Dr. Jackie Roese grew up working on her family farm in upstate New York. She focused that work ethic in pursuing her Masters and Doctorate degrees while raising three children. She has taught the scriptures and trained other women to do the same for more than 25 years.
She envisioned, wrote, and oversaw the development 15 bible studies studied by women around the world. While working on her doctorate she developed, She Can Teach, a course that trains women to teach the Bible effectively. To coincide with the course, in 2013 Jackie published her first book, She Can Teach: Training Women to Teach the Scriptures Effectively. In 2012, Jackie founded The Marcella Project, an organization committed to reshaping the view of women.
The Marcella Project’s goal is to ennoble women (lift up to dignity as Jesus intended) through Scripture-focused teaching, training, and dialogue. In 2015 Jackie wrote her second book, Lime Green: Reshaping Our View of Women in the Church. Jackie also speaks around the U.S. at conferences and retreats.
She has had the opportunity to teach and train women in Rwanda, Romania, and South Sudan. She and her husband, Steve, were influential in the start-up of the micro-finance organization called, AWI, African Women’s Initiative. She has been married to Steve, Founder & President of Water Is Basic, for more than 30 years and has three adult children, Hunter, Hampton, and Madison.
After more than a decade working as a leader in a megachurch and speaking at women’s conferences around the US, Jackie Roese realized she was bumping into the same thing again and again. Women all over the country were struggling with issues of covert gender injustice – the Church viewed them as second-class, and their view of themselves was often second-class, too. Where Scripture should have brought freedom from bondage, it was being taught in a way that oppressed women in faith communities.
Knowing that gender issues are complex and widespread, we began asking: what can we do? What is our tiny piece of this enormous pie? There are incredible organizations tackling issues of gender injustice in practical ways that provide support and aid and bring freedom and empowerment. Their work is invaluable, but we realized that no matter how gender issues present themselves, they continue to exist because of the core belief systems that created them. Tackling the root belief systems that enable gender injustice to exist is our piece of the pie.
So we set out to teach the word of God in a way that ennobles women – dignifying them and lifting them up to nobility, just as Jesus intended. We wanted to reshape the way women view themselves and the way the faith community views women, so that the Church can change what's happening to women and girls around the world. In 2012, The Marcella Project was founded to reshape our view of women in the Church through Scripture-focused teaching, training, and dialogue.
Marcella epitomizes what it means to not succumb to the world’s ideal of “what it means to be a woman." Instead, she chased after Jesus, letting his love define who she would be. She let nothing get in the way of her pursuit to know God through the Word and to live like Jesus by caring for the poor.
Her story challenges us to be “Marcellas” in our world. This means pursuing Jesus at all costs and even defying our world’s ideal of womanhood by allowing our love for Jesus to define who we will be and how we will live. Watch the video to hear more about Marcella's story.
Throughout the history of the Church, Christians have traditionally gathered in worship and recited the same Creeds together - the Apostle's Creed, the Nicene Creed. The Creeds are intended to be essential statements of orthodox Christian faith, both teaching and identifying conformity of beliefs, while serving as a vehicle for collective, public profession of faith. The Nicene Creed, established in 325 AD, is one of the most widely accepted statements of faith among Christian churches.
The team at The Marcella Project decided that rather than trying to create a modern version of the beliefs so poignantly defined in the Nicene Creed, it would be more fitting to join our rich Christian heritage and proclaim, as so many Christians before us and so many Christians will for centuries to come, what we believe by reciting this Creed as our public profession of faith.
The Nicene Creed
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty,
maker of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen.
We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, light from light, true God from true God,
begotten, not made, one in Being with the Father.
For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven,
By the power of the Holy Spirit he was born of the Virgin Mary and became man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered, died and was buried.
On the third day he rose again in fulfillment of the Scriptures;
He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,
who proceeds from the Father (and the Son)
Who with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
Who has spoken through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church.
We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.
Contemporary Version (Prepared by the International Consultation on English Texts)
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A collective voice fighting for a proper view and standing for all women worldwide.
A team of learners, ambassadors, and funders of our mission to ennoble women.
100 Members | $100 / Month
Join The Marcella 100 by becoming a member, gifting a membership to someone you know, or providing a scholarship.
The short answer to why I joined Marcella 100 is that Jackie is my pastor and my friend!
The long answer, I realize, goes way back to when I decided to join the women’s Bible study at Irving Bible Church at age 30. Having spent the past 10 years or more living with one foot in and one foot out, I decided it was time to get serious about my faith. I had this image in my mind that women’s Bible study was going to be some kind of social, tea party hour. I didn’t really have time for that, but went anyway.
But, this was no tea party…more like mud wrestling. For 11 years, we women wrestled the scriptures. I consider it a privilege to have sat under the teaching there. I like to say, “it’s where I grew up.” God was showing me some things about Himself and about myself. It was exciting and scary all at the same time. I wrestled with Jesus about so many hard things…but I came to know Him as my friend.
I was extremely privileged to have been a part of the research and discussions about the role of women at IBC. Again we wrestled. This opened my eyes to how people will use carefully selected Bible verses to justify all kinds of things, but especially the superiority of men over women. This way of thinking is damaging to the smart, capable women leaders who are not allowed to use their giftings in the church; damaging to our brothers who are told by the church and, many times, expected by their wives, to be the head of the household, the spiritual leader; and damaging to women all over the world who continue to be discriminated against by the perpetuation of these oppressive beliefs. This way of thinking did not seem to fit with the Jesus I had come to know. Carolyn Custis James’ book, Half the Church, highlighted that God’s intention was that men and women together were to partner with God in bringing His Kingdom to this world.
This year-long process finally culminated with IBC “unleashing” women and Jackie becoming a part of the preaching team. She was just the right woman for the job at just the right time!
If you have spent any time with Jackie, you know she has a unique way of cutting through the superficial and getting right to the heart of the matter. Within 5 minutes of meeting Jackie one-on-one for the first time, she had identified and unveiled pain that I did not even know I had…some areas of unforgiveness in my life, recommended a couple of books (which I read), and challenged me to take it to Jesus…like she always does.
At the core, she is a clinician. She diagnoses the pain and then points people to Jesus. That’s her gift.
She and Steve have entered into some of the most deep and painful moments of, not only my life, but my family’s life, too. For that I will be forever grateful.
I continue to learn from her and many others through participation in The Marcella Project Bible study, salons, and summits.
So you might say, that by supporting the Marcella Project, I’m still just following my pastor!