Judson University’s aim to “shape lives that shape the world” is challenged by external conditions that can hinder the progress of a significant portion of its student body that seeks positions of influence in work and the church. Recent research by McKinsey, LeanIn, and the Barna Group  confirms the prevalence of the gender gap in the American workplace and an unprecedented disengagement of young, educated women from the church, which runs counter to Judson’s mission.

Young women should have opportunities as broad as those of their male peers to exercise their faith in the private sphere and the public realm. Sponsored by the School of Art, Design & Architecture, the programs of the Deborah Circle will provide soon-to-graduate female students with presentations and discussion concerned with the challenges of living one’s faith in the working world, especially in light of cultural, denominational and familial expectations frequently placed on women in contemporary Christian culture.

Sponsored by the School of Art, Design, and Architecture at Judson University in Elgin, Illinois, this program is named in honor of Deborah, the prophet, warrior, and fourth Judge named in the Old Testament who is described in the original Hebrew as “a woman of fire.”