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Women & Religion

Amy Carmichael (1867-1951)

  • Northern Irish Evangelist who devoted herself to campaigning against child marriage while one a missionary trip in Southern India.
  • She also campaigned against the wrongful treatment of widows and temple prostitution.
  • In 1901, she founded the Dohnavur Fellowship to help fund education for Indian girls and boys that had been sold into prostitution.
  • In 1916, She founded the Sisters of the Common Life, a group of missionaries and reformers and then she retreated to a place recognized as the “Gray Jungle.” While there, she took in many orphaned and destitute children.


“Amy Carmichael.” BU,


"Carmichael, Amy Wilson." Encyclopedia of Women Social Reformers, Helen Rappaport, ABC-CLIO, 2001. Credo Reference, Accessed 11 Nov 2016.




Beth Moore (1957- )

  • Beth Moore is a Christian evangelist who uses her Living Proof Ministries to reach women around the world.
  • She was born in 1957 during what was considered one of the worst thunderstorms in the Green Bay, Wisconsin area at the time.
  • She was a victim of child abuse and instead of letting it take hold of her, Beth overcame it and now uses her experience as a way to connect with other women.
  • She is the founder of the Living Proof Ministry which is an organization that is focused on encouraging people to know and love Jesus Christ.


Bailey, Sarah Pulliam. "Beth Moore." Christianity Today, 56.9 (2012): 31. Religion and

Philosophy Collection. Web. 14 Nov. 2016.


“Beth Moore.” Faith Radio, 19 June 2015,


BubbleUp, LTD. "About | Living Proof Ministries." Living Proof Ministries. Living Proof

Ministries, 2015. Web. 16 Nov. 2016.

Carol Keehan (1944- )

  • In October of 2005, became the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Catholic Health Association of the United States which has more than 600 member institutions (Chausa).
  • She was on the board chair of Ascension Health's Sacred Heart Health System and honorably served 35 years in positions of governance in hospitals that were sponsored by the Daughters of Charity.
  • She advocates daily for affordable healthcare for those who are in need and is currently working to help draft legislation to expand healthcare coverage. A belief of hers is that “ cannot subscribe to Catholic social teaching without advocating for affordable healthcare.” (Opus Prize).
  • She has been awarded and honored with the Pro Ecclesia et Pontifice which was bestowed by Pope Benedict XVI, the Medal of Honor, and the American Hospital Association’s Trustee Award and Friend of Children Award from the Children’s National Medical Center.
  • She was named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Most Influential People in the World” in 2010 and in 2013 was a finalist for the Opus Prize. She has constantly been an advocate for women having a place within the Catholic church and stated "When we do bring the gift of feminism from the U.S., let's bring the best of it.


Manske, Magnus. “Carol Keehan World Economic Forum 2013.Jpg.” Commons wikimedia, 27 Jan. 2013,


"SISTER CAROL KEEHAN." Modern Healthcare, 20 Apr. 2009, p. 28. Health Reference Center Academic, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.


"Sister Carol Keehan." Opus Prize. N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.


"SISTER CAROL KEEHAN, DC, RN, MS -" N.p., n.d. Web. 10 Nov. 2016.


DeGeorge, Gail. "Powerful Women Outline Role in Living out Pope's Message in Georgetown Panel." National Catholic Reporter. N.p., 26 Oct. 2015. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.

Cornelia Ten Boom (1892-1983)

  • Born On April 15, 1892 in Amsterdam, Netherlands: During World War II, the ten Booms made their home into a refuge for Jews and members of the Dutch underground to hide from Nazi soldiers
  • Corrie was a leader for the Haarlem underground, she would look for Dutch families that were brave enough to take in refugees and much of her time was spent caring for them once they were hiding
  • On February 28, 1944, the ten Booms were betrayed and their home was raided by a Nazi police. The Nazi seized everyone who went to the house and over 20 people were taken into custody including Corrie’s family
  • Corrie’s was free from the death camp and considered her life as a gift of God. At the age of 53 she started a worldwide ministry and testified God’s love. The Queen of Holland honored Corrie as a War Hero for everything her and her family accomplished. Corrie also planted a tree in a Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem in honor of the Jewish lives her family saved.


