We are a group designed for African American women in ministry.
Women at the Well recognizes, celebrates, strengthens, and preserves women of color identity that is “deeply rooted in one’s heritage and gender." Glorify God with us!
Women at the Well was the brainchild of two women students at Louisville Seminary, Rev. Lauren Randall Sanders (MDiv ’05) and Rev. Angela Cowser (MDiv ’06). As students, the two submitted a proposal for support to initiate a multicultural program that would benefit women of color who are studying at the Seminary.
In 2003, the Office of Evangelism and Racial/Cultural Diversity of the General Assembly Council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) awarded Louisville Seminary a grant in the amount of $1,000.
Randall, who now serves with Housing Action Illinois in Chicago, thought the group would be a one-time experience for the duration of the grant. However, as other women students have taken on leadership of the organization, Women at the Well has continued, year after year, sponsoring events like the Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration and an annual retreat and conference for women in ministry or in theological training. This year, the retreat organizers are anticipating 200 women to participate, from Louisville Seminary, Louisville community leadership, and many from outside Kentucky.
At its inception, Cowser hoped that Women at the Well would recognize, celebrate, strengthen, and preserve a woman of color’s identity that is as “deeply rooted in one’s heritage as it is in one’s gender.”
“Women of color experience a dual-citizenship in America: Living as a minority in a majority culture and society is sometimes joyful, sometimes painful,” said Coswer, who is completing doctoral work in homiletics at Vanderbilt Divinity School. “This program is one way to further the work of educating, in an interesting way, the broader LPTS community about the minority experience as it affects how one sees the world and the larger society. It’s more than being sympathetic to the issues of minority and diversity; it’s about knowing and understanding the experience of the 'other',” she explained in 2003.