The Gallery at Asbury Denver, CO

Ambition: Living with Drive & Devotion

Friday, Mar. 10 4:30



Ambition: Living with Drive & Devotion

Christian women have a complicated relationship with ambition. It’s not something we talk about often, or when we do, it’s framed as an undesirable attribute. Women who work in the marketplace, home, or community joined Denver Institute and filmmaker Carolyn McCulley to learn how to clarify their callings and steward the gifts entrusted to them. Instead of diminishing their ambition, attendees were challenged to recover their ambition for God’s glory and others’ good.

Presenters & Panelists

Carolyn McCulley

Citygate Films

Carolyn McCulley is an award-winning producer/director/editor at Citygate Films, a nonfiction film company she founded in 2009. She is also the author of three books, including The Measure of Success, a silver finalist in the ECPA 2015 Christian Book Awards and which won an award of merit in Christianity Today's 2015 Book Awards. She has written for a wide range of publications, including The Washington Post, Christianity Today, The Gospel Coalition, Boundless, True Woman, and Propel.

Alex Kuykendall

Open Door Sisterhood Podcast

Author and journalist Alexandra Kuykendall juggles life as a busy professional with raising four daughters and all the soccer practices, school reports, and carpool runs that entails. Her books Loving My Actual Neighbor: 7 Practices to Treasure the People Right in Front of You, Loving My Actual Life: An Experiment in Relishing What's Right in Front of Me and The Artist's Daughter: A Memoir invite readers to embody God's call to invest in the people and places that form our daily lives. She also c0-hosts the Open Door Sisterhood podcast, a national conversation on faith, leadership, and motherhood. She has contributed to Good Morning America and Fox News.

Jennifer Mote

Thirst Matters

Jennifer Mote leads Thirst Matters, a human resources and talent development consultancy for nonprofits. A trained spiritual director, she combines experience gleaned from twenty years of senior human resource roles within Willow Creek Community Church, Walgreen Co., and high-tech consulting. She is passionate about helping leaders grow spiritually and develop energizing patterns for work and life. She and her husband raise two teenage children in Ken Karyl Ranch, Colorado.

Joanna Meyer

Director of Public Engagement Founder of Women, Work, & Calling

Joanna serves as Denver Institute’s Director of Public Engagement, hosts the Faith & Work Podcast, and founded Women, Work, & Calling, a national initiative that disciples women for godly influence in public life. Prior to coming to the Institute, Joanna worked in global telecom, nonprofit consulting, and campus ministry with Cru. She served as associate faculty at Denver Seminary and as a sewing instructor at Fancy Tiger Crafts. A third-generation Coloradan, Joanna appreciates both the state’s innovative culture and its cowboy roots. She has an MA in Social Entrepreneurship from Bakke Graduate University and graduated magna cum laude from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She also completed a certificate of Women in Leadership through Cornell University. She is the author of Women, Work, & Calling: Step Into Your Place in God's World (IVP, Fall 2023) and is a contributor to the multi-author book, Women & Work: Bearing God’s Image and Joining in His Mission through our Work (B&H Publishing, Spring 2023).

Evan Roth

Roth Consultancy International

Evan Roth is an executive coach who is passionate about helping business leaders thrive in the corporate workplace. Although he works with a wide range of professionals, Roth has worked extensively with female leaders and understands the unique gifts they bring to their roles, as well as the challenges they face as women in the marketplace. Roth has been a corporate executive for 30 years, serving in roles such as Chief Financial Officer, General Manager, and Chief Learning Officer in finance and technology companies, many of which are publicly traded. He has led teams internationally and taught graduate-level business courses in the US and Canada.

Cindy Chang Mahlberg

Colorado Center for Dermatology & Skin Surgery

Cindy Chang Mahlberg is business director and integrator at the Colorado Center for Dermatology and Skin Surgery, and co-founder of Women in the Mix, a social venture focused on empowering and equipping women to thrive in work and life. She previously worked as a lawyer at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Credit Suisse. She received her law degree from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and completed the Gotham Fellowship at the Center for Faith & Work in New York City. She lives with her husband and two children in Lone Tree.

“I felt hopeful that my story in business will unfold as I walk in obedience, take necessary risks, and listen to the prompts of Jesus. After Friday....I somehow think that's enough.”

Shannon Thomas
Co-Founder, Expedition Backcountry Adventures

Breakout Sessions

Motherhood, Calling & Ambition

There is no doubt motherhood is a high calling, (Jesus himself arrived on earth through a mother after all), a demanding calling (there is no time off from motherhood) and yet it’s not a woman’s only calling (God made us dynamic, multidimensional people). How do we maneuver through the demands of motherhood with the responsibilities, and even ambitions, we carry with us from other areas of our lives? From “mommy guilt” to internal drive, we will look at cultural expectations, popular trends, and Scripture to get a fuller picture of who we are as mothers and women who have been called to do good work in the world. Whether you see motherhood in your future or are in its throes now, join us as we examine what it means to have ambition while caring for those on the home front.

Led by Alex Kuykendall

Soul Care for Ambitious Women

Is it possible to pursue your goals and survive with your soul intact? What does it look like to cultivate a rich spiritual life while juggling the many passions and responsibilities that characterize an ambitious woman’s life?

Join spiritual director and former corporate HR leader Jennifer Mote to explore practical ways to connect with God throughout your busiest days. Together we’ll explore:

Ways for women to lead soulfully as we embody our role as God’s image bearers. Learn to use your ambition to show the world God’s strength and beauty.
Identify ways to prevent burnout and the frustration that comes from merely thinking about adding one more thing to your to-do list.

Led by Jennifer Mote