Where are the Top Christian Women Bloggers?

Kent Shaffer —  April 13, 2012

Almost every time I update the Top Church Blogs list, one question arises:

Where are all the Christian women bloggers?

It is a good question requiring several answers.

(1) Look at the Criteria

The phrase “church blogs” is vague, and with each new update to the list the qualifications get stretched to new definitions as I add more blogs. Since Church Relevance is a ministry-centric blog, it makes sense that in this context church is loosely used to mean blogs about ministry, ministry leaders, or living out the gospel in a way that fulfills the great commission.

To put it simply, a blog is a “church blog” if it offers content that is useful to ministry (according to my subjective opinion). 

There are, however, a number of blogs on the list that do compromise a bit on this criteria. One example is prominent church leaders that are read because of their influence but whom lack substance to their writing. Another example is certain Bibliobloggers or theologians that do not directly  discuss ministry but offer intellectual insights that could be useful to sermon preparation or be formative to key ministry philosophies.

A number of Christian women bloggers have questioned why some women make the list and others do not. The ones that talk about ministry or Great Commission-centric theology often enough get included as long as those posts represent a good portion of their overall posts.

The list has become popular enough that many would like to see it to include all Christian blogs, but doing so would make the list too broad scoped and worthless. Newspapers ask me to have their religion sections included. Political blogs have wanted in the mix. Christian poems, family blogs, crafters, current events, and potluck faith would like to be represented, too.

Currently, there are a few blogs I have been made aware of that I would like to add, but I know that if I do so, it would only be fair to broaden the criteria to include blogs that I know offer little to no ministry value.

(2) Some are Undiscovered

The only way I can improve the scope of the top blogs list is through reader recommendations. I know there are still great church blogs by both women and men that I don’t know about but should be on the list.

Please use the comments below to share your recommendations for blogs to consider for the next update.

(3) The Gender Gap (for now)

Historically, men have occupied the overwhelming majority of church leadership positions. As most of you know, this disparity is deeply rooted in denominational and theological beliefs. At the same time, there have always been more male bloggers than female bloggers.

However, the gender gap among bloggers has now shrunk to roughly a 60/40 ratio according to Technorati’s 2011 State of the Blogosphere. And I wouldn’t be surprised to see the percentage of women in key ministry positions also continue to grow significantly over the next few decades.

I think a significant gender shift among global Church influencers is inevitable because of:

  1. The progress made for women’s rights within the last century.
  2. The average Christian globally shifting from being a white, Western, 48-year-old male in 1907 to being a black, African, 28-year-old female in 2007 (see Philip Jenkins’ research).
Within the church blogosphere, I expect that for every female blogger excluded from the Top Church Blogs list, there could very likely be 3+ male bloggers excluded.

(4) Look Closer

At first glance it may look like there are only 8/200 top church blogs written by 8 women. However, many of the blogs are written by multiple authors. So if you look closer and include the blogs listed as “Various” authors, you will actually discover that 41/200 blogs are written by 175+ women to some degree.

In other words, 20% of the top blogs are written by women.

