Read letters from Ellen Dozier
Email: Ellen Dozier
Ellen Dozier completed her service with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) on December 31, 2009. She is available to speak as her schedule and time permit. Email her to extend an invitation to your congregation or organization.
Ellen Dozier has served in Guatemala under appointment by the PC(USA) since 1996. Since 2000, she has served with the Sinódica, which is the women’s organization of the National Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Guatemala (IENPG). She assists the directors of the presbytery-based women’s groups (“presbiteriales”) as they plan activities and find ways for women to be involved in ministry in Guatemala.
When Ellen first began her work with the Sinódica, she coordinated a theological education project for women that was jointly sponsored by the Sinódica and the Presbyterian seminary in Guatemala. This project offered workshops to women throughout Guatemala and enabled the Sinódica to reach out to the many indigenous presbiteriales that were not members of the Sinódica. The fruit of the work is seen in the current membership of the Sinódica which counts as members 15 presbiteriales, a mixture of indigenous and ladino women reflecting the multicultural reality of Guatemala.
Ellen now focuses her work in the area of leadership development and strengthening the work that the Sinódica does through its committees, Christian Education, Christian Service, Mission and Evangelism and Scholarships for Theological Studies. She initiated a relationship with Cedepca (Central American Evangelical Center for Pastoral Studies), which the Sinódica has now formalized with a covenant agreement; this relationship has expanded the work of Presbyterian women into such areas as domestic violence, emotional and mental health and alternatives to violence.
Ellen’s work came at a turning point for women and the church in Guatemala. “It is an exciting time in the life and work of the women of the IENPG,” Ellen writes, “especially since the church voted in 1998 to ordain women to the ministry of elder and the ministry of Word and Sacrament. This has led to an interest in education to prepare women for the roles of elder and pastor. Women are looking for new models and visions for their ministries in Guatemala.”
Prior to 2000, Ellen’s assignment was to facilitate a partnership between the Presbytery of Western North Carolina, where she is a minister member, and two IENPG presbyteries, Sur Occidente (Sur) and Suchitepéquez (Suchi). She helped to connect the three presbyteries as she preached, taught, prayed and visited with people, enabling exchanges of culture, language, worship and faith. In this position, Ellen spent eight to nine months each year in Guatemala and the rest of the year in North Carolina sharing her experiences and involving the communities and churches there with her ministry in Guatemala.
Ellen received a bachelor’s degree in Bible and Christian education from Maryville College in Maryville, Tennessee, and a master’s degree in religious education from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. She was ordained to the ministry of Word and Sacrament by Asheville Presbytery in 1983.
She was director of Christian education at First Presbyterian Church in Vineland, New Jersey, for 10 years and then at First Presbyterian Church in Staunton, Virginia, for six years. For the next four years Ellen was assistant to the pastor at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina. From 1983 to 1995 she was the organizing pastor of New Hope Presbyterian Church in Asheville. She is a clergy member of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina and the Presbytery of Suchitepéquez.
Birthday: January 11