Women have been active participants throughout the history of Yale Divinity School. They first made vital contributions to YDS as the wives of faculty and students, and then later as faculty, staff, students, and mentors themselves. This exhibit celebrates the personal accomplishments and contributions of the women of YDS to the life and legacy of the school.
It spotlights twelve “Trailblazers”: some of first women students, faculty, and administrators of Yale Divinity School. The exhibit opens with Lottie Genevieve Bishop and Ethel Zivley Rather, the first women documented to have taken a course at YDS, during the 1907 academic year. It then moves through to the contemporary period by highlighting the recent appointment of Sarah Birmingham Drummond, the first woman installed as Dean of Andover Newton Seminary, in September 2019. The exhibit features leaders in the feminist movement and women’s ordained ministry, including The Rev. Dr. Emilie M. Townes, The Rev. E. Lee McGee Street, Margaret Farley, the Rev. Letty Russell, and others. These women describe their experiences in their own words, through archival writings and through newly digitized oral history interviews.