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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Women of the Wartburg Theological Seminary collection.

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1983-2009
Creator: Everist, Norma Cook (1939-)
Extent: 2.50 linear inches.
Collection Number: IWA0891
Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Summary: Lutheran Seminary in Dubuque which began admitting women in 1970.

Alternate Extent Statement: DVDs in Box 1

Access: The papers are open for research.

Use: Copyright has been retained by the donor.

Acquisition: The papers (donor no. 1239) were donated by Norma Cook Everist in 2010.

Preferred Citation: Women of Wartburg Theological Seminary collection, Iowa Women's Archives, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City.

Repository: Iowa Women's Archives
Address: 100 Main Library
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5068
Curator: Kären Mason

The Wartburg Theological Seminary was founded in Dubuque, Iowa, in 1854. The seminary began admitting women as degree candidates in 1970, when the American Lutheran Church (now the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America) resolved that women could be eligible for call and ordination. By 1983, over one hundred women had enrolled in seminary; they formed a close-knit community, supporting one another as they navigated their roles as women in the church.

Norma Cook Everist, theologian, author, and Wartburg Theological Seminary professor, was born in northern Iowa in 1938. She studied religion at Valparaiso University and became a deaconess in 1960. She was called to serve in St. Louis, Missouri and earned an M.A. in religion at the Concordia Seminary in St. Louis in 1964. After working in Detroit, Michigan, and New Haven, Connecticut, Everist enrolled at Yale Divinity School, completing her master’s in divinity in 1976. She was ordained in 1977 and started teaching at Wartburg in 1979, becoming the seminary's first female faculty member and, in 1984, the first woman to achieve tenure in any Lutheran seminary. In 1988, Everist received a Ph.D. from the University of Denver and remained active in the Lutheran Church, publishing widely and lecturing at venues across the country.

The Women of Wartburg Theological Seminary collection dates from 1983 to 2009 and measures 2.5 linear inches.
The collection includes copies of two booklets published by the seminary: "And the Women Come One Hundred and More" (1983), and "And Still the Women Come" (1987). These booklets contain biographical information and personal narratives from the women of the Wartburg seminary, which trace their experiences leading up to enrolling at seminary and their post-graduation plans. While some women were from Iowa, many more were from surrounding Midwestern states and locations outside the U.S.

The collection also includes copies of The Persistent Voice, a bimonthly newsletter published by the Women Theological Students of Wartburg (WTSW). These newsletters contain short articles, book reviews, letters, and anecdotes from WTSW members as well as seminary alumni across the country. The Persistent Voice was founded in January 1990, with Everist serving as faculty editor; in 2012 it moved to an online format. The collection contains its inaugural issue and subsequent issues through 2009.

Also included in the collection are three DVDs. Recorded in 2009, the videos provide a first-person account of Everist's life, starting with her early religious studies and ending with her arrival at Wartburg and completion of her Ph.D.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • 'And the Women Came One Hundred and More…'' - 1983
  • 'And Still the Women Came'' - 1987
  • Ordinary Ministry, Extraordinary Challenge'' - 2000
  • The Persistent Voice'' - 1990-1999
  • The Persistent Voice'' - 2000-2009
  • Norma Cook Everist-DVD 1 - 2009
  • Norma Cook Everist-DVD 2 - 2009
  • Norma Cook Everist-DVD 3 - 2009