By Evening, over 20 People Had Been Taken into Custody! Casper, Corrie, and Betsie Were All Arrested. Corrie's Brother Willem, Sister Nollie, and Nephew Peter Were at the House That Day, and Were Also Taken to Prison. "About the Ten Booms:." About the Ten Booms. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.


“Corrie ten Boom.” PBSPublic Broadcasting Service,


"CORRIE TEN BOOM." The Dutch Resistance, n.d. Web. 15 Mar. 2017.


"Corrie ten Boom." Religious Leaders of America, Gale, 1999. Biography in Context, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

Elizabeth Ann Bayley (1774-1821)

  • Born into the upper class of New York, Elizabeth Ann Bayley married a wealthy man by the name William Seton when she was 20 years old.
  • After the death of her mother, her husband, and father in law, Elizabeth began to develop a strong relationship with God.
  • With the help of a few other Catholic women, Elizabeth had opened the first free Catholic school in America.
  • Over her lifetime, Elizabeth had also opened two orphanages for children and another Catholic school.
  • Like her husband, she suffered from a case of tuberculosis and died at the age of 46, a true Catholic for 16 years only.


"Elizabeth Ann Bayley Seton." Encyclopedia of World Biography, 2nd ed., vol. 14, Gale, 2004, pp. 118-119. Gale Virtual Reference Library,


"Elizabeth Ann Seton." Historic World Leaders, edited by Anne Commire, Gale, 1994. Biography in Context, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.


Verploegen, Nicki. Legacy of the Founders: From Monks to Missionaries. Eugene, Or.: Cascade, 2011. Print. 


Emma Hale Smith (1804-1877)

  • Wife of Joseph Smith, the founder of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. She was a young girl who fell in love, gave up her life and family, and devoted then her "new" life to supporting her husband and the growth of the Lord's church. It could be hypothesized that she was a cultural feminist, thriving in the belief that man and woman are not equal, but for a purpose.
  • Early leaders in Utah castigated Emma from their pulpits for opposing Brigham Young and the practice of polygamy, and for lending support to the Reorganization. As these attitudes filtered down through the years, Emma was virtually written out of official Utah Mormon histories" (Newell 20)
  • Emma received the title of "An Elect Lady", being the missing piece Joseph Smith needed to fulfill his God given duties. She served as a scribe for her husband in translating the golden plates into what is known today to be The Book of Mormon. She compiled dozens upon dozens of hymns into a book to be used for generations designed for church worship.
  • First general president of a church organization known as the Relief Society, one of the oldest and most prevalent service organizations in the world made up of exclusively women. To help prepare women for the blessings of eternal life by helping them increase faith and personal righteousness, strengthen families and homes, and seek out and help those in need.
  • Emma Smith provided, the women of the LDS church have broken out into a wildfire of service and love, towards essentially all people throughout the world


“Emma Hale Smith Bidamon.” Commons wikimedia, Brigham Young University. Dept. of Religious Education; Brigham Young University. Harold B. Lee Library, 2 Nov. 2011,


Johnson, Janiece Lyn. "Smith, Emma Hale." Mormonism: A Historical Encyclopedia, edited by W. Paul Reeve and Ardis E. Parshall, ABC-CLIO, 2010, pp. 178-180. Gale Virtual Reference Library, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.


Newell, Linda King, and Valeen Tippetts Avery. Mormon Enigma: Emma Hale Smith. Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Group, 1994.


"Relief Society." The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. 2016, Accessed 9 Nov. 2016

Jane Manning James (1812-1908)

  • She was a black woman who lived with a wealthy white farmer named Joseph Fitch.
  • She converted to Mormonism and immigrated to Illinois with her family.
    • Her and her family walked over 800 miles on foot to reach their destination.
  • She got married and moved to Utah. She later had a child who was the first African American to be born in Utah.
  • She made significant contributions to the Mormon society.


Brown, Keith. “Jane Elizabeth Manning James – Black Mormon Pioneer”. About Mormons. 28 February 2016. Accessed 2 November. 2016.


