Nominations invited for prize

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2020 Sylvia Michel Prize, a bi-annual award for women’s leadership projects in Reformed churches worldwide.

The prize of US$5000 is awarded every two years by the Reformed Cantonal Church of Argovia in Switzerland in cooperation with the World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC). The jury consists of the women presidents of the Reformed Churches of Switzerland and WCRC’s Executive Secretary for Justice and Witness.

An entry form must be completed and submitted with a budget for the project and official endorsement by the church by 31 July 2019.

Entries are accepted by the following:

  • Women’s organisations within the church
  • Women’s groups which work in partnership with men on advancing women and leadership
  • Individuals including church workers (both lay and ordained)

The prize is awarded to a project already in progress which has one or several of the following goals:

  • To promote education and awareness within and among churches on women’s equal rights and women’s capacity for leadership positions in the church
  • To work for women’s equality leadership positions in Reformed churches worldwide
  • To build capacity of women through training and mentorship
  • To be engaged in action-oriented research on women and leadership in the church with the aim of advancing the situation of women in leadership
  • To build partnership of women and men in church leadership

The prize was established to honour Sylvia Michel of the Reformed Church of Argovia who as first woman in Switzerland was to hold the position of president of a church. After completing her theological studies, Sylvia Michel was ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament in 1964. In 1980 she was elected as President of the Reformed Church of the Canton of Argovia and became the first woman in Europe to hold such a high-level position.

In thankful commemoration of her pioneer work and for the competence with which women sustain and lead churches, the Sylvia Michel Prize was launched in July 2007 by the Reformed Cantonal Church of Argovia in partnership with the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (now the World Communion of Reformed Churches).

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