Women of influence 2023: Top female pastors

women of influence 2023
Women of influence 2023 can be found in a wide range of fields. They have the power to shape society, inspire others, and drive positive change. Image: Markus Winkler|Unsplash

Women of influence 2023 have broken through barriers and shattered glass ceilings in their respective fields. They are women who have achieved success and impacted areas such as politics, business, science, technology, sports, and the arts. 

These women are not only accomplished and talented, but they also use their positions of influence to advocate for important causes and inspire others.

In terms of churches, female pastors have made significant strides in the field of religion and spirituality. Women have been excluded from leadership roles in many religious organizations, including the church, for centuries. 

However, in recent years, more and more women have become ordained as pastors and are leading congregations worldwide.

Female pastors have dedicated their lives to serving God and their communities. They are knowledgeable and passionate about their faith and are committed to sharing their message of love, acceptance, and forgiveness with others. 

These women are often skilled communicators who can deliver inspiring sermons that resonate with their congregations.

Top female pastors as women of influence 2023

As women of influence 2023, female pastors may use their positions of power to advocate for social justice and promote equality within their communities. 

They may speak out against racism, sexism, and homophobia and work to create a more inclusive and accepting church environment. They may also mentor and empower other women interested in pursuing careers in ministry.

Here are the top female pastors among women of influence 2023:

Rev. Dr. Serene Jones

  • President of Union Theological Seminary in NY
  • The first woman to lead the 186-year-old seminary

President of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, a progressive Christian institution known for its focus on social justice and activism. 

Jones is a prolific author and has been a leader in theological education for many years. Her expertise in religion, politics, women’s studies, economics, race studies, history, and ethics makes her a sought-after public speaker.

Bishop Vashti Murphy McKenzie

  • Author
  • Retired bishop of the AME Church

The first woman elected bishop in the African Methodist Episcopal Church, McKenzie has led the 13th Episcopal District since 2000. 

She is a well-respected preacher and has been recognized for promoting women’s leadership in the church. For almost 30 years, Bishop McKenzie has advocated for social fairness.

Rev. Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

  • Founder of World Hope International
  • Served as General Superintendent of The Wesleyan Church

 A founding member of the Wesleyan Church, Lyon has served as the denomination’s general superintendent and is a noted advocate for social justice and human rights. 

She is also the founder of World Hope International, a non-profit organization that works to improve the lives of vulnerable people worldwide.

Reverend Lyon worked with various countries that had been through instability, violence, and conflict, particularly emphasizing the role of faith in empowering women.

Rev. Dr. Jacqui Lewis

  • Senior Minister for Public Theology and Transformation
  • Author, activist, preacher, public theologian

Reverend Lewis is a prominent voice in progressive Christianity and a passionate advocate for racial justice and LGBTQ+ rights. She is also a regular commentator on CNN and MSNBC.

Lewis is New York Collegiate Church’s first African American and first woman senior priest.

Rev. Nadia Bolz-Weber

  • Founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints
  • Author, Lutheran minister, public theologian

The founder of House for All Sinners and Saints in Denver, Bolz-Weber is known for her irreverent style and frank discussions of sexuality, addiction, and mental health. 

She is the author of several bestselling books and has been featured in numerous media outlets.

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale

  • Founder and senior pastor of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Georgia

Pastor Hale is a respected preacher and teacher known for her leadership in the African American church community. She has also served as the chair of the board of directors for the National Action Network, a civil rights organization.

Reverend Hale has written for numerous books and magazines, such as “Power in the Pulpit II: How America’s Most Effective Black Preachers Prepare their Sermons.”

Rev. Dr. Traci Blackmon

  • Executive Minister of Justice & Witness Ministries of The United Church of Christ
  • Senior Pastor of Christ The King United Church of Christ in Florissant, MO

Blackmon is a prominent voice in the religious community on issues of racial justice, LGBTQ+ rights, and climate change. She has been recognized by numerous organizations for her advocacy work. 

She was appointed to President Biden’s White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Advisory Council in 2021.

Rev. Dr. Paula Stone Williams

  • An American pastoral counselor
  • “TED Speaker, TEDxMileHigh Speaker”

The pastor of Left Hand Church in Longmont, Colorado, Williams is a transgender woman who has become a leading advocate for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church. 

She has spoken widely on issues of gender identity and has been featured in numerous media outlets.

Over the past two years, Paula has spoken in over 100 venues, including Fortune 500 Corporations, public and private universities, state and federal government agencies, religious institutions, and non-profit organizations. 

Rev. Dr. Yvette Flunder

  • Founder of the City of Refuge United Church of Christ
  • Preacher, pastor, and activist in San Francisco

Flunder is a pioneering pastor who has been at the forefront of the movement for LGBTQ+ inclusion in the church. She is also a noted gospel singer and has been recognized for her work on HIV/AIDS prevention and care.

For over 30 years, she has answered her calling by engaging prophetically and ministering for social justice. 

Rev. Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner

  • CEO and co-founder of Skinner Leadership Institute
  • Public policy strategist, faith and community leader, author, lecturer

Williams-Skinner is a respected preacher, teacher, and advocate for social justice. She has served as a senior advisor to several US presidents and has been recognized for her civil rights and racial reconciliation work.

The Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Prayer Breakfast, which she and her late husband Tom Skinner established, regularly draws more than 3,000 national leaders. 

She frequently collaborates with religious leaders on healthcare, criminal justice reform, and voting rights.

Women of influence 2023 female pastors’ roles

Female pastors can undoubtedly be seen as women of influence in their communities, particularly within religious contexts. As leaders of congregations and spiritual communities, they often play a critical role in guiding and supporting their members through life’s challenges and transitions. 

They may also be involved in social justice advocacy, community outreach, and other forms of public service.

In addition to their role as spiritual leaders, female pastors can also serve as role models and mentors for women and girls interested in pursuing careers in ministry or other leadership roles. 

By breaking down barriers and challenging gender stereotypes, they can inspire a new generation of women to pursue their passions and make a difference in their communities.

Furthermore, as women of faith, female pastors can bring a unique perspective and voice to conversations about social issues, including gender equity, racial justice, and climate change. Using their platforms to speak out on these and other vital issues, they can help to shape public discourse and bring about positive change in the world.

These women of influence 2023 can be found in various fields. They can shape society, inspire others, and drive positive change.

As we move into the future, we will continue to see women of influence using their voices, talents, and platforms to make a difference and inspire others to do the same. 

Celebrating and supporting these women is essential. They serve as role models and mentors for future generations of women who aspire to achieve great things and positively impact the world.

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Kathleen Orenza

My faith in the Christian Church has been an integral part of who I am. From a young age, I was taught the significance of the sacraments, the beauty of prayer, and the guiding principles of love and compassion. Through the years, my faith matured, and I sought deeper connections with my beliefs. With Crossmap, it has reinforced my devotion to the Christian faith and allowed me to play a small role in spreading the love and teachings of Christ in the digital age.