“Jane Elizabeth Manning James.Jpg.” Commons wikimedia, 11 Nov. 2011,


McBrayer, Carl W. “Jane Elizabeth "Aunt Jane" Manning James.”, 21 Feb. 2005, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

Jarena Lee (1783-1850)

  • ​Jarena Lee became the first female preacher for the first African Methodist Episcopal Church.
  • She traveled on foot for a total of 2325 miles to delier her religious message.
  • Lee defied the gender biases of he church, and fought against the prejudices of women as minister of God.
  • Jarena Lee converted black as well as whites to Christianity as she preached along the Eastern Shore and into Illinois and Ohio.


"Jarena Lee." Notable Black American Women, Gale, 1992. Biography in Context, Accessed 11 Mar. 2017. 


"Lee, Jarena." Encyclopedia of African-American Writing. N.p.: n.p., 2009. N. pag. Web. 10

Joyce Meyer (1943- )

  • Meyer writes books, hosts a television show, and holds conferences.
  • One other aspect of Joyce Meyer that makes her so important in the religious world is that she found a way to teach others to find God even though they are going through a tough time in their life, she is able to show them that God is there with them through it all.
  • She uses her own experiences to be able to relate to all the people who come to listen to her, or read her books.
  • When Meyer was just a girl she had been sexually abused, and she had struggled in life a few times. Well, she uses these experiences to be able to relate better to people, she tells them that she found God even through all that she has been through.


"Joyce Meyer." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2015. Biography in Context,


Luzina, Myroslava. “Joyce meyer at hillsong conference kiev 2007 Oct04.” Commons wikimedia, 8 Oct. 2007,


Topic, By. "About Joyce." Joyce Meyer – Board Member. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Nov. 2016.<>.

Katherina Von Bora-Luther (1499-1550)

  • Katharina von Bora-Luther was born into the religion of Christianity. She was a runaway nun who went to marry the Protestant Parsonage, Martin Luther.
  • “She was known as the First Lady of the Protestant Parsonage, businesswoman of the Reformation, a role model for working wives, and a woman who exemplifies the inconsistencies of the transition between medieval and modern world views of women” (Smith, 1999).
  • She was in charge of the financial planning for the family, managed the farm, gardens, and household, and took care of their six children.
  • Katharina changed the expectations for women of this time and is greatly acknowledged for that. Katharina von Bora- Luther was a role model for many Christian women back then and even to this very day by the way she treated her husband, children, and her duties around her house.
  • “Peace and sorrow. May the marriage of Martin and Katie, as well as their love for their children, remind us today of Christ’s love for his church and the Father’s love for us as his redeemed children” (Barrett, 2011).


Barrett, M. (2011, Ausgust 3). Christian Living. Retrieved from The Gospel Coalition:


“Cranach Katharina von Bora.Jpg.” Commons wikimedia, 6 Aug. 2010,


"Katherine von Bora Luther." Encyclopedia of World Biography, vol. 29, Gale, 2009. Biography in Context, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.


Smith, J. C. (1999). Katharina von Bora Through Five Centuries: A Histography. The Sixteenth Century Journal, 745-774.

Maria Skobtsova (1891-1945)

  • Even before Maria Skobtsova was canonized a saint, she impacted both Eastern Orthodox Christians and Jews to such an extent that she became known as Mother Maria.
  • To avoid wrongful persecution, Skobtsova fled to France where she began her work with the Russian Orthodox Student Christian Movement (“Skobtsova, Maria").
  • In 1932, Skobtsova became a nun after she was granted an ecclesiastical divorce from her husband and took her monastic vows, under an explicit request that she remain in the secular world and not be forced into isolation (“Skobtsova, Maria").
  • Although her makeshift convent was still no more than a shelter, it was transformed into a real refuge during the Nazi persecution; it was then that Mother Maria’s home became flooded with Jews who were attempting to escape the tyranny of the Nazis (Benevitch 19).
  • Eventually the house was closed, and in 1943 Mother Maria was arrested by the Nazis and sent to Ravensbrück, a concentration camp (“Skobtsova, Maria"). Maria Skobtsova’s legacy was ended in a gas chamber in 1945 (“Skobtsova, Maria").


