Women seminary students won two top scholarly awards recently. Diane Kobor received the American Bible Society award for outstanding scholarship in biblical languages and exegesis, and Clarissa Worley received the Baker Book House award for excellence in theological studies. Diane has just attained a Master of Arts degree; her husband has recently received his Master of Divinity. They are serving in the Indiana Conference. Clarissa is a Master of Divinity student who plans to serve as a young adult pastor and/or in evangelism when she is finished.
Dianne and Clarissa are among the 45 women studying at the seminary. They are enrolled in almost every seminary program, ranging from off-campus M.A. in pastoral ministry to Ph.D. programs. About 15 are in the M.Div. program preparing for pastoral ministry or chaplaincy. The 1996 seminary graduating class had 10 women. Four of them have received calls to pastoral positions, one is in a pastoral team with her husband, one is in chaplaincy, two are returning to their home divisions abroad, one is pursuing doctoral studies, and one is undecided.
Women also occupy important posts in the faculty. Lilianne Doukhan holds the Beltz chair of church music. Nancy Vyhmeister is the editor of Andrews University Seminary Studies and teaches biblical languages, New Testament, and mission. Leona Running is professor emerita of biblical languages and teaches part-time. Cynthia Burrill helps to teach felt needs seminar courses and sponsors the women's guild an organization for the women spouses of seminary students. Jo Ann Davidson has just joined the Systematic Theology Department after obtaining a doctoral degree from Trinity Evangelical Theological Seminary. Patricia Gustin from Walla Walla College has become the new director of the Institute of World Mission and associate professor of mission.
The seminary faculty is committed to encouraging women to prepare for various ministries. On the issue of ordination, the faculty and administration have chosen to take some leadership in the dialogue, but in practice move with the decision of the church. A special study committee has been formed to prepare publications on the subject and the hermeneutics associated with it.
For several years the Seminary Bulletin has included a human relations statement that affirms the equal recognition of women and men in discourse and opportunities, and disavows any form of stereotyping or disrespect. During the past school year one entire quarter featured women preachers at the chapel services. For a number of years spouses of students have been encouraged to sit in on classes or to take courses for academic credit at a reduced fee.
We welcome women who sense a call to ministry to come to the seminary. If you need an application or have questions, call: 1-800-253-2874; fax to: 616-471-6202; or contact through Internet: [email protected]; or CompuServe: 74617,2163.