  • #3 – Faith & Reason: Cathy Lynn Grossman
  • #7 – GetReligion: Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Mollie Ziegler
  • #10 – The Resurgence: various women including Elyse Fitzpatrick, Kristen Gilles, Lindsey Holcomb, Rachel Jankovic, Julie Smith Lowe, Jen Schmidt, Hilary Tompkins, Trisha Wikerson
  • #13 – Desiring God: Gloria Furman, Noel Piper
  • #14 – Internet Monk: Martha from Ireland
  • #16 – Christianity Today Live Blog: Sarah Pulliam Bailey, Adelle Banks, Morgan Feddes, Kelly Henderson, Annalisa Musarra
  • #20 – Rachel Held Evans
  • #21 – Compassion International: various women including Caroline Atuhwere, Katy Causey, Jill DeRaad, Vera Mensah-Bediako, Shaina Moats, Jacquie Parella, Nadia Soberanis, Amber Van Schoonevald, Gail Taylor
  • #32 – Ministry to Children: various women including Mimi Bullock, Kristin Charles, Jenny Funderburke, Mandy Groce, Brandi Riddle
  • #33 – High Calling Blogs: various women including Laura Boggess, Claire Burge, Michelle DeRusha, Dena Dyer, Lore Ferguson, Jennifer Dukes Lee, Lyla Lindquist, Deidra Riggs, Kelly Sauer, Christine Scheller, Charity Singleton, Emily Wierenga
  • #34 – Church Marketing Sucks: Jennifer Armitage, Amanda Gagnon, Danielle Hartland, Kelley Hartnett, Katie Strandlund, Erin Williams
  • #44 – Call & Response: Lisa Nichols Hickman, Carol Howard Merritt, Amy Thompson Sevimli, Melissa Wiginton
  • #49 – Gifted for Leadership: various women including Ginger Kolbaba, Lindsey Learn, Marian Liautaud, Anita Lustrea, Frederica Mathewes-Green, Ashley Moore, Shauna Niequist, Eve Nunez, Gina Rago, Patricia Raybon, JoHannah Reardon, Caryn Rivadeneira, Beatrice Rusu, Sarah Scherf,  Melinda Schmidt, Amy Simpson, Sherry Surratt, LaTonya Taylor, Kelli Trujillo
  • #54 – ChurchLeaders.com: various women including Rachel Blom, Jody Capehart, Nicole Cottrell, Katelin Hansen, Lauren Hunter, Amy Fenton Lee, Brooklyn Lindsey, Gina McClain, Kem Meyer,
  • #57 – Believe It or Not: Kate Shellnutt
  • #61 – People of the Second Chance: various women including Joy Cannis, Sara Evanchick, Karen Hammons, Alex Headrick, Laurie Mackay, Lindsey Nobles, Kera Package, Alethia Schmidt, Desirae Schneider, Ashley Smith
  • #63 – Catablog: Ashley Williams
  • #89 – Church Mag: Danielle Luna
  • #93 – Pastors.com: various women including Diana Davis, Cheryl Lewis
  • #95 – Relevant Blogs: various women including Alyce Gilligan, Crystal Lovelass, Roxanne Weiman
  • #99 – M and M: Madeleine Flannagan
  • #112 – Godspace: Christine Sine
  • #116 – Christ and Pop Culture: Erin Wyble Newcomb, Carissa Turner Smith, Erin Straza
  • #118 – Modern Reject: Nicole Cottrell
  • #120 – Think Christian: various women including Amy Adair, Diana Anderson, Alison Backous, Robin Basselin, Michelle Crotwell Kirtley, Kimberly Davis, Maureen Herring, Bethany Keeley-Jonker, Adele Konyndyk, Kristy Quist, Caryn Rivadeneira, Karen Swallow Prior
  • #124 – Your Church: Marian Liautaud
  • #134 – Small Group Dynamics: Amy Jackson
  • #139 – Digital @ Leadership Network: Stephanie Plagens
  • #143 – The Forbidden Gospels: April DeConick
  • #145 – Nadia Bolz-Weber
  • #155 – The Briefing: Sandy Grant, Rachel Macdonald, Jane Tooher, Jean Williams
  • #156 – Black, White, and Gray: Becky Hsu, Margarita Mooney, Amy Reynolds
  • #157 – Orange Leaders: Sarah Anderson, Sarah Bragg, Joy Bowen, Jennifer Davis, Kendra Fleming, Betsy Garrett, Amy Grisham, Kathy Hill, Cara Martens, Jessica McKee, Sue Miller, Beth Nelson, Kristi Porter, Yancy Richmond, Angela Simpson, Deb Springer
  • #162 – Stuff Christian Culture Likes: Stephanie Drury
  • #163 – Plywood People: Gisele Nelson, Kathryn Taylor
  • #166 – The Evangelical Outpost: Renee Bolinger, Amy Canon, Robin Dembroff, Jennifer Gaertner, Jennifer Hardy, Rachel Motte, Lindsay Stallones
  • #175 – Everyday Christian: Gina Burgess, Julie McElroy, Lisa Phelps, Lili Richey Willard, Judy Riddle, Dionna Sanchez, Amy Vogel, Brenda Wood
  • #185 – Margaret Feinberg
  • #191 – Christian Research Network: Erin Benzinger, Sarah Leslie, Christine Pack, Marsha West
  • #192 – Faith Forward: Deborah Arca, Cynthia Bolbach, Jennifer Gutierrez, Erin Wathen
  • #198 – Church Tech Today: Kim Conley, Lauren Hunter

So while there is a gender gap, keep in mind that the disparity isn’t just among gender. There is an even greater gap with racial disparity (most are white), and the greatest disparity is that very few of the bloggers are not from the United States. With time we can hope that things are better equalized.

