Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975

By Sara M. Evans | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 10
Jan Griesinger

In my freshman year at DePauw University, in 1960,I decided to write my English term paper on the topic “Being a Minister's Wife.” My English professor thought it was a very strange topic. I was writing in part about my local church pastor's wife and how difficult it was for her to balance all the demands made on her. But I think I was writing myself a future—the only one I could imagine. No one had really asked me as a child, “What are you going to be when you grow up?” There was no need to ask, because women in my class and race—white, suburban, middle class—had only one future: husband and children.

I was the only woman in my graduating class at DePauw, a United Methodist college in Greencastle, Indiana, to major in religion. I was the only woman who entered the sermon-writing contest open to college students. In both situations, I felt odd. Certainly I had no name to put on the experience of being a minority of one, of feeling that male professors and students were nervous about my presence, that they saw my entering the sermon contest as a kind of joke. I knew I was being teased in class in a way different from my male colleagues. I believe now it was a form of flirting. Why did I persevere? Apparently I had come to see my future as working in and for the church. I liked the academic challenge of philosophy and theology. I think my competitive streak, nurtured in many card games growing up, led me to want to play this game, too. I had tried to play sandlot softball with the boys but was forever consigned to right field.

Church was an important activity in my family—a suburban Chicago family with two parents, three sisters, and a brother. We all went to Sunday school, Sunday worship, potlucks, and special activities. My parents took on leadership positions—typical ones, of course: my father on the church finance committee, my mother in the women's organization. When a director of Christian Education came to our church in 1959, when I was seventeen, I found

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Journeys That Opened Up the World: Women, Student Christian Movements, and Social Justice, 1955-1975
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page *
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments ix
  • Journeys That Opened Up the World *
  • Introduction 1
  • Notes *
  • Chapter 1 - Ruth Harris 15
  • Chapter 2 - Jeanne Audrey Powers 45
  • Chapter 3 - Rebecca Owen 66
  • Chapter 4 - Elmira Kendricks Nazombe 84
  • Chapter 5 - Jill Foreman 104
  • Chapter 6 - Charlotte Bunch 122
  • Chapter 7 - Tamela Hultman 140
  • Chapter 8 - M. Sheila Mccurdy 157
  • Chapter 9 - Alice Hageman 174
  • Chapter 10 - Jan Griesinger 191
  • Chapter 11 - Eleanor Scott Meyers 208
  • Chapter 12 - Nancy D. Richardson 226
  • Chapter 13 - The Repairer of the Breach (isaiah 58:12) 237
  • Chapter 14 - Renetia Martin 240
  • Chapter 15 - Frances E. Kendall 249
  • Chapter 16 - Margarita Mendoza De Sugiyama 262
  • Notes on Contributors 271
  • Index 275
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