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ERIC Number: EJ1086803
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1536-3759
Women in Leadership: The Future of Christian Higher Education
Longman, Karen A.; Anderson, Patricia S.
Christian Higher Education, v15 n1-2 p24-37 2016
This article presents a discussion of the gender imbalance in senior-level leadership roles within the U.S. member institutions of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), highlighting data across the last two decades. The underrepresentation of women in this sector is placed within a theological context and is compared with other sectors of U.S. higher education. Insights from the secular literature provide an introductory context for the article's presentation of the data. Although the CCCU member institutions collectively serve a student body that is 60% female, a 2015 analysis of individuals holding "vice president" or higher titles (e.g., senior vice president, executive vice president) revealed that women held fewer than 30% of those employed in any particular leadership role (e.g., chief academic officer) and only slightly over 20% of all senior leadership roles. Notably, when a national study compared the leadership composition of 1,481 evangelical non-profit organizations with their secular counterparts, the representation of women on boards and senior leadership teams was found to be about half of that found in the secular nonprofits (Reynolds, 2014). Although Christian colleges and universities have an opportunity to set the standard within higher education for identifying, encouraging, and deploying the gifts of individuals across racial and gender lines, a variety of environmental and internalized barriers hinder the affirmation and development of women's leadership identity and advancement. Five recommended action steps conclude the article, with a call to reimagine Christian higher education as being places of learning characterized by fully affirming and developing the potential of all within their span of care.
Routledge. Available from: Taylor & Francis, Ltd. 325 Chestnut Street Suite 800, Philadelphia, PA 19106. Tel: 800-354-1420; Fax: 215-625-2940; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A