100 fantastic Canadian Christian women leaders

Mark PetersenLeadership

Rachel Held-Evans recently posted a list of (mainly American) Christian women speakers in response to her dismay over the realization that women were mostly represented at conferences/events in a token way.

In seeing her list, I was challenged to create a list of 100 fantastic Canadian Christian women leaders in hopes of highlighting and cheering on female leadership in our world.  The names on this list aren’t necessarily connected to charities or ministry – some are accomplished women in professional life, and they represent various streams in Canadian Christianity: evangelical, mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, charismatic, and emergent.

I’m the first to declare this list is very limited.  It contains many charity leaders.  It is also heavily academic/theological with few professionals named.  It is Toronto-centric, which will irk the rest of Canada.  (You can add to this list in the comments section as there are other great names I’ve undoubtedly missed.)  In order to be neutral, I’ve also intentionally left out women who are related to me, but who are great speakers and leaders in their own right: Karen, Carol, Ruth, Alma and Judy.  I was inspired as a child by both my now-deceased grandmothers, Clara and Emily, who preached in their Nazarene churches and led their families despite many challenges.

In compiling this information, I had input and great additions from Lorna Dueck, Karen Hamilton, Steve Brown, Wendy Gritter, Aileen Van Ginkel, Gary Nelson, Heather Card, Sandy Reynolds, Kevin Makins and Rod Wilson.


