Thursday, January 10, 2008

A Degree in Social Progression

Normally, I read Women's Health Magazine from cover to cover. The stories are interesting, the models look like real women, and the information varies from nutrition, exercise, women's medical reports, etc. So my subscription came in the mail, and I started my routine of reading the contents. As I got to the end, I got to the article of a summary of 2007. When I got to the "bottoms" of 2007, or the negative points for women, I saw my school highlighted, as offering a degree in social regression, by offering a degree in homemaking. Pretty upset with the bias of the magazine, I wrote a letter to the editor. So in the likely event that this letter won't make it into the printed magazine, I thought I would take the liberty to post it here.

Dear Editor,

Normally, I am extremely pleased with the contents of Women’s Health. The articles are usually informative and entertaining, as well as unbiased and clearly researched. However, I was highly disappointed in your article displaying the homemaking degree at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary as a degree in social regression. First, your magazine regularly features celebrity moms who are praised for putting their careers on hold to raise their children. How is offering this degree any different? Is it foolish to study law if you aim to be a lawyer? Should you show up to be a doctor without attending medical school? The women who study in this program are seeking to learn ways to bring their children up grounded in biblical truth and maintain a healthy home environment. Obviously, with mothers like Britney Spears, society isn't doing a great job at training moms to run a household. We can't assume that all women have great mothers who teach them these lessons as they are growing up. Also, I attend Southwestern, but I'm not in the homemaking degree program. I am in my second year of the Masters of Divinity program, composed of 102 hours in advanced theological studies, as well as intensive study of Greek and Hebrew. Within the Masters of Divinity, a concentration is offered in Women’s Studies to examine issues like feminist hermeneutics and women in missions. There are seminaries that do not allow women to participate in advanced biblical studies, but Southwestern does. In fact, Dorothy Patterson, wife of Southwestern’s president, has two doctoral degrees in theology. Terri Stovall, the dean of Women’s Programs, has a PhD in education. Laura Zettler, the director of the homemaking program, has her doctorate in human environmental sciences. Southwestern is far from social regression for women. Women have the flexibility to study here, no matter what God’s call is for their life. If that's not progressive, I'm not sure what is.

1 comment:

Jeff said...

That's a great word Michelle. Thanks for writing it. Even if it never gets published, it was quite a piece. Glad I found your blog. See ya round campus.

Esther 4:14b

"And who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"