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“Daughter, your faith has made you well.” —Mark 5:34

Presbyterian Women
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For more information:

Susan Jackson-Dowd
(844) PWPCUSA, x5368
(844) 797-2872, x5368
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100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, KY 40202

Tools for leaders

Presbyterian Women provides an atmosphere that promotes personal growth and develops women’s gifts of responsible and visionary leadership. Empowered to serve PW, many women also go on to lead in their churches, communities and the denomination.

What is leadership?

“Leader” has such an official and authoritative ring to it. For some of us, the word fits perfectly, however, many of us hesitate to call ourselves leaders. In reality, each of us is a leader in some way — perhaps by delegating chores to family members, organizing the church garage sale or running a circle meeting. Learn more about the ways you may be leading without even knowing it!

What does spirituality have to do with leadership? Unzu Lee, associate for PW shares some of her initial thoughts in Musings on Spirituality and Leadership, No. 1.

Being adaptive leaders

“PW Leaders Adapt” buttons show Presbyterian Women’s willingness to be flexible in the face of a constantly evolving society and church. Order buttons (free as long as finances permit!) through the PW marketing office.

Why the buttons? What is adaptive leadership? Adaptive leadership seeks to solve challenges that defy traditional problem solving. Learn more about adaptive leadership and the ways that Presbyterian Women lives out this mindset. 

Leadership models, skills and training

Leading a PW group

Find resources on planning or evaluating a PW event, workshops that outline the responsibilities of PW leaders, activities for community building or living out the PW Purpose, teaching tips and much more!

Takin' It to the Congregations

In the fall of 2010, PW offered leadership training for at least one PW representative from each synod. The training included workshops on a variety of ways to approach planning, organizing, managing and evaluating groups. Download the workshops and use them with your PW in the congregation, presbytery or synod. Please note that while these workshops do not always explicitly reference traditional PW structure and roles, they are excellent tools for any group.


Tips to help Presbyterian Women SOAR to success

Get the 20 Tips to SOAR in Leadership from the PW Manual.


Culturally proficient leadership

In its Purpose, Presbyterian Women commits itself to  building an inclusive and caring community. However, doing this may not always be as easy as it sounds. Many historical, structural and cultural barriers must be overcome. Making a commitment to becoming an inclusive and caring community requires us to exercise intentional leadership with this goal in mind. Therefore, the Antiracism Committee and the Leadership Enhancement Committee of the Churchwide Coordinating Team are working together to produce a resource on culturally proficient leadership. A sampler of this resource is available.


Sisters Stand and Walk Together

Sisters Stand and Walk Together is an initiative of PW to develop the leadership potential of racial ethnic women in the church. Originally initiated by the Synod of the Northeast in 2004, the Synod of Mid-Atlantic, the Synod of the Pacific and the Synod of the South Atlantic also have implemented this model. Voting representatives at PW’s 2012 Business Meeting approved the a resolution to expand this program during the 2012–2015 triennium. LEC will be developing ways to provide support to move this initiative forward. Stay tuned for progress!

Apply for a leadership grant

Leadership Development Grant Program

The Leadership Development Grant Program provides funds (in the form of a reimbursable grant) to allow women to attend training and events to develop and strengthen their leadership skills. Get information about the grants and download an application.

Antiracism initiative

Building an inclusive caring community is one of the commitments PW makes in its Purpose. It is also a commitment that voting representatives to PW’s Business Meeting sought to keep by pledging to eradicate racism in 1997 and then by declaring Presbyterian Women an antiracist organization in 2000.

PW conducted a review of its structure, programs and resources in 2000–2003 from an antiracist perspective, and the task group’s report with recommendations was approved at the 2003 Business Meeting. This document has guided the work of PW in this area until now, and most of the resolutions and recommendations have been implemented. At the 2012 Business Meeting, the voting representatives reaffirmed PW’s commitment to antiracism, commended PW groups who have taken antiracist work seriously in their mission and ministry, and urged PW groups in presbyteries and sysnods to read and study this report and make intentional efforts to implement the recommendations included in the report.

The following programs are in place to further PW’s commitment to antiracism.