  First Name Last Name Title Organization City Prov
1 Dr. Phyllis Airhart Professor Emmanuel College Toronto ON
2  Rev. Jenny Andison Priest St. Clement Anglican Church Toronto ON
3 Carolyn Arends Singer/Songwriter   Surrey BC
4 Joanne Beach Director of Justice and Compassion CM&A Toronto ON
5 Dr. Cheryl Bear Singer/Songwriter/Speaker   Nadleh Whut’en First Nation Burnaby BC
6 Julia Beazley Policy Analyst Evangelical Fellowship of Canada Ottawa ON
7 Rhonda Berkheim Lead Pastor Life Design Foursquare Church New Westminster BC
8 Moira Brown Host Crossroads Burlington ON
9 Shelley Campagnola Executive Director Kids Alive Canada Cambridge ON
10 Stacey Campbell CEO Prison Fellowship Canada Toronto ON
11 Heather Card COO Canadian Council of Christian Charities Elmira ON
12 Beverly Carrick Executive Director CAUSE Canada Camrose AB
13 Dr. Jean Chamberlain Froese Founder Save the Mothers Hamilton ON
14 Dr. Miriam Charter Professor Ambrose University College Calgary AB
15 Dr. Janet Clark Academic Dean and VP Tyndale Seminary Toronto ON
16 Diane Craig CEO Corporate Class Toronto ON
17 Rev. Dr. Connie den Bok Pastor Alderwood United Church Toronto ON
18 Joan  DeVries Dean of Students Tyndale Seminary Toronto ON
19 Angie Draskovic CEO Yonge Street Mission Toronto ON
20 Lorna Dueck Executive Producer Context with Lorna Dueck Toronto ON
21 Ellen Duffield Director The Leadership Studio, Muskoka Woods Rosseau ON
22 Dr. Janet Epp Buckingham Director Laurentian Leadership Centre Ottawa ON
23 Melinda Estabrooks Host Crossroads Burlington ON
24 Leanne Ferris CEO Medical Ministry International Stoney Creek ON
25 Susan Findlay National Director Nation at Prayer Pickering ON
26 Lola French CEO Canadian Association of Pregnancy Support Services Red Deer AB
27 Leanne Friesen Pastor Mount Hamilton Baptist Church Hamilton ON
28 Leigh Gauthier Director Career Centre, Rotman School of Management Toronto ON
29 Sr. Tarcia Gerwing Spiritual Director Loyola House Guelph ON
30 Margaret Gibb Founder Women Together Brantford ON
31 Lynn Golding Partner Faskin Martineau Toronto ON
32 Dr. Dorcas Gordon Professor Knox College Toronto ON
33 Dr. Karyn  Gordon President dk Leadership Toronto ON
34 Peggy Grall President Peggy Grall & Associates Freelton ON
35 Deb Grey Former Parliamentarian House of Commons Qualicum Beach BC
36 Wendy Gritter Executive Director New Direction Ministries Toronto ON
37 Rev. Dr. Karen Hamilton General Secretary Canadian Council of Churches Toronto ON
38 Dr. Maxine Hancock Professor Emerita Regent College Canning  NS
39 Karen  Hanna President TKB Hanna & Associates Toronto ON
40 Christa Hesselink Compassion Pastor The Meeting House Oakville ON
41 Sara Hildebrand Founder Millenium Kids Toronto ON
42 Rebecca Horwood Partner Richardson GMP Toronto ON
43 Dr. Melanie Humphreys President King’s University College Edmonton AB
44 Dr. Rebecca Idestrom Professor Tyndale University College Toronto ON
45 Dr. Sylvia Keesmaat Theologian and Farmer Trinity College Toronto ON
46 Leah Kostamo Co-Founder A Rocha Canada Vancouver BC
47 Dr. Marilyn Legge Professor Emmanuel College Toronto ON
48 Dr. Barbara Leung Lai Professor Tyndale Seminary Toronto ON
49 N.J. (Nancy) Lindquist Co-Founder The Word Guild Markham ON
50 Dr. Cynthia Long Westfall Professor of NT McMaster Divinity College Hamilton ON
51 Christine Macmillan Former Territorial Commander Salvation Army Canada Toronto ON
52 Ann Mainse Host Crossroads Burlington ON
53 Jill Malleck President Epiphany at Work Kitchener ON
54 Diane Marshall Director Institute for Family Living Toronto ON
55 Darlene McLean Executive Director Christian Embassy Ottawa ON
56 Mary Lynn McPherson Senior Consultant Strive! Guelph ON
57 Anne-Marie Mediwake Anchor CBC News Toronto Toronto ON
58 Dr. Lois Mitchell Professor St. Stephen’s University St. Stephen NB
59 Dr. Sue Moesteller Executive Director L’Arche Richmond Hill ON
60 Andrea Mrozek Executive Director Institute for Marriage and Family Canada Ottawa ON
61 Dr. Barbara Mutch Professor Carey Theological College Vancouver BC
62 Wendy Elaine Nelles Co-Founder The Word Guild Toronto ON
63 Dr. Carla Nelson Professor Tyndale University College Toronto ON
64 Dr. Judith Newman Professor Emmanuel College Toronto ON
65  Dr. Helen Noh Professor Tyndale University College Toronto ON
66 Janet Nolan CEO Christian Horizons Kitchener ON
67 Doris Olafsen Executive Vice-President Opportunity International Langley BC
68 Patricia Paddey Writer and Journalist   Mississauga ON
69 Jennifer Parr Founder Leadership That Matters Toronto ON
70 Wendy Passmore Spiritual Director   Barrie ON
71  Dr. Wendy Peterson Professor Providence College & Seminary Otterburne MB
72 Brenda Pue Co-Founder Arrow Leadership Ministries Abbotsford BC
73 Joyce Rees Associate Pastor The Bridge Church Abbotsford BC
74 Sandy Reynolds President Leadership on Purpose Burlington ON
75 Carolyn Riseboro Senior VP, Marketing World Vision Canada Mississauga ON
76 Dr. Anna Robbins Professor Acadia Divinity College Wolfville NS
77 Geri Rodman President Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship Toronto ON
78 Rev. Canon Judy Rois CEO Anglican Foundation Toronto ON
79 Ruth Ross Executive Director Christian Legal Fellowship London ON
80 Sandra Ryan Community Ministries Pastor People’s Church Toronto ON
81 Janis Ryder Executive Director, Human Resources Trinity Western University Langley BC
82 Rauni Salminen Executive Director Philip Aziz Centre Toronto ON
83 Dani Shaw Senior Manager, Employee Relations Royal Bank of Canada Mississauga ON
84 Dr. Susan Shultz Huxman President Conrad Grebel College Waterloo ON
85 Nicola Skinner Rector All Saints Anglican Church King City ON
86 Joy Smith Member of Parliament   Winnipeg MB
87 Lynn Smith Co-Founder Next Level Leadership Toronto ON
88 Andrea Soberg Dean, School of Business Trinity Western University Langley BC
89 Faye Sonier Legal Counsel Evangelical Fellowship of Canada Ottawa ON
90 Sally Start Ambassador Alpha Canada Vancouver BC
91 Eileen Stewart-Rhude Executive Director, Women’s Commission World Evangelical Alliance Richmond Hill ON
92 Karen Stiller Writer   Port Perry ON
93 Mardi Tindal Moderator United Church of Canada Toronto ON
94 Linda Tripp Director Fistula Foundation Orangeville ON
95 Aileen Van Ginkel VP, Ministry Service Evangelical Fellowship of Canada Richmond Hill ON
96 Dr. Deani Van Pelt Professor Redeemer University College Ancaster ON
97 Shaila Visser CEO Alpha Canada Vancouver BC
98 Alana Walker-Carpenter CEO Intriciti Toronto ON
99 Cheryl Weber Producer Crossroads Burlington ON
100 Karen Wilk Church Planter Forge Canada Edmonton AB