Lutheran Women & Missions Around the World

About the Project

This site features historical research done by students in the first-year seminar “Religion and Gender in American History,” taught at Pacific Lutheran University in Spring 2017 (Professor Seth Dowland). This seminar is part of the PLU Cornerstones program, funded by a generous grant from the Mellon Foundation.

Students researched the records of the Lutheran Women’s Missionary Foundation, housed in the PLU Archives and Special Collections. These records document the work of Lutheran women in the Pacific Northwest in sponsoring global mission work. Most of the records are from the 1950s and 1960s; the chronological scope ranges from the 1920s to the 1980s.

We offer this research to the public as a way of documenting these women’s work and providing analysis of this moment in Lutheran history. These stories speak to the motivations of women who supported Lutheran missions, as well as to the ways they viewed the world. We hope their stories shed light on women’s centrality in Lutheran history, as well as the changing nature of mission work in the mid-twentieth century.

We thank archivist Kerstin Ringdahl and librarian Amy Stewart-Mailhiot for their invaluable research assistance. We also thank Professor Scott Rogers for technical support.

You may read the assignment prompt for students here.

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