Diane Weddington graduated from Duke Divinity in 1976, though she now says she never should have gone to seminary for several reasons.
A devout Episcopalian, Duke was oriented to preparing Methodist men for ministry in small North Carolina parishes, she
wasn't there to find a husband, either, and the courses didn't compare to those she
took as a Duke undergraduate studying religion, she
As a female student at Duke Divinity, she and others took on "sexist language, sexist professors, bad field education placements, the stained-glass ceiling - women placed in the smallest churches and not given any high offices - male peers who thought women belonged barefoot in a kitchen, and sometimes even the right to have the education."
years at Duke, Weddington
developed ties with other like-minded women as enrollment increased and their collective voice was heard, she
It was also during her
time at Duke that she
saw Episcopal women gain ordination as priests.
met women at the first Women's Interseminary Conference, held at Yale
It brought a newfound sisterhood for those who sought it, Weddington
, who now lives in California, is originally from North Carolina and returns to Duke annually for a summer public policy professorship.
"I've watched the Divinity School
grow physically, its student body come to include women, its women go on to hold high church offices and lead bigger parishes," she
"But I've also watched some of the same issues continue to roil - language, homophobia, ingrained resentment of women, lesser regard for female scholars, and to my personal discomfort, an increasing evangelical tone and student body makeup."
After Duke, Weddington became a writer, professor and national parks artist, among other jobs.
School has inched onward, also, but I think still has a long way to go.
The traces of homophobia, sexism and cultural exclusion still arise, and still cloud the vision of what could be," she
Jean Rodenbough entered Duke Divinity
School in 1977, after Stokes and Weddington