership: spiritual calling, giftedness, and emotional intelligence. Four work externally to shape her authority and influence: home life supports, ministry leadership contexts, leadership relationships, and communication.

Growing Women in Ministry offers a new way to understand how women leaders are formed and how they rise to become influential leaders in positions of authority in churches and ministries. It is written in a clear, accessible style for both female ministry leaders and men seeking to promote female leaders. It includes policy suggestions, strategies, values for ideal growing conditions, and discussion questions, making it an ideal resource for ministry, practical theology, and leadership courses, church and parachurch leaders, and pastors.

1. Leadership Development for Women in Ministry
2. A Model of Female Leadership Development
3. God Calling and Forming Female Leaders Spiritually: Aspect 1
4. Female Leaders Forming Leadership Cognition: Aspect 2
5. Female Leaders Forming Emotional Intelligence: Aspect 3
6. Female Leadership Formed by Home Life: Aspect 4
7. Female Leaders Formed by Ministry Environment: Aspect 5
8. Female Leaders Forming Influence through Leadership Relationships: Aspect 6 Part 1
9. Male-Female Ministry Partnerships: Aspect 6 Part 2
10. Female Leaders Forming Influence through Communication: Aspect 7
11. The Lifelong Process of Leadership Development
12. A Future Where Women Leaders Thrive
Appendix A: Discussion Questions
Appendix B: Study Instruments
Appendix C: Study Interview and Focus Group Participant Descriptors
Appendix D: Study Survey Participant Descriptors
Appendix E: Analysis of Study Participants' Leadership Authority
Appendix F: Study Assumptions, Delimitations, Limitations, Reliability, and Validity


"Anna Morgan has written a masterful work that is both reflective and instructive. Drawing on her own life and leadership, Anna provides insightful scholarship, biblical teaching, and practical application for the development of women leaders. This book is a must-read for both men and woman who care deeply about developing women as leaders."

Joy E. A. Qualls, Biola University

"Anna Morgan integrates the real-life insights of an experienced leader with the disciplined study of leadership development. Morgan's examination of critical issues identifies seven key areas for forming women as leaders. Building on the lifelong learning platform, Morgan skillfully develops a process based on extensive research on women leaders. Growing Women in Ministry is a book worthy of careful study by a leadership team and worthy of broad implementation."

Douglas McConnell, provost emeritus and senior professor of leadership and intercultural studies, Fuller Theological Seminary

"One of the most important and helpful books for growing women in ministry that I've ever read. In Growing Women in Ministry: Seven Aspects of Leadership Development, Morgan not only names the unique challenges facing the development of women leaders but also provides a practical framework for the ongoing development of women leaders in the church."

Christine Caine, founder, Propel Women

"In the church, a systematic treatment of women's leadership formation is long overdue. Thankfully Growing Women in Ministry has closed that gap. Offering a holistic, seven-aspect model for development, one that takes seriously both internal and external factors, this book provides a comprehensive road map for helping women become all that God wants them to be. I can't wait to share copies of Growing Women in Ministry not only with the women in my networks but also with their male supervisors, mentors, and colleagues."

Rob Dixon, senior fellow, InterVarsity Institute; author of Together in Ministry

"Anna Morgan champions a holistic pathway for shaping women leaders. Based on solid research, Growing Women in Ministry provides female-specific training that is both practical and inspiring. Importantly, it envisions women as full partners with men in building the church and continuing the mission of Christ."

Jacqueline Grey, Alphacrucis University College

"Growing Women in Ministry is a courageous analysis of the reality most female leaders face when developing their ministry leadership. With meticulous research and a deep understanding of organizational and cultural barriers, Anna Morgan offers an egalitarian perspective that is both practical and insightful regardless of one's ministry context. Through a beautifully articulated model, Morgan sheds light on the unique challenges faced by female leaders in ministry. From tackling the hot topic of single female leadership to navigating the complexities of sexual attraction between genders in leadership roles, this book takes a bold and comprehensive approach. Whether you're a seasoned leader or a leader just starting out, this book is a valuable resource for empowering the leadership potential in women throughout the kingdom."

Kadi Cole, executive coach, leadership consultant, author of Developing Female Leaders,

"Anna Morgan's Growing Women in Ministry is a powerful resource for women called to serve, for men who work alongside them, and for the institutions that call and train them. Morgan offers practical guidance, tackles tough challenges, and celebrates the distinctive gifts women bring to ministry. This work also addresses the needs going unmet in leadership education, a system designed by men for men, and it does so without becoming polemical."

R. Robert Creech, George W. Truett Theological Seminary, Baylor University (retired)

The Author

  1. Anna R. Morgan

    Anna R. Morgan

    Anna R. Morgan (DIS, Fuller Theological Seminary) is vice president of academics at Ascent College and copastor with her husband, John, of Word of Life, an Assemblies of God church in the metro Washington, DC area. She is also affiliate associate professor of...

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