St. Joseph Sr. Christine Schenk, an NCR board member, served urban families for 18 years as a nurse midwife before co-founding FutureChurch, where she served for 23 years. Her recent book Crispina and Her Sisters: Women and Authority in Early Christianity (Fortress, 2017) was awarded first place in History by the Catholic Press Association. She holds master's degrees in nursing and theology.

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When it comes to church reform, despair is not an option

It is difficult to ignore ever-mounting evidence that the clerical system governing the Catholic church is in a significant state of decay. Yet, I can't help believing that the Holy Spirit — who loves creating something new out of chaos — is summoning us to build a new church governance.


Archaeology and female authority in the early church

Daily Easter Reflections: Because most of history relies heavily on literary records written by men, discovering reliable historical data about Christian women can be challenging. This search is further complicated by the fact that Christianity has relied heavily, if not exclusively, on the written word as a primary means of understanding its own history.


Theology rooted in patriarchy delays restoration of female diaconate

Simply Spirit: All Christians were understood to image Christ. So what happened? A struggle with the larger patriarchal culture is what happened.


Church's foremothers proclaim Jesus from beyond the grave

Simply Spirit: Ancient funerary art is performative in nature and is meant to draw the viewer in as a participant. As they mourned her, Junia wished her loved ones to enter into a liminal space and experience Christ's power over death. 


Prayer is a relationship