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2024 Advancing Women in Leadership Conference

empower equip encourage

Save the Date: March 11, 2024

In partnership with the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU), Taylor University in Upland, Indiana, will hold the one-day Advancing Women in Leadership (AWIL) conference.

Taylor University
1846 Main Street, Upland, IN 46989

The conference is full. Registration is now closed.

Be empowered.

Recognize your giftedness and ability to, with God’s help, do all he has planned for you.

Feel inspired by hearing the stories and experiences of other women, particularly women in leadership.

Be equipped.

Learn from the knowledge and example of other women to help you build a career that is God-honoring and personally fulfilling.

Consider what tools you need to shape your career and take the next steps.

Be encouraged.

Connect with other women to share your journey and find inspiration.

Gain the courage and determination to advance your leadership potential.

Conference Schedule

  • 7:45–9 am Registration and Breakfast
  • 9:15–11 am Plenary Session 1
  • 11 am–12 pm Breakout Session 1
  • 12–2 pm Lunch and Guided Reflection
  • 2–3 pm Breakout Session 2
  • 3–4:15 pm Plenary Session 2
  • 4:15–4:45 pm Closing

Keynote Speakers

linda livingstone

Dr. Linda A. Livingstone

President, Baylor University

Linda A. Livingstone, Ph.D., is the 15th president of Baylor University, serving there since 2017. Dr. Livingstone previously served as dean and professor of management at The George Washington University School of Business, as dean and professor of management at Pepperdine University’s Graziadio School of Business and Management, and as a tenured faculty member and associate dean of graduate programs at Baylor’s Hankamer School of Business.

A native of Perkins, Oklahoma, Dr. Livingstone played varsity basketball at Oklahoma State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in economics and management, a Master of Business Administration and a Doctor of Philosophy in management and organizational behavior.

jo anne lyon

Dr. Jo Anne Lyon

General Superintendent Emerita and Ambassador of The Wesleyan Church

Dr. Lyon holds a Master’s degree in counseling and has been granted five honorary doctorates. Dr. Lyon has written several articles and publications, including the book The Ultimate Blessing and has served over thirty years in pastoral ministry. She has been adjunct professor of Church and Society at both Indiana Wesleyan University and Asbury Theological Seminary. As the founder and CEO of World Hope International, based in Alexandria, Virginia, she directed faith-based relief and development organizations into over thirty countries to alleviate suffering and injustice. Dr. Lyon serves on the boards of directors of several organizations as representative of The Wesleyan Church.

a professor working with students

Call for Proposals

We are seeking proposals related to our three conference theme words: Empower, Equip, and Encourage. We invite you to propose a topic for a Breakout Session (approx. 45 minutes, including time for Q&A). Please consider the following guiding questions as you develop your proposal.


  • How has God guided your pathway in leadership? How have you developed as a leader? What key moments shaped your leadership journey? What advice can you give to empower others?
  • How does the latest research on leadership development shape your approach to leading well?


  • What practical strategies and tools have you used to develop your career?
  • What expertise do you have in the following areas that you can share with others: mentoring, coaching, publishing, personal brand, resume development, leadership training, etc.?


  • How might sharing your personal journey encourage and inspire others?
  • What steps has your college or university taken to facilitate women encouraging one another?

Proposals must include the following: name, school, email, title of session, 50-word abstract of your session, and two or three outcomes that attendees will receive from participating in the session.

Submit your proposal to by December 15, 2023.

AWIL: History and Purpose

The Advancing Women in Leadership Conference was first offered in March 2016 following dialogue at the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) June 2015 Women’s Advanced Leadership Institute (WALI) at Cedar Springs Christian Retreat Center near Sumas, Washington. The program focused on “Embracing Leadership with Confidence and Preparing the Next Generation.” The passion and dream that emerged from this group was to prepare the next generation of women leaders by initiating a nationwide effort through an annual conference hosted by CCCU member institutions in observation of March’s National Women’s History Month. The goal was to raise awareness of the underrepresentation of women in senior-level leadership within the context of Christian higher education, and to prepare women of all ages and at all career stages for professional advancement, influence, and impact. The conference was envisioned to be an annual March event co-sponsored by CCCU and hosted by a different member institution each year.

A Special Thanks to the AWIL Pioneering Universities

Purpose and Objectives of the AWIL Conference

  1. To educate and enlighten CCCU institutional leaders regarding the status of women in leadership positions within both Christian universities and higher education more broadly.
  2. To inspire and enable the women of CCCU institutions to be poised and prepared to step into leadership roles within our institutions.
  3. To provide programs, materials, and other tools to conference participants, equipping them to launch “Women in Leadership” training programs on their own campuses.
  4. To ensure that the cost of this one-day event would remain low, encouraging participation from junior members and students of campus communities to consider their potential for future leadership across numerous spheres of influence.
  5. To feature and support the national recognition of March as Women’s History Month through high-quality programming that could have ripple effects both individually and institutionally across the CCCU.
  6. To provide inspiring role models (of and for both women and men) of those who have risen to leadership and/or who have enabled women to move into positions of leadership within a campus setting.
  7. To cultivate mentors, sponsors, and coaches who will launch supportive opportunities on their campuses that provide development spaces to journey together, to learn from each other, to grow deeper in faith, calling and purpose.
  8. To involve keynote speakers who are both instructive and inspirational regarding forging a path for women into leadership within higher education.
  9. To build and encourage networking among conference participants as a life-giving support to individuals who may feel alone or unsupported in their professional journeys.