Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Letha Dawson Scanzoni papers, 1963 -- 2019

Summary Information


Letha Dawson Scanzoni is an evangelical feminist activist and writer specializing in topics of gender, marriage, sex education, theology, women's subordination, and lesbian and gay rights. She was a founding member of the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus (EWC/EEWC) and editor of EEWC Update and the EEWC-CFT website from their inception to her retirement in 2013. The collection contains her research materials, publications, correspondence, and EWC/EEWC administrative and conference materials.

At a Glance

Bib ID 15490646 View CLIO record
Creator(s) Scanzoni, Letha
Title Letha Dawson Scanzoni papers, 1963 -- 2019
Physical Description 7.25 linear feet (7.25 linear feet; 16 boxes and 2 oversized boxes); 2 units (2 website crawls)
Language(s) English .

This collection is open for research.

Onsite storage.



This collection is arranged in 3 series: Series 1: Writings, 1963-2009; Series 2: Evangelical Women's Caucus, 1974-2017; Series 3: EEWC Update and EEWC Website Administration, 1984-2017.


Scope and Contents

The collection contains Scanzoni's research, publications, correspondence, and EWC/EEWC administrative and conference materials from the 1960s-2010s.

  • Series 1: Writings, 1963 -- 2006

    This series contains Scanzoni's research, drafts, publications, and writing-related correspondence from 1963-2009. Materials cover a variety of writing formats, including newspaper articles, gospel tracts, bible study workbooks, sociology textbook entries, journal articles, and full-length manuscripts.

  • Series 2: Evangelical Women's Caucus (EWC/EEWC), 1974 -- 2017

    This series contains materials related to Scanzoni's involvement in the activities of the Evangelical Women's Caucus (EWC), renamed the Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus (EEWC), since its inception. The bulk of the series is material related to EWC/EEWC conference planning and attendance, including many materials for the years in which Scanzoni served as planning committee chair, 1980 and 1996. Personal correspondence with other EWC/EEWC members is contained in this collection.

  • Series 3: EEWC Update and Website Administration, 1984 -- 2019

    This series contains correspondence and administrative records relating to Scanzoni's editing and management of EWC/EEWC's periodical Update beginning in [date] and the EEWC website (www.eewc.com) from its launch in 1996 to 2013. This collection also provides access to webcrawls of Scanzoni's personal website, Letha's Calling, and several Chrsitian feminist blogs she co-wrote with other EEWC members.

Burke Library record group:

Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship (AWTS)

Using the Collection

Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for research.

Onsite storage.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material in this collection may be protected by copyright and other rights. Information concerning copyright, fair use, and reproduction requests can be consulted at Columbia's Copyright Advisory Office.

Preferred Citation

Item description, AWTS: Letha Dawson Scanzoni papers, 1963-2019, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Related Materials

AWTS: Nancy A. Hardesty papers, circa 1960 -- 2002, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.

AWTS: Evangelical and Ecumenical Women's Caucus-Christian Feminism Today Records, circa 1949 -- 2012, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Letha Dawson Scanzoni donated her records to the Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship in 2016. Material was added to the collection in 2018.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Processing Information

When the Burke Library acquired Scanzoni's papers, an attempt was made to maintain the original order she imposed throughout the course of her life as well as the order of the All We're Meant to Be materials that were pre-organized by archivist Ruth Tonkiss Cameron. Folded materials were flattened. Staples, rubber bands, and metal clips were removed and replaced with plastic clips. All materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes.The collection of The Sunday-School Times and The Sunday Times ranging from 1964-1966 was deaccessioned for inclusion in the Burke Library Periodicals Collection. Included printed books authored by Scanzoni [deaccessioned books] were deaccessioned for inclusion in the Burke Library Collection. Duplicate copies of materials throughout the collection were deaccessioned and shredded. During the original accessioning process in 2016, a shipping box containing a megaphone ordered by library staff was accidentally included in the accessioned lot of eight shipping boxes and one record carton from Scanzoni. The megaphone and box were deaccessioned from the collection during processing. This collection was processed and finding aid created by graduate intern Kit Hermanson under the supervision of Leah Edelman in 2023.

Subject Headings

The subject headings listed below are found in this collection. Links below allow searches at Columbia University through the Archival Collections Portal and through CLIO, the catalog for Columbia University Libraries, as well as ArchiveGRID, a catalog that allows users to search the holdings of multiple research libraries and archives.

All links open new windows.


Heading "CUL Archives:"
"CUL Collections:"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
Evangelical & Ecumenical Women's Caucus Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Evangelicalism -- United States -- History Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Feminism -- Religious aspects -- Christianity Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID
Scanzoni, Letha -- : Archives Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

Letha Dawson Scanzoni was born in Pittsburgh in 1935 to a mainline Protestant family. She grew in her faith throughout her childhood, experiencing a religious awakening in high school with an evangelical group that led her to a decision to dedicate her life to Christian ministry. She originally attended Eastman School of Music at University of Rochester (1952-1954) before transferring to the Sacred Music program at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago (1954-1956). From 1956-1983 she was married to sociologist John Scanzoni, with whom she co-wrote many academic, popular, and Christian articles and books on the sociology of gender, sexuality, and marriage. During this time she also wrote gospel tracts, bible study workbooks, and parenting articles for presses like Union Gospel Press, the Moody Bible Institute, and the American Sunday-School Union. She received her BA in Religious Studies from Indiana University (1972). In 1974, Dawson Scanzoni became one of the founding members of the Evangelical Women's Caucus, a feminist group that grew out of Evangelicals for Social Action. This coincided with the publication of a controversial book authored by Dawson Scanzoni and Nancy Hardesty, All We're Meant to Be: A Biblical Approach to Women's Liberation. At EWC national conferences from 1975-1986, she and other members pushed for lesbian inclusion in the organization and a gay rights platform, leading to a factionalization of the Caucus and the creation of the more socially conservative Christians for Biblical Equality in 1986. According to EWC/EEWC members, this conflict was precipitated by the publication of Scanzoni's Is the Homosexual My Neighbor? with Virginia Ray Mollenkott in 1978. She remained a dedicated member of EWC (later EEWC and EEWC-CFT) for forty years, organizing conferences, editing the periodical publication Update, and managing the website until her retirement in 2013. As of 2023, Scanzoni continues to occasionally write and speak about feminism, Christianity, and LGBTQ+ issues.