Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary
 

International Association of Women Ministers records, 1920 -- 2003

Summary Information

Abstract

The International Association of Women Ministers was organized (originally named the International Association of Women Preachers) on November 21, 1919 at the YWCA in St. Louis, Missouri, to develop an enabling fellowship among women ministers; promote equal ecclesiastical rights for women; urge women to qualify for increased efficiency in Christian service; and encourage consecrated and capable women to take up the work of Christian ministry. The collection consists of the records kept by the governing board of the IAWM including membership records, board minutes, financial records, photographs, subject files, and periodicals including the organization's newsletter, The Woman's Pulpit.

At a Glance

Bib ID 5628275 View CLIO record
Creator(s) International Association of Women Ministers
Title International Association of Women Ministers records, 1920 -- 2003
Physical Description 11.5 linear feet (11.5 linear feet; 25 boxes)
Language(s) English .
Access

This collection is open for research.

Onsite storage.

Arrangement

Arrangement

This collection is arranged in 7 series: 1. Executive Board records, 1920-2002; 2. Annual Assembly, 1922-2002; 3. Regional Chapters, 1989-2001; 4. Membership records, 1945-2001; 5. Photographs, 1972-1999; 6. The Woman's Pulpit, 1922-2003; 7. Audiovisual materials, 1987-1995.

Description

Scope and Contents

This collection contains records kept by the executive board of the IAWM, including correspondence, executive board meeting minutes, a copy of the constitution, and organizational by-laws; records related to the annual gatherings held by the IAWM and its predecessor, American Association of Women Ministers (AAWM), including minutes of the assembly, correspondence, brochures, participant packets, budgetary information and planning material; records of the Pittsburgh Regional Association, including financial records, membership lists, board minutes, newsletters, clippings, and correspondence; records kept by the IAWM secretary concerning the membership of the organization, including membership directories, prayer calendars, and individual and institutional membership records; photographs documenting the activities of the IAWM, including photos from annual assemblies; print, bound and microfilmed versions of The Women's Pulpit; and recordings of sermons given by IAWM members.

  • Series 1: Executive Board records, 1920 -- 2002

    This series contains records kept by the executive board of the IAWM, including correspondence, executive board meeting minutes, a copy of the constitution, and organizational by-laws. The correspondence in this series is primarily between the executive officers of the IAWM. Also included are planning notes for assembly preparation, subject files, financial records, and reports from the IAWM historian.

  • Series 2: Annual Assembly, 1922 -- 2002

    This series contains records related to the annual gatherings held by the IAWM and its predecessor, American Association of Women Ministers (AAWM). Assemblies were held at a different location every year, including some international destinations in the 1990s. Women who attended these gatherings participated in bible studies, a business meeting, workshops, and social events. Materials include minutes of the assembly, correspondence, brochures, participant packets, budgetary information and planning material. Some years only have a copy of the assembly program.

  • Series 3: Regional Chapters, 1989 -- 2001

    This series contains the records of the Pittsburgh Regional Association, including financial records, membership lists, board minutes, newsletters, clippings, and correspondence. IAWM, though a national association, was an organization designed to support the efforts of women in ministry and was comprised of smaller, regional chapters. These local chapters were governed by elected boards, collected dues, and held monthly activities such as luncheons and retreats.

  • Series 4: Membership records, 1945 -- 2001

    This series contains records kept by the IAWM secretary concerning the membership of the organization, including membership directories, prayer calendars, and individual and institutional membership records. The bulk of files record the payment of dues and a brief biography for each member, including the activities and accomplishments of members as noted in newspaper clippings, bulletins, photographs, and obituaries.

  • Series 5: Photographs, 1972 -- 1999

    This series contains photographs documenting the activities of the IAWM, including photos from annual assemblies. Most photos include identifying information on the back of the photograph; some photos are unidentified.

  • Series 6: The Women's Pulpit, 1922 -- 2003

    This series contains print, bound and microfilmed versions of The Women's Pulpit; some issues are missing. The publication was published quarterly since 1922 under the same name, despite the name changes of the organization itself. The journal was first issued after the first Assembly to give an account of it to the membership, with information concerning the organization's history, programs, and activities, as well as news of member activities and accomplishments, poems, sermons, book reviews, and articles concerning women's ordination.

  • Series 7: Audiovisual materials, 1987 -- 1995

    This series contains recordings of sermons given by IAWM members and a Billy Graham evangelizing class. The video is a presentation given by Rev. Hilda Frank Seaters at the annual IAWM meetings held in Portland, OR (1994) and Memphis, TN (1995).

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: International Association of Women Ministers records, 1920-2003, series #, box #, folder #, The Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Accruals

Materials may have been added to the collection since this finding aid was prepared. Contact burkespecial@library.columbia.edu for more information.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

The International Association of Women Ministers donated its records to the Archives of Women in Theological Scholarship in 2000. Material was added to the collection in 2001.

About the Finding Aid / Processing Information

Columbia University Libraries, Burke Library at Union Theological Seminary

Processing Information

When the Burke Library acquired the records of the International Association of Women Ministers, an attempt was made to maintain the original order of the material. olded 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 finding aid was created by Leslie Reyman in 2001, revised by Elizabeth Russey in 2004, and edited by Leah Edelman in 2022.

Revision Description

2022-05-19 PDF converted to EAD and description updated by Leah Edelman.

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.

Subject

Heading "CUL Archives:"
"Portal"
"CUL Collections:"
"CLIO"
"Nat'l / Int'l Archives:"
"ArchivedGRID"
International Association of Women Ministers -- : Archives Portal CLIO ArchiveGRID

History / Biographical Note

Biographical / Historical

"I want to get in touch with some women who are preaching, like myself. I know so few, and there must be others." With these words a Kansas woman organized "The American Association of Women Preachers" in 1919. The organization of the now named International Association of Women Preachers took place on November 21, 1919 at the YWCA in St. Louis, Missouri. The founding officers were: Rev. Dr. Madeline Southard, President; Rev. Lida M. Herrick, Recording Secretary; Rev. Ella L. Kroft, Treasurer; and Rev. Mary Sibbitt, Auditor. Southard was a Methodist minister from Kansas. From its founding, the Association has had a four-fold purpose: first, to develop an enabling fellowship among women ministers; second, to promote equal ecclesiastical rights for women; third, to urge women to qualify for increased efficiency in Christian service; and fourth, to encourage consecrated and capable women to take up the work of ministry. Active membership is limited to "Christian women who are officially licensed, ordained, or authorized as clergy; also women who meet the above requirements, but whose denominations do not authorize women to serve as ministers." There are also other strata of membership, including fraternal sustaining, student, retired, and life members. In 1923 William Jennings Bryan became the first fraternal member. Article IV of their constitution states that "the regular meetings of the Association shall be an Assembly held annually or at the call of the executive board." The first assembly was held in Evanston, Illinois in 1920. The Assembly has met every year since its inception. It has met outside the United States five times, including the 2001 Assembly, which met in Aotearoa, New Zealand. In 1930 the Association became an American operation, but forty years later it reclaimed its international identity becoming the International Association of Women Ministers. Over 20% of its current membership resides outside of the United States.