 

Kent Shaffer

Posts Twitter Facebook

I live in an RV with my wife and 2 kids and work with OpenChurch.com to help Christians collaborate and build a global Church library of free, open content.

68 responses to Where are the Top Christian Women Bloggers?

  1. One of my favorite women bloggers is Tamara Lunardo at http://www.tamaraoutloud.com

    Irreverent, funny, and thoughtful.

    Also recommend pretty much every single blogger at A Deeper Story, most of whom are female (www.deeperstory.com)

  2. I would highly recommend Sarah Bessy (www.emergingmummy.com), Jonalyn Fincher (www.soulation.org), The Good Women Project (www.goodwomenproject.com), Kim (www.graciousgaze.blogspot.com), and I’ll even add myself in there – Danielle Vermeer (www.fromtwotoone.com).

  3. Hmmm… Seems like I can only do one at at a time for some reasons.

    Kathy Escobar (a pastor)
    http://kathyescobar.com/

  4. Kent, I appreciate the distinction you made between say a Christian blog and a ministry blog. As it were, many of the female Christian blogs I read aren’t necessarily ministry blogs, in that they aren’t written specifically for those in ministry, but rather for the Body as a whole. I guess I’d describe my blog in the same way. It’s not leadership minded, but rather Kingdom minded.

    All that to say, however, I’m honored to be included in this year’s list.

    I also agree with the women Rachel and Alise both listed–all excellent and valuable. I’d also add Cathleen Falsani and her blog The Dude Abides. http://cathleenfalsani.com/

  5. Great blog for children’s ministry issues but lots of other stuff on there too.

  6. Check out Carlee Lane at
    carleelane.wordpress.com

  7. I contribute to Christianity Today’s blog for women, Her.meneutics, and one of my editors said she was *pretty sure* it has a larger readership than some of the other CT blogs you mentioned. I have no way of confirming that though.

    I also have a personal blog that I write for the up-building of the church: sheworships.com

  8. Depending on one’s views of women in ministry, I would consider the CBE Scroll an important “church blog” ( http://blog.cbeinternational.org/ ), though it could probably use some of Kent’s help in terms of design.

  9. I was surprised that you didn’t mention Ann Voskamp.
    I would like to add Tonia Peckover , http://www.studyinbrown.com/
    and I am consider myself to fall into this category for whatever it’s worth. But I’m not sure what you mean by top . I guess ‘hits’ . I value my comments and emails :).

  10. Also Jesus Creed, with “RJS”

  11. My first comment disappeared (because of multiple links?).

    Perhaps the label “church blogs” is unhelpful if the intention is to gather sites relevant to Christian ministry. Most of the blogs I read are written by women, and we write about ministry that happens beyond four walls on Sunday. We are the Church, and our lives and writing exist to serve the Kingdom of God.

    If we truly want to equalize the playing field with regard to gender and racial inclusivity, it will take more than hope and time. It will take work and intentionality by men and white people to seek to listen to an amplify the perspectives of women and people of color–people whose voices the Church has had a role in silencing.

  12. a deeper story features over a dozen powerful female writers: http://deeperstory.com/

  13. The entire lineup at (in)courage.

    http://incourage.me

  14. I may be biased because I created it, but A Deeper Story should be there, too.

    http://deeperstory.com

  15. Ann at aholyexperience.com, Jaimie the very worst missionary, the good woman project, and mama monk should all be included. If women have been excluded in many church situations from leadership, look for us to be reaching out in ministry, as all these writers do to varying communities in different styles, in the freedom and unconventional openness the Internet affords us. I hope these women meet your criteria, because they have ministered to me greatly.

  16. Jules rolls her eyes at some Christian women.

  17. Well, I’m not female…but I’d like to give my blog some love as well. ;-)

    http://www.crazyaboutchurch.com/

  18. Most of my favorite Christian bloggers are women. I found them on Christian Blog Crawl and the Christian Writers Group (about 100 members) on Facebook.

