Summarized by Kent Larsen
Religion department looks for qualified women
(BYU) NewsNet 26Jan00 D3
By Emily Cannon: NewsNet Staff Writer
PROVO, UTAH -- BYU's College of Religious Education is trying to correct
an imbalance in the number of men and women on its faculty. Currently
the college has 69 men and just five women teaching, "We are not
discriminating against men, but we would love to have more outstanding
female scholars," said Associate Dean Brent L. Top.
The college says there are several reasons for the lack of women among
its teachers. Few women are qualified, says Top, "In Religious Education
the kind of woman we would really want may not have a doctorate." Others
have chosen to pursue careers elsewhere. And, of course, many women
simply want to stay home with their families, "Many women are completely
devoted to the gospel, the prophets and the restoration of the church,
but they may have a strong desire to be home with their families and may
not want to teach full-time."
One of the faculty, Camille Fronk, assistant professor of ancient
scripture, said that women are often not encouraged to get a doctorate.
In her own case, Fronk didn't even consider religious education as a
career, but the Church Education System encouraged her to teach
seminary. "BYU was the last thing I thought of but it has been the best
thing for me," Fronk said.
However, the college's requirements are a little easier than those in
most areas. Cynthia Doxey, an assistant professor of church history and
doctrine, did her graduate work in Family Sciences. She thinks that the
situation will get better over time, "I think there are more women
pursuing graduate degrees and we will see more being hired," Doxey said.
But even among those in the seminary training program, the ratio is low.
According to Patricia McClure, secretary in the seminary training
office, the program has just 11 women out of 45 students.