History of Fuller Seminary

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In 1947, when Fuller Theological Seminary was founded, it was assumed that all students preparing for ministry would be men; women, however, saw it differently. At their insistence, by the following year women were taking individual courses, and by 1950 a degree specifically for women—the Bachelor of Sacred Theology, a modified version of the Bachelor of Divinity—was created, with Helen Clark its first graduate in 1952. That year also saw the hiring of Fuller’s first faculty member, Rebecca Price, who taught and administered a second degree designed with women in mind, the Master of Religious Education. By 1966, all Fuller’s degree programs were opened to women. With the 1970s came the creation of an Office of Women’s Concerns, courses on women in ministry initiated and taught by Roberta Hestenes, and Fuller’s first female tenure-track faculty member, Hendrika Vande Kemp. “We made it clear that women are welcome, and they showed up,” said trustee Max De Pree about that time more than 40 years ago. “If you were a woman and you felt called to ministry, you could go to Fuller.” For decades now, Fuller has welcomed women equally into all its programs.

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Copyright Fuller Theological Seminary 2019


More information can be found on the Fuller Seminary Website at https://www.fuller.edu/womeninministry/.