Biola has launched a bold new ministry aimed at women — and it’s looking for members.
The group, Ruby Women, was formed in the fall to give women opportunities to learn, serve, give and travel together. Aimed primarily at Biola friends, parents and alumnae, the group was created partially as a result of a recent survey that indicated women wanted more ways to get involved in the life of the university.
“Ruby Women is an exciting opportunity to grow together as women, while also investing in the next generation of leaders and giving generously to advance the kingdom of God,” said Kristen Hahn, the director of the group.
Since its public launch in October 2012, Ruby Women has hosted three group events: an inaugural luncheon hosted by Biola’s first lady, Paula Corey; a 24-hour “Journey of Generosity” retreat facilitated by Generous Giving; and a half-day seminar focused on faith, family and finances, titled “Living Your Legacy.” The women are also gearing up for a summer trip to Sri Lanka with Paula Corey to serve alongside a Biola alumna at her nonprofit organization, which helps abandoned women and children.
Ruby Women not only ministers to women but also asks them to come alongside Biola as ministry partners to serve female students through a mentoring program. Another aspect of the group is supporting the financial needs of Biola students. A Ruby Women Scholarship Fund has been set up to provide scholarship assistance for students with leadership potential. To date, $38,000 has been raised towards the fund.
Ruby Women was created in part as a result of the university’s participation in a charitable giving survey directed at Christian women in philanthropy, Hahn said. Biola, along with 10 other organizations, sponsored the survey in 2011 through Women Doing Well.
The research noted, among other things, that discipleship and faith play major roles in shaping generosity among Christian women, Hahn said. The survey also revealed that women want to learn from each other and have open conversations about giving practices.
Hahn said the new group has found inspiration in another women’s group from Biola’s earliest days, when the wives of Biola’s founders and other women went door to door canvassing neighborhoods and bringing women together for Bible studies and prayer.
“We’re really returning back to even before Biola opened, with Anna Horton and the Lyceum Club, and that’s kind of where Ruby Women is now in 2013, making an impact on the next generation,” she said.
Greg Leith, Biola’s director of strategic alliances, said the group — with its many events and opportunities to serve — is a way for women to feel ministered to specifically.
“When we meet the felt needs of women, they in turn help us to meet the needs of students of Biola University,” he said. “It’s fulfilling for a woman to be asked, ‘Could you come alongside and be a friend on the journey of life of a young female student?’”
Women who are interested in the program are encouraged to visit the group’s website at biola.edu/rubywomen for more information.