|Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary|
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At a Glance
This collection is arranged in four series: Series 1. Papers; Series 2. Books; Series 3. Audio-visual material; and Series 4. Oversized material.
Scope and Contents
This collection contains correspondence, sermons, lectures, course material, topical files, publications, photographs, faculty minutes, bibliographies, and newspaper clippings reflecting numerous areas of Heyward's activities and interests, including women's issues and racism; books written by Heyward, as well as other works from her personal collection; video and audiotapes of sermons, lectures, workshops, and interviews; and oversized material including a collection of pins, an award Bible, seeds, a press packet, adult curriculum (including filmstrips) and various periodicals.
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 contains some restricted material. Restrictions related to specific material are listed in the detailed contents list.
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.
Item description, AWTS: Carter Heyward papers, 1967-1999, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.
Immediate Source of Acquisition
Carter Heyward donated her papers to the Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship circa 2000, with additions in 2022. Accession AWTS-2023-007 was added to the collection in 2023.
About the Finding Aid / Processing Information
Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
When the Burke Library acquired Heyward's papers, an attempt was made to maintain the original order she imposed throughout the course of her career. Files noted with a $ signify photographs within that folder. Folded materials were flattened. Newspaper clippings were photocopied on acid free paper. Staples, rubber bands, and metal clips were removed and replaced with plastic clips. All materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes. The finding aid was created by Leslie Reyman in 2001, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2023.
2023-01-06 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.
History / Biographical Note
Biographical / Historical
Carter Heyward is an Episcopal priest known for her impassioned preaching. She is a pioneer in theological circles, specifically in the areas of feminist liberation theology and the theology of sexuality. She speaks on issues including religion, family values, addiction and recovery, and the quality of relationships we establish with each other. Heyward was born August 22, 1945 and raised in North Carolina. She graduated from Charlotte's East Mecklenburg High School in 1963. She received her undergraduate degree from Randolph-Macon Women's College in Lynchburg, Virginia in 1967. She then moved to New York City to begin a B.D. at Union theological seminary, but only stayed a year. Heyward moved back to Charlotte and worked in her home parish, St. Martin's Church, for the next year and a half as a lay assistant. She did all the duties except those reserved for priests while working there. In 1971 she returned to New York and earned a Master of Arts in the Comparative Study of Religion from Columbia University. In 1973 she earned her Master of Divinity at Union Theological Seminary. Heyward received a Ph.D. in systematic theology from Union in 1980. Heyward, called to the vocation of priesthood, was ordained priest on July 29, 1974 (the Feast day of Mary and Martha), along with ten other women. The ceremony violated church cannons and was not officially sanctioned by the church until 1976. In an emergency meeting held at Chicago's O'Hare airport on August 14, 1974, the House of Bishops voted immediately that the ordinations were not valid, calling them "irregular" and restricted the women from exercising their priestly functions. In January 1975, Heyward and fellow priest Suzanne Hiatt were hired as assistant professors at Episcopal Divinity School in Cambridge, Massachusetts. She received tenure as an Associate Professor in 1981. As a professor, Heyward's primary teaching concentrated on 19th century Anglican theology, feminist liberation theology and theology of sexuality. She proclaimed the possibilities for women to be priests, for lesbians to be theological and made way for new approaches to connecting the divine to the erotic, to justice, and to challenging boundaries. Her presence as a teacher, priest, activist, speaker and writer have pushed the edges of how feminists think about justice and has challenged the foundations on which 'community' is built.