“Women’s Rites: A Podcast about Women’s Ordination” is written and produced by students taking courses in the Religion Department at Smith College.
Our newest season details women’s ordination in the Episcopal Church, American Soto Zen Buddhism, and Reform Judaism. Students in Prof. David Howlett’s spring 2021 “Ordaining Women in America” course interviewed ordained women from each of these traditions and created episodes sharing their stories.
Season 1 (2020) explored the story of women’s ordination in Community of Christ, a church with a quarter million members and formerly named the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. This denomination began ordaining women in 1985. On the 35th anniversary of these first ordinations, students in Professor Howlett’s “Mormonisms” course took a look back on the journey towards women’s ordination in Community of Christ. To do so, students interviewed women ordained in the first decade after the 1985 policy change, women who went on to be leaders in Community of Christ.
On this website, you can listen to each episode from seasons 1 and 2, as well as read background essays about women’s ordination in Community of Christ, the Episcopal Church, Soto Zen Buddhism, and Reform Judaism. You can also access links to related projects and groups.
(Featured photo: Rev. Valerie Bailey Fischer performs a baptism at St. John’s Episcopal Church, Northampton, MA. Photo used with permission.)