The Role of Female Seminaries on the Road to Social Justice For Women
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...
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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.
Kristen Welch is a mom just like you and me--only funnier. Her blog, We Are THAT Family (www.wearethatfamily.com) is read by over 70,000 women a month, who enjoy her often-hilarious, always-honest reflections on motherhood, marriage, and Christian life. In 2010, she went to Kenya as a blogger for Compassion International, and regularly contributes to online magazine Blissfully Domestic and (In)Courage, an inspirational blog for women. She lives in Texas with her husband and three children.
Kristen Welch is Instructor of English at Cochise College. She is the author of "Women with the Good News" The Rhetorical Heritage of Pentecostal Holiness Women and Deep Roots: Defining the Sacred Through the Voices of Pentecostal Women Preachers. Abraham Ruelas is Dean of Academics and Professor of Communication and Psychology at Patten University. He is the author of Women and the Landscape of American Higher Education: Wesleyan Holiness and Pentecostal Founders and No Room for Doubt: The Life and Ministry of Bebe Patten.