Nadia Bolz Weber and Rachel Held Evans have announced an all-female lineup at their new conference 'Why Christian?' this September. Held in Minneapolis, the conference will seek to explore why we continue to follow Jesus in the wake of corruption, hypocrisy and televangelists.
Their announcement has been greeted with much anticipation on Twitter:
However, the pair have already had to clarify that their conference is not gender specific, despite all of its speakers being women. "This is not a women's conference," they write. "It's a gathering of storytellers, a community sinners and saints drawn together by the stubborn hope that God is in the business of making all things new."
Observation: An all-woman speaker lineup at a conference generates the question "Is this a women's conference?" Would an all-male lineup?— Rachel Held Evans (@rachelheldevans) January 12, 2015
The conference seeks to gather together storytellers who will inspire, challenge and remind Christians that their faith is real.
On their blog they write: "Whenever we (Nadia and Rachel) encounter a book, a sermon, a ministry, or a community that reminds us of why we are Christians, we are grateful. We are desperate for real-life, flesh-and-blood stories of how the light continues to shine in the darkness and how the darkness has not, will not, cannot overcome it.
"We're not interested in 10-step plans for how to grow our churches or a symposium on community organising. We just want to hear about the Gospel of Jesus and how it continues to disrupt, disorient, and bring life to a troubled world.
"We want to want to be Christians."
Bolz-Weber and Evans' conference will feature 11 influential female Christian speakers, including Winnie Varghese, Nichole Flores and Jas Kast-Keat.
Evans is an award-winning author and popular blogger from Dayton, Tenessee, and Bolz-Weber is a bestselling author and the founding pastor of House for all Sinners and Saints in Denver, Colorado.