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Women in Divinity School

March 30, 2014

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Profile America — Sunday, March 30th. The first theological school to admit female students for divinity degrees was formed on this date in 1871, when the Boston Theological Seminary merged with Boston University. The first woman matriculated in September of the following year, and the first female bachelor of divinity graduated in 1876. In 1880, the school's second female graduate, Anna Howard Shaw, became the first woman ordained in the Methodist church. Unlike today, the census of 1870 included a survey of churches. In that census, over 72,000 denominational organizations were counted, along with 63,000 church buildings. And Reverend Shaw's Methodist denomination numbered over 6.5 million. You can find more facts about America's people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at <www.census.gov>.

Sources: Kane's Famous First Facts, 3273

Historical Statistics of the United States: Colonial Times to 1970, p. 506, 526

Source: U.S. Census Bureau | Public Information Office | Last Revised: February 24, 2014