  19. Oh my goodness! Jen Hatmaker

    Hers should definitely qualify as a church blog
    http://jenhatmaker.com/

  20. http://www.oldtestament101.com

    This is my wife’s blog and she’s absolutely brilliant – unbiased opinion :)

  21. I second the mention above of Cathleen Falsani…
    http://cathleenfalsani.com/

    And Cynthia Bourgeault
    http://www.contemplative.org/blog/

    I like Nicole’s Cottrell’s distinction between being leadership minded and kingdom-minded, for a larger readership. I would say of the two categories I would put myself in the latter as well–although I would also state that community-building in itself around Christian thought and praxis is equally mission work as it helps bring more people to the table of discussion…and a blog/website which does that well I would say is a teaching example of healthy and working ministry in action.

    Just a musing. I love a good musing :),

    The aforementioned sites, though, are two of my favorites.

    And if anyone has any good insight in mission-building around contemplative traditions and younger readership I would love to hear. I have work I am doing on a local level in this sphere but I believe passionately in the activism around interior silence and not losing the ancient church wisdom on this area of Christian practice in the bustling experience of modern living today. That is the work and the intent of my site–to continue the discussion, education, and understanding of one of our greatest Christian resources…finding space and silence to rest in the soul with God.

    I would love any good virtual resources to that end!

    TB Pasquale

  22. I like my blog. Yep, I said it, I’m pimping my own blog here on this list. People think I don’t know a butt load about the gospel but I do (Nacho Libre) and I blog about it. I tell stories of faith, post interesting nuggets from one of my day jobs as a movie extra, I also get my preach on sometime and I am not at all ashamed of the fact that I’m a Redneck-hippy who has a Lord of the Rings tattoo and a map of middle earth above my bed.

    See, your thinking what I’m trying to get you to think aren’t you? “what more could anyone ask for in a Christian Women blog?”

    Check it out at carolesmithturner.com

  23. (in)courage – a community blog that ministers to women. http://www.incourage.me includes 29 female writers, regular guest posts from the (in)courage community, an online book club that helped launch Ann Voskamp’s One Thousand Gifts among others and is hosting a worldwide meetup day on April 28, 2012 that has women from 435 cities around the globe participating.

  24. Perhaps my blog isn’t one that would “fit” your list. Certainly, I’m male, and thus wouldn’t help the immediate problem, although I do blog on the defense of the right of women to serve in all forms of ministry with some frequency. However, I also readily admit that my blog is not exclusively about church/ministry issues, but splits its time between such ministry matters and more whimsical ones (most notably my love of Transformers toys). But if you’re interested, I’d love it if you checked it out.

    Transforming Seminarian – http://transformingseminarian.blogspot.com
    (Ministry-relevant post set to go up at noon today – 4/16/12, PDT)

  25. (in)courage – http://www.incourage.me
    Lisa-Jo, The Gypsy Mama – http://thegypsymama.com
    Holley Gerth – http://www.holleygerth.com

  26. Highly recommend Jaime’s blog. Fresh, new Christian woman blogger. Love, Grow & Overflow! http://lovegrowoverflow.com/

  27. For Plywood people, there are even more women as bloggers than you noted. Here’s their complete list of their Blogger Team.

    Blogger Team
    Andre Shinabarger, Grady Memorial Hospital
    Duncan McFadzean, Seven Men
    James Pearson, Ember Arts
    Leroy Barber, Mission Year
    Cara Bowen, Cup of Joy Ministries
    Deborah Lubbe, IDEX Fellowship
    Jena Nardella, Blood:Water Mission
    Kathryn Taylor, Organ Wise Guys
    Joanna DeWolf, Editor
    Leslie Slade, Texas Center for the Missing
    Wendy Dickinson, GROW Counseling

  28. http://www.semtour12.blogspot.com

    A young woman’s journey visiting all 13 United Methodist Seminaries!!

  29. This was a great list! I am always looking for new Christian blogs to follow! I had almost thought there were none out there until I saw this post, thanks!

  30. As a male who ministers in a local church, I seriously question your “subjective opinion” on what is “useful to ministry” because many of the blogs you list on your top 200 list are nice to tickle brain cells but actually not very useful in ministry (as in shepherding God’s people) at all. Like Michael Hyatt, the Cartoon blog – in what way do you use these in counselling a struggling Christian?

