Women In Seminary: A Review Of Current Social Science Research

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Review Of Religious Research


The number and proportion of women in seminary are increasing tremendously. Yet current social science research reveals that the career choice process takes longer and is more difficult for women than for men, with women dealing with issues such as the lack of role models and personal discouragement. Personality patterns of women and men in seminary are similar, though women may be perceived as more aggressive than parishioners think they should be. Seminary environments are changing; the proportion of women on the seminary faculties is slowly growing, more courses and interest groups for women are available. The research on the experience of women in seminary, however, is contradictory. Some studies suggest that women's experiences have generally been positive, other research has found substantial dissatisfaction. Issues of legitimacy and feminism are clearly important, but significant research questions--regarding integration, transformation, family, the profession, and gender theory--are yet to be answered.

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