Carolyn Custis James is passionate about women. This powerhouse leader and speaker is known for her biblical and affirming message for women. Author of numerous books including Half the Church, Lost Women of the Bible, and The Gospel of Ruth, Carolyn has devoted her life to helping women discover their uniqueness, purpose, and significance in the body of Christ.
Her claim to fame as the first woman to register at Dallas Theological Seminary, where she walked with the first class of female graduates. She serves as president of WhitbyForum, a ministry dedicated to helping women go deeper in their relationship with God and serve him alongside their Christian brothers.
TCW spoke with her about what drives and fulfills her at the fifth annual Synergy conference:
"As an image bearer of God, you can't know who you are or what your purpose is if you don't know the One you're supposed to be becoming like," she says. "There's a studied passivity that we get into when we believe that God has called only men to leadership. I don't think you can be an image-bearer and not be called to leadership. That may take a lot of different forms, but oh my goodness, what a big deal that is."
TCW: It seems as though whenever I hear you refer to women, you use the word ezer. What does that mean and what is its significance?
When God said, "It's not good for the man to be alone," he added, "I will make a helper." That word is actually the Hebrew word ezer. Historically, we've narrowed the word ezer to mean wife and mother, to indicate that a woman's role is to take on supportive duties for the husband. But when God declared that, they were in Eden. The man didn't have a house, laundry, or meals that needed to be prepared. So what is she helping him with?1