    I would contend that MANY of the women bloggers out there are considerably more useful in the real stuff of face to face ministry with real people than the leadership/technology/controversy focussed blogs on you list.

  31. Hello, I would be very blessed if you would consider listing http://www.walkbyfaithministry.com. Walk by Faith Ministry shares the Gospel as we minister the Lord’s love to people & homeless dogs, too. I am deeply blessed and humbled to receive really positive feedback about the ministry, including the inspirational writing I do as a Christian author. Thank you & God bless you!

  32. This is my daughter’s blog. Candice Mark.. and she is 15!

  33. http://www.dabibleis4teens2.blog.com/

    This is my daughter’s blog. Candice Mark.. and she is 15!

  34. Brittany Thomas May 29, 2012 at 1:25 pm

    The best christian women blogger I’ve ever read has to be Laura Caddell at http://www.bitsofsplendor.com. She is so real and genuine. If you have not read her blog, I highly encourage you to! Her story is amazing as well!

  35. thehemofhisgarment.wordpress.com

  36. Hello, My name is Rhonda Jones and I am the creator of a series of Christ-centered meditation and affirmation Cds. My website is http://www.thechristianmeditator.com. I am interested in becoming a guest writer and wanted to know if you’d be interested in receiving original articles on Christian meditation, health and wellness, and spiritual growth? If so, please respond to thechristianmeditator@yahoo.com. I look forward to hearing from you.

  37. Redbud Writers Guild , of which I am honored to be a part, is a collective of influential women writers; somewhat diverse as well in race, age and doctrine. Most have a regular blog presence. Many are published authors. http://www.redbudwritersguild.com/

  38. I’m glad that you included your “subjective” definition of “church” blogs – “blogs about ministry, ministry leaders, or living out the gospel in a way that fulfills the great commission.” Now I’d like you to define “ministry,” what qualifications one must have in order to be considered a “ministry leader,” define the “gospel,” and the rubric for measuring whether one is “living out the gospel in a way that fulfills the great commission.”

    “The current scorecard for the North American church is tied to the definitions of church as a place and church as a vendor of religious goods and services.” – Reggie McNeal, Missional Renaissance, p. 37-38

    Your list is useful, because uninteresting and/or irrelevant blogs don’t attract readers. This list obviously consists of blogs that attract readers. So, despite the fact that the list is generated from unreliable and inadequate data; despite the fact that your definitions of “ministry,” what qualifications one must have in order to be considered a “ministry leader,” your definition of the “gospel,” and the rubric for measuring whether one is “living out the gospel in a way that fulfills the great commission” may disqualify a large portion of the non-male, non-white blogging “ecclesia;” despite the fact that “many of the first shall be last and the last shall be first,” it is a useful list.

    I suggest you rename it, though, in order to give it a label that better describes its inherent qualities. Perhaps, “200 Blogs of Interest According to a White-Male-Dominated Institutional System of Religion with a Leaning Toward Reformed-Protestant-Evangelicalism-as-Orthodoxy Worldview and a Link at the Bottom of the List to Placate Those Who Have No Voice in Such a System.” Then again, that title is a bit wordy and not nearly as catchy as “Top 200 Church Blogs.”

  39. There is a new Christian blog focusing on miscarriage, stillbirth, and infertility.
    agirlonthedoorstep.com

  40. Wow, your criteria of what is “useful for ministry” is severely lacking. I don’t know if you could be any more condescending to your sisters in Christ.

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    [...] many others, on first glance, I felt as though the list lacked diversity in many areas: gender, ethnicity, sexuality, etc. Of course, I did not walk through each and every blog to record and analyze demographic identifiers and I don’t think the make-up of the list would change that much if a different set of matrices was used, but, just as Kent acknowledges in his final FAQ, the church-based blogging landscape is dominated by dudes. This list bears that out big time. Where are the top Christian women bloggers? Some are undiscovered. Some write outside of the topical scope of this list. Many write for the multi-author blogs on the list and aren’t listed by name. However, we must also acknowledge that there is a huge gender gap within the blogosphere as well as within church leadership that ultimately affects this list. Be sure to read our lengthier explanation as to where are the top christian women bloggers. [...]