For background, Stacey Woods was born in Australia, attended a Plymouth Brethren assembly, came to the United States and studied at Wheaton and Dallas. He became the general secretary of the Canadian InterVarsity Christian Fellowship in 1934. InterVarsity was founded in the USA through the leadership of Stacey Woods and others in 1941.
Now, here is what the CBMW article has to say about Stacey Woods' original position on women in ministry.
- IVP’s practice, if not its profession, is clearly egalitarian and it has been so from the beginning.
The publishing company was founded in 1941 by C. Stacy Woods as a part of InterVarsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). From the outset, the 20-member board of trustees that holds IVCF and IVP accountable resolved to support complete freedom for women in ministry.
"InterVarsity is not a church but is a parachurch that transcends many specific denominational convictions on secondary matters such as the role of women in ministry--which has never been a creedal statement," IVP publisher Bob Fryling said. "However, we do have a rich orthodox theological heritage which does govern all that we do in InterVarsity.
"In terms of practice, InterVarsity had to decide at its outset whether or not to allow women in ministry…[Founder Woods] and the board decided to give women complete freedom in ministry within IVCF which has been our position and practice for 65 years."
- But the fact that IVP is not a church by no means excuses it from following scriptural mandates on God-ordained gender roles as they relate to leadership, Stinson said.
"The fact that InterVarsity is a parachurch does not allow them to disregard what the Bible says even on what the organization considers a secondary matter," Stinson said. "If IVP is engaging in an activity that is governed by Scripture, then it is required to perform that activity within biblical parameters."
Through the years, IVP has not swerved from a commitment to publish works built on the assumption of complete freedom for women in the ministry. In recent years it has published such egalitarian works as Slaves, Women & Homosexuals by William Webb, The Trinity & Subordinationism by Kevin Giles, and Gender & Grace by Mary Stewart Van Leeuwen among many others. Read the rest of the article here.
I was very disappointed to read Stiles' closing paragraph on InterVarsity.
- There is still time for IV to turn things around. I'm hopeful. It's been done before. Just look at what the leadership of Al Mohler did for the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. But if IV continues to be forgetful of its mission, confused about the gospel, fearful of the world, and pragmatic about ministry, there is little hope for IV to ever become again what it once was: a force for truly evangelical gospel ministry.