Presbyterian Women’s: A Brief Overview of Their History and Contributions

If you’re looking to learn more about Presbyterian Women, you’ve come to the right place. To keep it simple, it is a women’s organization affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

The association has a rich history dating back to the late 1800s, and it continues to be an active and important part of the church today.

PW sitting outside the church

Women can participate at one level, all levels, or somewhere in between.

The organization’s purpose is to nurture faith, support its mission, and work for justice and peace.

Presbyterian Women achieves these goals through a variety of programs and activities, including Bible study, fellowship, and fundraising for mission projects around the world.

If you’re interested in joining one or learning more about the organization, there are many resources available to you.

You can also talk to your local pastor or Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) representative for more information.

Role of Women in the Church

Women have played a significant role in the church’s history. They have been active in various areas of ministry and leadership.

In this section, we will discuss the role of women in the Presbyterian Church, specifically in terms of ordination and leadership and their involvement in ministry.

Ordination and Leadership

The Presbyterian Church has a long history of ordaining women as elders and deacons.

However, it was not until 1956 that the PCUSA ordained its first woman as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament, Margaret Towner. Since then, the number of women serving as ministers has increased significantly.

The role of women in leadership positions has also expanded.

Women have served as moderators of the General Assembly, the highest governing body of the Presbyterian Church.

In addition, women have been elected to serve on various committees and boards within the church.

Women in Ministry

Presbyterian women have been actively involved in ministry for many years. They have served as missionaries, educators, and pastors.

Many women have also been involved in social justice and advocacy work, including fighting for equal rights for women and minorities.

The Presbyterian Church has recognized the importance of women in ministry and has created various programs to support women in their ministry.

For example, their organization provides resources and support for women in leadership positions.

The church also offers scholarships and training programs to help women prepare for ministry.

In conclusion, the role of women in the Presbyterian Church has evolved significantly over the years.

Women have played a crucial role in the church’s history, and their involvement in ministry and leadership continues to expand.

The Presbyterian Church recognizes the importance of women in ministry and is committed to supporting and empowering women in their work.

Faith and Beliefs

faith and beliefs in Pw churches

As a member of one of these societies, faith, and beliefs are central to your life and ministry.

This church is a faith community that believes in one God, who is revealed to us through Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit.

This faith is grounded in the Bible, which is seen as the authoritative source of Christian belief and practice.

Presbyterian Women’s Bible Study

Bible study is an important aspect of women’s faith and beliefs. Through Bible study, members deepen their understanding of God’s word and how it applies to their lives.

The Bible is a rich source of wisdom and guidance, and Presbyterian Women encourage members to engage with scripture regularly.

One popular Bible study program used is the Horizons Bible Study.

This program focuses on a different theme each year and invites members to explore that theme through scripture and reflection.

Past themes have included Luke-Acts, the Psalms, and the Ten Commandments.

Prayer and Spirituality

Prayer and spirituality are also essential to their faith and beliefs. Prayer is a way to connect with God and seek guidance and strength.

Presbyterian Women encourage members to cultivate a regular prayer practice and offer resources to support this, such as prayer guides and devotional materials.

Spirituality is about cultivating a deeper relationship with God and living out one’s faith in daily life.

They believe in the importance of spiritual growth and offer resources to support this, such as retreats and workshops on topics like meditation and mindfulness.

Overall, women’s faith and beliefs are grounded in a deep commitment to God and a desire to live out that faith in daily life.

Through Bible study, prayer, and spiritual growth, members seek to deepen their understanding of God’s love and live out their faith in service to others.

Mission and Outreach

The fellowship and mission of Presbyterian Women

Presbyterian Women are committed to mission and outreach. This means supporting missions, building community, and being a witness to the world.

There are many ways to get involved and make a difference.

Supporting Missions

The organization has a long history of supporting missions. This includes supporting missionaries, providing resources, and raising funds.

The annual mission fund and birthday offering are two ways to give. The annual fund supports their ongoing work, while the birthday offering funds a specific mission project each year.


Fellowship is an important part of their mission and outreach. This includes building relationships within the church and beyond.

The churchwide gathering is a great opportunity to connect with other women from around the country. Local groups also provide opportunities for fellowship and service.

Annual Funds and Offerings

This women’s organization is committed to giving generously to support its mission and outreach. The annual fund and birthday offering are two ways to give.

The annual fund supports the ongoing work of Presbyterian Women, while the birthday offering funds a specific mission project each year.

There are many ways to get involved and make a difference. Whether you give financially, volunteer your time, or simply show up and support others, your contributions are valued and appreciated.

Resources and Programs

The community offers a variety of resources and programs to help support its mission and purpose. Here are some of the resources and programs available to you:

PW Newsbytes and Publications

Stay up-to-date with the latest news and events from Presbyterian Women by subscribing to PW Newsbytes.

