On International Women’s Day, We Celebrate Women Who are Willing to Serve - Geneva College, a Christian College in Pennsylvania (PA)

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March 8, 2019

On International Women’s Day, We Celebrate Women Who are Willing to Serve

International Women’s Day, celebrated annually on March 8, has commemorated the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women for more than a century. Celebrating women and all the amazing things they have accomplished and continue to accomplish is nothing new to the Bible or to Geneva College, one of the first colleges in the nation to provide educational opportunities to women.

Women in the Bible Who Were Willing to Serve

Although pagan religions and other ancient cultures have long devalued women, often relegating them to less than second class citizens and many times giving them no more value than that of a possession that could easily be discarded, from the very beginning, the Bible clearly sets the record straight concerning women and their value. Just like Adam, Eve was created in the image of God. Through Eve and all women who were to come after her, God shows us that His purpose cannot be fulfilled without equal participation of both men and women.

From great military heroes to prophets to strong believers in Jesus and His ministry, women in the Bible have clearly demonstrated strength, character and wisdom, inspiring other women both then and now to follow in their footsteps.

In the book of Judges, we find Deborah, a prophetess, leader and judge, living out a unique role in Israel’s history. Deborah served as Israel’s only female judge in a male-dominated culture. After receiving instruction from God, Deborah acted without hesitation. Enlisting the help of Barak (who refused to go into battle unless she accompanied him), the Israelites defeated their enemy lead by general Sisera who, ironically, was killed by another woman, Jael. With wisdom and faith, Deborah continued to lead Israel through 40 years of peace.

Next, we stop in the Book of Esther to witness the faith and bravery of a beautiful young Jewish woman who was to become a Persian queen. The story could have stopped there — Esther could have chosen to live in the lap of luxury. Instead, when the Jewish people were threatened with annihilation, she willingly put the lives of others ahead of her own, turning the tables on the enemies of her people. Her principles and courage allowed God to use her to save His chosen people, enabling the lineage that would produce our savior to continue.

Many women in the New Testament demonstrate faith by following Jesus in His ministry. None show more bravery and courage than one of His most devout and unwavering followers, Mary Magdalene. Mary Magdalene, Jesus’ most prominent female disciple, demonstrated great courage and faith. Not only did she follow Jesus when He posed a threat to a vicious and evil king as He ministered in Herod’s territory, but she also remained with Jesus throughout His crucifixion when all the other disciples, except the apostle John, had fled. Even after His death, her devotion to Jesus persisted. She continued to visit the tomb to anoint His body, at which point she became the first person to which He appeared after His resurrection.

Mary the mother of Jesus, demonstrated obedience and faith by her willingness to surrender to the will of God despite the prospect of great shame to herself and her family. Mary exhibited immense faith at a very young age in her willingness to become the mother of our savior. This distinct honor brought abundant joy and great sorrow; and through it all, she persevered as a devoted servant who honored God by saying, “yes.”

The inability to bear a child is a common theme in both the new and old testaments – Sarah, Rachel, Hannah and Elizabeth are all prime examples. At the age of 90, Sarah became the mother of the Jewish nation when she gave birth to Isaac. After experiencing a long bout with infertility, Rachel gave birth to Joseph who saved Israel during the famine and Benjamin whose tribe later produced the apostle Paul. Persevering through prayer, Hannah eventually gave birth to Samuel. She honored her promise, giving the child back to God, making it possible for Samuel to become a prophet, the last of Israel’s judges and counselor to kings Saul and David. Elizabeth, cousin to Mary, the mother of Jesus, gave birth to John the Baptist in her old age. John was a mighty prophet who heralded the coming of the Messiah, Jesus. These women faithfully served God and bore men who shaped Jewish and Christian history. Through their stories, we learn that God keeps His promises; God answers prayer; God’s timing is always perfect; and, God can change hopeless situations.

Geneva Prepares Women to Serve

Just as these women of the Bible were faithful and fearless in the face of difficult circumstances, confident in who they were and the God they served, we here at Geneva encourage women to be courageous, enthusiastic and willing to make a difference in the world around them.

Geneva College fosters academic strength and creates an environment conducive to preparing students to serve God and those around them in all aspects of life. One of the first colleges in the nation to provide educational opportunities to women, Geneva trains women to excel in a wide range of fields, from engineering to education and everything in between.

Genna Frederick, a 2012 engineering graduate, discovered Geneva to be a safe learning environment filled with people who really cared about her, giving her a chance to deal with and overcome the major life issues with which she struggled. “At Geneva, they minister to the whole person. There was no time in my life that were more passionate and compassionate Christian leaders pouring into my life.”

A chaplain for Pittsburgh police officers and a 2004 graduate of Geneva’s Community Ministry program, Millie Johnson uses the skills she learned at Geneva to develop programs for youth and the elderly. “I learned the importance of transformational leadership; Geneva truly prepared me for my life’s work.”

Melissa D’Angelo, a 2006 MBA graduate, shares why she chose Geneva, “The professors have real-life experiences in the business world. They were coming from a Christian viewpoint, and they were going to teach us how to be Christians in the workplace. Geneva prepares us to go out into the real world.”

Stephanie Poe, Geneva graduate and immunologist, shares how Geneva helped her achieve her goals, “Geneva prepared me in a number of different ways —definitely prepared me for grad school and for life. All the professors profess that they love the Lord and that comes through in their teaching. They taught me to think about how to problem solve. That’s something I carried with me into graduate school.”

These women and many others like them have found Geneva to be a college that instills intellectual agility and practical wisdom, empowering them to serve God and the world around them.

If you’d like to learn more about how Geneva qualifies you to serve wholeheartedly and faithfully in your life’s work or want to learn more about a biblically based, Christ-centered education at Geneva, we’d love to chat with you. For more information on how Geneva College can help you pursue your education goals, please phone us at 855-979-5563 or email web@geneva.edu.