Activities, Research, and Education

Thursday Lunches

The Shaw Center host a lunch almost every Thursday from 12:30-1:20.  Various students, professors, alumni, and faculty take turns presenting on issues and topics pertaining to women today.  Lunch, of course, is provided and all are welcome.

Women in the World

An annual conference discussing current issues affecting women both within and outside the church. This event attracts UMC pastors, friends of the Shaw Center, students at Boston University School of Theology, and many other attendees. Recently, we celebrated our 30th Anniversary of hosting this conference, where we looked back on the incredible speakers, topics, and moments of healing for women in ministry throughout the years. Topics discussed recently have included Women and Health, Leadership and power dynamics, Economic justice, and immigration. You can find more information and pictures here.

Clergywomen’s Retention Study

The Shaw Center under the leadership of Beth Collier, Shaw Scholar, and Margaret Wiborg, the former Director, completed a national study of United Methodist clergywomen. Findings will help the church assess how women see their role as ministers and what informs their decision to remain in the parish or seek other forms of ministry.  A second study was conducted by Choi, Hee An and Jacqueline Blue, Shaw Scholar,  from 2010-2012 to re-examine the state of clergywomen in the United Methodist Church in the early 21st Century. Copies of both studies are available from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of the United Methodist Church, (615) 340-7409. Reports may also be found here (II) and here (I).

Women’s Oral History Project

The Oral History Project documents the experiences of women who have been connected with the Boston University School of Theology and/or the United Methodist Church in the New England area. Ten oral histories, recorded on tape with transcriptions, are stored in the School of Theology library for public access. The project has held training events and will continue to provide resources and develop skills to unearth, preserve, and proclaim the histories of women in mission and ministry.

Shaw Scholar

Each year, a woman doctoral candidate at the School of Theology is designated a Shaw Scholar. The current Shaw Scholar is currently working on a Women’s Leadership Study. The Scholar’s role is to conduct research that relates to the goals of the Shaw Center and to participate in Shaw Center programs. Two recent examples of the work of Shaw Scholars are the Clergywomen’s Retention Study conducted by Beth Collier, and the co-leadership of the Rev. June Goudy at the AHSC’s 1994 Women and the Word, as well as the Women in immigrant churches study with the previous scholar, Laurel Scott.

Women’s Study Series

In the fall, faculty women lead a series of sessions for lay and clergywomen on topics ranging from “Women’s Sense of Self” to “Women and Power in the Early Church.”

Celebrating Anna

A yearly recognition of Anna Howard Shaw is held on or near her birthday (February 14) through the giving of Valentines in tribute to those who emulate Anna’s ministry, and a celebration or worship service at Boston University. In 1997, the 150th anniversary of Shaw’s birth was filled with a variety of events commemorating and celebrating women’s contributions to society. For a copy of the most recent worship service, please see A Service of Recognition and Remembrance for Anna Howard Shaw.