Crystal Colbert to present paper at Luther Seminary

This article submitted by Linda Stelling on 3/31/98.

Crystal Colbert, a sophomore at Coe College, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, has been elected to present her research paper at the Luther Seminary, St. Paul on April 18.

A native of Paynesville, Colbertís paper is entitled: ďAttitudes, Practices and Justification of Womenís Ordination in Four Christian Churches Within Cedar Rapids Area.Ē

Colbert received a scholarship grant through Minorities Scholars in Academic Careers. ďI hadnít decided upon my major yet and I had taken a course on the New Testament,Ē Colbert said. ďI asked a professor for suggestions on what to write my paper on. The number of men and women in seminary are split equally. However, the women usually get assigned to smaller, less prestigious churches,Ē she added.

For her paper, Colbert talked with women pastors and lay members in four churches in Cedar Rapids: the Evangelical Lutheran Church, Greek Orthodox Church, a nondenominational church and the U.S.A. Presbyterian Church.

ďThe women in the Presbyterian and Lutheran churches ordain women and have done so for a number of years. The other two churches do not ordain women. Many women I talked to said they would not go to a church where a woman was pastor,Ē Colbert said.

Colbert grew up and has been active in the Lutheran church. ďI found it interesting to see the other perspective which the women presented,Ē she said. ďIn some of the churches, they had women ordained in the ministry, but they were not in the pulpit but served as youth leaders or music directors.Ē

She added the Presbyterians were the oldest group she talked to. ďWhen they received their first woman pastor, many felt uncomfortable about it, but were willing to give her a chance and found she was just as good as a man in the pulpit.Ē

Colbert said it was a little scary doing a mini thesis. She is active in the religion club at college and serves as the clubís secretary.

She made a 20-minute presentation in October at Knox College in Illinois. ďI havenít looked at the paper since and will need to do a little homework before going to Luther. ďIím excited about going to Luther. I donít consider the paper done because I would like to do more with it,Ē she added.

Colbert is the daughter of Roy and Cheryl Colbert, Paynesville. She has a double major in English and psychology.

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