This weekly e-newsletter provides information on upcoming events, new resources, and more.

Another great resource is the Horizons magazine.

Horizons provides articles, Bible studies, and other resources to help you grow in your faith and connect with other women in the church.

Programs and Opportunities

The organization offers a number of programs and opportunities to help you get involved and make a difference. Here are just a few:

  • The Birthday Offering: This special offering supports a different mission project each year. In 2023, the Birthday Offering will support the Young Women’s Leadership Development program in South Sudan.
  • The Thank Offering: This offering supports a variety of projects that empower women and children. In 2023, the Thank Offering will support projects in the United States and around the world.
  • USA Mission Experience: This program offers short-term mission trips within the United States. These trips provide opportunities to serve and learn alongside other women in the church.
  • Global Exchange: This program offers short-term mission trips to other countries. These trips provide opportunities to learn about other cultures and serve alongside our global partners.
  • Leadership Development: They offer a variety of leadership development opportunities, including training events and position-specific training.
  • Work for Justice and Peace: They are committed to working for justice and peace in our communities and around the world. We offer resources and support to help women get involved in this important work.

Whether you’re looking for resources to help you grow in your faith, opportunities to serve others, or ways to get involved in advocacy and justice work, their association has something for you.

Community and Congregations

Presbyterian Women is a community of women who are committed to nurturing faith, supporting mission, and working for justice in the world.

As a member of this community, you will be part of a caring network of women who are dedicated to supporting each other in their spiritual growth and in their efforts to make a positive impact in their communities.

Caring Community

At the heart of the association is a commitment to creating an inclusive and caring community that supports women in their faith journeys.

Whether you are looking for a Bible study group, a prayer group, or simply a group of women to share your experiences with, they provide a welcoming and supportive environment where you can connect with other women who share your values and interests.

Presbyteries and Congregations

The institution is organized at all levels of the church, from the local congregation to the national churchwide organization.

Through your participation in one of them, you will have the opportunity to connect with women in your own congregation as well as women from other congregations in your presbytery and synod.

These women in the Congregation (PWC) groups build community, affirm women’s calls to leadership and spiritual growth, raise concerns, and channel information to and from Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery.

Women’s groups are organized at all levels of the denomination—congregation, presbytery, synod, and churchwide.

You can participate at one level, all levels, or somewhere in between!

As you can see, provides a welcoming and supportive community for women who are looking to deepen their faith, support mission work, and make a positive impact in the world.

Through your participation, you will have the opportunity to connect with other women in your congregation, your presbytery, and beyond, and to work together to create a more caring and just world.

History of Presbyterian Women

The organization was founded in 1988, but its roots go back to the 1800s when women’s groups were formed to support mission work. These groups eventually became known as Women’s Missionary Societies.

In the early 1900s, Susan Jackson Dowd became the first woman ordained as a deacon in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

This paved the way for other women to become ordained as deacons and elders. However, it was not until 1956 that the PCUSA ordained its first woman as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament, Margaret Towner.

Presbyterian women have a long history of taking strong positions on social justice issues, including racism, reproductive choice, and equal rights for women in society and in the church.

They have been leaders in advocating for these issues and have worked to bring about change within the church and in the wider community.

After many years of talk about reunification, it became a reality in 1983 when the United Presbyterian Church in the USA (UPCUSA) and the Presbyterian Church in the United States (PCUS) joined, becoming the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

There were many difficulties in blending the two denominations, but their society played a key role in helping to bring about unity and reconciliation.

Today, it is a community of more than 200,000 women who participate in “PW” and align their ministry and hearts around a shared purpose, the PW Purpose.

They promote justice, peace, and ministry to inform mission and community-building work.

Future of Presbyterian Women

The association has a bright future ahead. As an organization that has been around for over 200 years, it has a strong foundation and deep roots in the Presbyterian Church.

With a focus on mission work, education, and advocacy, they will continue to play an important role in the Church and in society as a whole.

One area where they’re looking to expand is in reaching out to younger ladies.

While the organization has a strong membership base of older ladies, it recognizes the importance of engaging with younger generations.

By adapting to the changing needs and interests of younger women, the alliance can continue to grow and thrive.

Another area of focus for the future of its alliance is in embracing technology. As the world becomes more digital, they will need to adapt to stay relevant and effective.

This includes using social media to reach a wider audience, as well as developing online resources and tools for members.

As a volunteer organization, PW relies on the hard work and passion of its members to carry out its mission.

By resuming to attract and retain dedicated members, they can continue to make a positive impact on the world.

By reaching out to younger generations, embracing technology, and continuing to rely on the dedication of its members, Presbyterian Women can continue to make a difference in the world for years to come.

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