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The Role of Female Seminaries on the Road to Social Justice for Women

The Role of Female Seminaries on the Road to Social Justice for Women

vonWelch, Kristen | Ruelas, Abraham
Englisch, Erscheinungstermin 12.01.2015


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Soziologie, Theologische Ethik
In the United States, female seminaries and their antecedents, the female academies, were crucial first institutions that played a vital role in liberating women from the "home sphere," a locus that was the primary domain of Euro-American women. The female seminaries founded by Native Americans and African Americans had different founding rationales but also played a key role in empowering women. On the whole, the initial intent of these schools was to prepare women for their proper role in American society as wives and mothers. An unintended effect, however, was to prepare women for the first socially accepted profession for women: teaching. Thus equipped, women played a crucial role in the development of American education at all levels while achieving varying degrees of social justice for themselves and other groups through engagement in the reform movements of their times--including women's suffrage, abolition, temperance, and mental health reform. By recapturing the role religion played in shaping education for women, Welch and Ruelas offer a refreshing take on history that draws on several primary texts and details more than one hundred female seminaries and academies opened in the United States.
Abraham Ruelas has a BA in Biblical Studies from Patten University, a BA in Mass Communication from CSU East Bay, and a PhD in Communication Research from Stanford University. At Patten University, "Dr. Abe" is Dean of Academics, and a professor of communication and psychology. He is also an adjunct professor at Fuller Theological Seminary. Ruelas is a Pentecostal feminist who focuses his scholarship on gender studies of women in leadership within Christianity. He is also an ordained minister with the Church of God (Cleveland, TN). In the community, Ruelas serves as the chair of the board of directors of the Latino Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse of Alameda County and is in his twentieth year on the board. He is the author of Women and the Landscape of American Higher Education: Wesleyan Holiness and Pentecostal Founders (Wipf and Stock, 2010), No Room for Doubt: The Life and Ministry of Bebe Patten (2012), and co-author of The Role of Female Seminaries on the Road to Social Justice for Women, which will be published later this year (Wipf and Stock).

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