“I will turn all frustrations into determination to go higher.” That is Beauty Rosebery Maenzanise’s credo. And that’s exactly what she has done in her quest to be a clergywoman and theologian in the traditionally patriarchal society of Zimbabwe. She has not only broken the gender barrier for herself but is equally determined to help forge a path for other women who are similarly called.
Beauty was first inspired to seek ordination by Zimbabwean nationalist leader Bishop Abel Muzorewa, who pushed for the inclusion of women in ordained ministry by reminding skeptics that Jesus sent Mary, a woman, to preach the Good News after his resurrection.
After serving as pastor for the Zimbabwe United Methodist Church, Beauty enrolled at the Drew Theological School where she earned a Master of Divinity and Master of Sacred Theology. She then continued in the Graduate Division of Religion program to achieve a Master of Philosophy and Ph.D. in Liturgical Studies. Beauty was one of a number of international students at the Drew Theological School who contribute to the classroom and community dialogue by bringing a global perspective that is more and more important for church leaders in the 21st century.
The seminary’s priority for these students is to achieve their academic goals and then return to their home country where they can share a positive influence on those communities. Experience shows that the more quickly these students can complete their course of studies, and the less debt they graduate with, the more likely they are to return home. Fortunately, Beauty was the recipient of several awards, including the Leslie and Emma Uphoff Scholarship, Joseph M. Sloane Scholarship, and Delaplaine McDaniel Fellowship, which helped her do just that. After completing her last degree in 2004, Beauty returned to Zimbabwe.
But during her tenure at Drew, Beauty served as the alternate representative to the United Nations for the General Board of Global Ministries of the United Methodist Church where women’s issues came to the forefront of her agenda. When she went home, her goal was to empower women in Zimbabwe to have equal participation in the life and mission of the Church.
Since then, she has served as a role model in her positions as lecturer in theology and Dean of the Faculty of Theology at Africa University in Zimbabwe, shattering gender stereotypes along the way. Beauty is active in the Zimbabwe East Annual Conference where she has helped establish networking and scholarship opportunities for clergywomen.
And Beauty’s determination continues. She is currently helping to plan an event with the African United Methodist Clergywomen called “Clergywomen Moving from Isolation to Collaboration”. The purpose: to provide a forum for clergywomen to share their stories and open avenues for leadership development, to help them go higher.