The Rev. Melissa DeRosia is a dynamic young clergy woman who’s written a book on the subject – to help female clergy survive and thrive in a male-dominated field.
In this interview Rev. Melissa offers helpful advice to women and men about avoiding stereotypes, forming helpful support systems, and taking time for God. Be encouraged by Melissa’s passion and energy.
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Welcoming women in ministry is one of the most liberating, hopeful, and invigorating developments in the modern church. But getting along in a male-dominated field has its challenges. In this interview, Rev. DeRosia tells us how she has found strength in supportive colleagues and how churches can better affirm women – and all people – in leadership. Here are my notes from the interview.
Ministry for all leaders can be isolating and lonely. Rev. Melissa chides us to get serious about finding companions along the journey. In what ways are you a Lone Ranger?
Getting to know a female cleric for who they are – not for who you think they are – is one of the biggest challenges Melissa has observed. Drop the assumptions at the door, recognize each person for their own unique gifts and skills – which may not be what you thought!
Don’t Discount the Calling
Melissa says female clergy are often denigrated for their positions in the workplace – “You’d so busy because you’re a clergy person, mom, wife, etc….” – But no clergy person would be in their position if they had not accepted their call – and its responsibilities.
About Melissa DeRosia
The Rev. Melissa DeRosia graduated from Alma College and Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary with awards in the interpretation of scripture and Christian life. Following the completion of a chaplain residency program at Norton Healthcare working with the spiritual needs of child and adolescent psychiatric patients, she received a call to serve as a pastor in Michigan. Currently, Melissa is the pastor and head of staff at Gates Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New York where she lives with her husband Matt and two young daughters, Lillian and Norah. Passionate and dedicated to follow God’s call in the changing landscape of the church, she has served as Moderator of the Presbytery of Lake Huron and is an elected member of the Presbyterian Church (USA) General Assembly Mission Council. Melissa is co-author of the book “The Girlfriends’ Clergy Companion: Surviving and Thriving in Ministry” published by the Alban Institute in 2011.
Sponsors I Mentioned
Virginia Theological Seminary is the largest Episcopal Seminary in the U.S., forming men and women for leadership in the church. In addition to the MDiv, Anglican Studies and DMin degrees are their Masters of Arts degrees with a fous on Theological Studies, Christian Formation, Religion & Culture, and Biblical Interpretation. Check them out at vts.edu