Clergywomen Of The Pioneer Generation: A Longitudinal Study

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Journal For The Scientific Study Of Religion


Women who entered Master of Divinity programs leading toward ordination in the 1970s were part of the first generation of women to enter Protestant ministry in large numbers. Utilizing a framework suggested by the work of Everett Hughes on contradictions and dilemmas of status, this paper examines these women's experience of going first, of combining gender and work in a new way, particularly in settings of congregational ministry. The analysis is longitudinal, based on interviews in the 1970s with a sample of 30 women then enrolled in a United Methodist and a Lutheran seminary in the United States, and on interviews with the same sample of women 15 years later.

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