AWIL Conference





You're invited to GROW with us. Join us for the 5th annual AWIL Conference. 

The process of growth is happening all around us in the physical world, but it is also taking place within each of us. God created us with the capacity to improve, to discover, to explore.

We are each a work in progress; drafting, re-creating and Growing from our past experiences. We are continuously innovating and trying new ways of doing things.

We refuse to let our mistakes take us off course, but instead becoming Resilient through hardship.

With Others, we are able to compensate for weaknesses and sharpen each other’s strengths; maintaining our steady course.

We are explorers of God’s Wonder, his purposes and plans, regardless of our circumstances through our personal journey as we GROW


Save the Date - Register Oct 1

Registration Rates

*For info on an existing registration of 10 or more staff/faculty, please contact Registration is now officially closed! 

All ticket sales are final. However, your registration tickets may be transferable to another party. Deadline for registration transfers is March 2, 2020.

AWIL: History and Purpose

The Advancing Women in Leadership Conference was first offered in March 2016 following dialogue at the 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 who experienced sold out attendance!

  • 2016 Pepperdine University
  • 2017 Biola University
  • 2018 Azusa Pacific University
  • 2019 Vanguard University
  • 2020 California Baptist University

 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.

Meet Our Keynote Speakers

Tamra Malone

Tamra J. Malone
Chief Diversity Officer at Biola University

Tamra currently serves as the Chief Diversity Officer for the Division of Diversity and Inclusion at Biola University, in La Mirada, California. Prior to this appointment, she served as the Director of Student Enrichment and Intercultural Development, where she taught diversity campus-wide creating innovative programming for marginalized students, and advised administration. Tamra’s expertise includes advancing and transforming institutions toward inclusive excellence through strategic planning, diversity education, administration and leadership, cultural programming, and increasing recruitment of students from diverse backgrounds from Multi-ethnic communities.

Tamra earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, at Biola; a Masters Degree in Counseling for Student Development in Higher Education from California State University, Long Beach.

During her free time, she is passionate about mentoring young women, teaching, and creative expression.


Kay Warren
Cofounder of Saddleback Church

Kay Warren cofounded Saddleback Church with her husband, Rick Warren, in Lake Forest, California in 1980. After the death of her son, Matthew, who lived with serious mental illness for most of his life, she founded Saddleback’s Hope for Mental Health Initiative as a way to support individuals and family members of loved ones with mental illness and suicidal ideation. The Initiative also trains others in the faith community on how to launch or expand existing mental health ministries.

Kay is a board member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention and is active in mental health/suicide prevention efforts in Orange County, CA.  Kay is the author of Sacred Privilege: Your Life and Ministry as a Pastor's WifeChoose Joy: Because Happiness Isn't Enough, Say Yes to God: A Call to Courageous Surrender, and coauthor of Foundations, a popular systematic theology course used by churches worldwide.

Learn more at and follow Kay on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


Shirley V. Hoogstra
President of CCCU

Shirley V. Hoogstra became the seventh president of the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities in September 2014. In this role, Hoogstra combines her zeal for the rule of law and her passion for Christian higher education as she promotes the value and purpose of high quality, Christ-centered liberal arts education that shapes students who love the Lord with all their heart, soul and mind.

Prior to the CCCU, Hoogstra served for 15 years as vice president for student life at her alma mater, Calvin College. She also spent more than a decade practicing law as a partner at a firm specializing in litigation in New Haven, Connecticut. She earned a Juris Doctor, with honors, from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Always an educator, Hoogstra has never lost her joy of seeing people developed to be their best selves. She continues to advocate for expanding diversity and inclusion on CCCU campuses and making education available, accessible and affordable to all students.


Thank you to our sponsors!



Tamra Malone










Advancing Women in Leadership Conference
March 20, 2020

Call (951) 552-8100 for more information.

California Baptist University
8432 Magnolia Avenue
Riverside, CA 92504