By Glenn Mollette
For most of our American history, the clergy have been a male dominated group. When calling a new minister pulpits across America only considered male applicants. Theological schools across the country were almost all male with a few women studying for missionary service overseas.
Today is different. Women across the country in many protestant circles are stepping up to the pulpits with all the freedom and respect of their male counterparts. Methodists, Presbyterians, Assembly of God and some of the Baptist groups have opened their pulpits and women are responding.
Some entering today’s ministry do not always choose the pulpit side of ministry, but choose to serve as administrators, educators, associates or Christian counselors.
Joan Angelyne Watson Ganns of West Palm Beach, Fla., received her Ph.D. in Christian Counseling at the 2012 Commencement and said, “This is the end of a 24-year dream for me. I have fulfilled all of my dreams and I am living my life with purpose.”
Ruth Martin of Lawrenceville, Ga., reflected, “Completing my seminary education is the fulfillment of a lifelong dream.”
Newburgh Theological Seminary, Newburgh, Ind. will hold its annual commencement, June 1 with a total graduating class of 140 students. Of those graduating 36 percent are women who will travel from different parts of the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and Africa to attend the commencement ceremony.
“Women are studying for all aspects of today’s ministry, “ said Dr. Keith Wilhite, Newburgh Academic Advisor for Newburgh Seminary. “Women enroll in Theology, Missions and Evangelism, Preaching, Christian Education and Christian Counseling just like their male counterparts.”
Several women will make presentations at Newburgh’s graduation in June. Along with Dr. Norman Sanders of the Billy Graham Association and Dr. Keith Ogden of Asheville, N.C., Dr. Bernice Belt of Kentucky, Dr. Patsy Highland of Tennessee and Dr.Cheryl Sanders of North Carolina will be on the program to encourage the graduating class of 2013.
Those interested in more information may visit www.newburghseminary.com
Glenn Mollette is the author of American Issues plus hundreds of articles, stories and other books. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org