• Baylor prof gives voice to Baptist women with new oral history project

    Dr. Mandy McMichael outside Pat Neff Hall

    As a professor in Baylor’s Department of Religion and an ordained Baptist minister, Dr. Mandy McMichael has long appreciated the stories of those who came before her. Now, she’s working to make sure those stories are preserved for (and shared with) future generations.

    McMichael is interviewing dozens of women for an oral history project, “Baptist Women in Ministry: In their Own Words,” hearing the stories of their experiences — their calls to ministry, the responses, challenges, joys and more. The project is supported by the Louisville Institute and the Baylor Institute for Oral History, and will preserve the stories of Baptist women for future generations.

    “I’m interested in how women have lived out their religious experience, both inside the church and outside the church’s walls,” explains McMichael. “And so, most of my research has some kind of thread that has to do with women’s stories and how they are living out their faith in their day-to-day lives. … Many of them have never been asked to share their stories before, and they feel a deep sense of obligation to share their stories — for the recording of the history of Baptist Women in Ministry, but also for the future women ministers who come after them. It has really been a gift to share that space with them.”

    Key topics of conversation include the call to ministry, Christian vocation, creativity, challenges and more. The archives will eventually live within the Baylor Institute for Oral History for future scholars and ministers to access, and McMichael plans to create a bibliography of associated books, podcasts, articles and more to bring as much information about Baptist women in ministry into one place as possible.

    Sic ’em, Dr. McMichael!

    [LISTEN: Hear more from McMichael in this March 2022 episode of the Baylor Connections podcast.]

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