Antiracism training

In partnership with the Office of Racial Justice and Advocacy, Presbyterian Women offered training to 75 members of Presbyterian Women to become antiracism facilitators in the 2002–2005 triennium. They have joined the PC(USA)’s growing network of antiracism facilitators who work in teams of at least two people to lead antiracism training events, which range from one hour to one day in length, for congregation, presbytery and synod groups, as well as PW groups at all levels.

In September 2008, more than 100 PW leaders at the churchwide leadership training event participated in antiracism education sessions. Several women received additional training through the Multicultural Institute of the Ghost Ranch Conference Center, with the financial support of PW.

PW (in collaboration with offices in the Racial Ethnic and Women’s Ministries area and the Compassion, Peace and Justice ministry area) offered a 12-hour antiracism training event as part of the Multicultural Preconference at Big Tent II in Indianapolis on June 29 and 30. Ten Presbyterian women from various parts of the country participated in this event.

Learn about the additional educational opportunities in antiracism and multicultural ministry at the Montreat Conference Center and Princeton Theological Seminary.

PW Racial Ethnic Dialog

Officially organized in May 1998, the dialog grew out of discussions during the 1994–1997 triennium of Presbyterian Women in response to concerns raised by National Asian Presbyterian Women and National Black Presbyterian Women. Today the PW Racial Ethnic Dialog group, consisting of about 30 women of diverse racial and cultural backgrounds, meets for facilitated, meaningful conversation, which brings about learning. Participants serve a three-year term and meet annually for three days, usually on a PC(USA) racial ethnic school campus.

The PW Racial Ethnic Dialog seeks to

  • Honor the gifts, perspectives and heritage of all God’s people and celebrate our oneness in the living Christ;
  • Work together towards developing a sanctuary where women of different racial ethnic backgrounds can speak the truth to each other and be heard;
  • Intentionally find ways to increase mutual understanding and work together as partners in ministry through dialog;
  • Develop racial ethnic women’s leadership so that they may pursue their concerns and mission with confidence;
  • Serve as a vehicle of bringing about justice for women of all racial ethnic backgrounds and ages in Presbyterian Women and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

(Approved by the PW Racial Ethnic Dialog, January 24, 2009)

If you want to start a cross-racial/cross-cultural dialogue group, consult the following resources:

Becoming the Beloved Community: People of Faith Working Together To Eradicate Racism
A DVD produced by Presbyterian Women, and it is accompanied with a study guide that is designed to encourage meaningful dialogue about racism and to equip people of faith to work together to eradicate racism and bring about the beloved community that God intends. The DVD has four 15-minute segments. The accompanying study guide includes questions for reflection and dialogue. ($20 plus shipping)

Building an Inclusive, Caring Community through Dialogue
A PW resource that guides learners the step-by-step process for beginning a dialogue group for building communities across differences. (1–9 copies, $3.50 each; 10 or more, $2.50 each)

Facing Racism in a Diverse Nation: A Guide for Public Dialogue and Problem Solving
A 56-page resource developed by Everyday Democracy to help people to solve the problem of racism through a six-session community dialogue. It has excellent group exercises for participants and a facilitator’s guide. (Available as free download or ordered for $5 plus shipping)

Becoming the Beloved Community Antiracism Packet (without DVD)
PW’s antiracism resource packet is designed to help individuals and groups engage the issue of racism, both individually and collectively. It includes tools for understanding and dismantling racism, as well as other resources including a glossary and worship resources. This "lite" version does not include PW’s Becoming the Beloved Community DVD. ($14.95 plus shipping)

Becoming the Beloved Community Antiracism Packet (with DVD)
PW’s antiracism resource packet is designed to help individuals and groups engage the issue of racism, both individually and collectively. It includes tools for understanding and dismantling racism, including a glossary, worship resources, PW’s award-winning Becoming the Beloved Community DVD, articles from The Thoughtful Christian’s study pack, and other resources. ($24.95 plus shipping)

An excerpt of Becoming the Beloved Community Antiracism Packet is available. This sample includes tools for understanding racism, a glossary and worship resources. The Thoughtful Christian pieces are not included.


Leadership bibliographies

In addition to the PW leadership resources available for purchase and/or download, learn more about leadership resources in these downloadable bibliographies.

General leadership books and videos (from secular and religious publishers)


PW and PC(USA) leadership resources




  • how do we get a 2012 PW manuel? by Jo Ann Stone on 09/13/2012 at 12:35 p.m.

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