Benevitch, Grigori. "The Saving of the Jews: The Case of Mother Maria (Scobtsova)."

Occasional Papers on Religion in Eastern Europe 20.1 (2000): 1-23. Digital Commons. Georgefox, 2000. Web. 9 Nov. 2016.



“Elizaveta Kuzmina-Karavaeva.jpg.” Commons wikimedia, 12 Aug. 2011,


Frykholm, Amy. "True evangelical faith: insights of a martyred Orthodox nun." The Christian Century, vol. 133, no. 25, 2016, p. 28+. Biography in Context, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.


“Skobtsova, Maria (1891 to 1945)." Chambers Dictionary of World History, edited by Lenman, Bruce and Hilary Marsden, Chambers Harrap, 2005. Credo Reference, Accessed 10 Nov 2016.

Mary Douglas Glasspool (1954- )

  • Born February 23, 1954 in New York, Mary Douglas Glasspool serves as a suffragan, a position for a bishop that serves as an assistant to the diocesan bishop in the Cathedral, simultaneously holding the second-highest position in the clergy.
  • She became a deacon in 1981 and a priest in 1982.
  • Throughout her life, she has been a strong advocate for LGBT rights.
  •  Mary Douglas Glasspool was one of the first two female bishops ordained into the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles on May 17, 2010.


CNN. "Los Angeles Episcopalians Elect Lesbian Bishop." CNN. Cable News Network, 06 Dec. 2009. Web. 8 Nov. 2016.


Landsberg, Mitchell. "CALIFORNIA; L.A.'s First Female Episcopal Bishops are Ordained; Diane Jardine Bruce and Mary Douglas Glasspool are Greeted with Applause, Cheers." Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles, Calif., 2010.


Rapp, Linda. “Glasspool, Mary.” Http://, GLBTQ, 2015, Accessed 11 Mar. 2017.


“The Rev. Canon Mary D. Glasspool .” Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles | Glasspool,


Mary Eddy Baker (1821-1910)

  • She was an author, religious leader, and spiritual healer
  • Recognized as one of the “most influential woman in American history”
  • She is the only American woman to have founded a religion that is recognized all over the world- Christian Science
  • She was an advocate for spiritual healing through loving God and equality of the sexes


"Eddy, Mary Baker." The Columbia Encyclopedia, Columbia University, and Paul Lagasse,

Columbia University Press, 2016. Credo Reference, Accessed 11 Nov 2016.


“Mary Baker Eddy.Jpg.” Library of Congress, 11 Feb. 2009,


"Mary (Morse) Baker Eddy." Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2003. Biography in Context, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

Mary Magdalene (Lived around the 1st century A.D.)

  • She was a very iconic figure in the bible
  • Her relationship and devotion to Jesus is a large contribution to women of the New Testament
  • There is often some debate over her relationship with Jesus
  • She is most known for her symbol of devotion and loyalty in the Christian faith


"Mary Magdalene, Apostle July 22, 2012." Currents in Theology and Mission, 39.2

(2012): 181+. Academic OneFile. Web. 2 Nov. 2016.

“Pietro Perugino.” Commons wikimedia, 20 May 2005,

Mother Teresa (1910-1997)

  • When Mother Teresa was sent to the town of Darjeeling in the Himalayan foothills of India, she received a divine message from God, then decided to devote her life to the betterment of society.
  • Mother Teresa started her own organization “Missionaries of Charity” to help the poorest of the poor in Kolkata.
  • She was the first to receive the Pope John XXIII peace prize, which was  given to her by Pope Paul VI in 1979.
  • Mother Teresa died in 1997 and Pope Paul II waived her five year waiting period to become a Saint in the Catholic Church.


Egan, E. “Mother Teresa” Encyclopedia of Global Religion, edited Wade Clark Roof, Rolf A. Janke, 2012, p. 831-832


“Matka tereza01.” Wikimedia, 20 Sept. 2005,


"Mother Teresa." Contemporary Heroes and Heroines, vol. 1, Gale, 1990. Biography in Context, Accessed 12 Mar. 2017.

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