FORT WORTH?In its centennial year, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary is returning to its roots to train women in the art and skill of homemaking, an emphasis listed in the 1901 academic catalog. The dedication of the Sarah Horner Homemaking House last month is the culmination of an effort to restore the home as a primary place for ministry, equipping those women enrolled in the homemaking concentration of the school’s bachelor’s program.
Southwestern Seminary President Paige Patterson pledged, “We’re going to do everything within our power to turn out a generation of highly educated young women who have the home first place in their hearts.”
The debt that Andy Horner owes to his own mother motivated him and his wife, Joan, to fund the construction of an educational building designed to look like a model home on the Texas landscape. Horner’s own mother journeyed from Ireland to Canada with the four youngest of 13 children to provide hope for a better life.
Though it took many more years for him to appreciate his mother’s sacrifice, Horner said, “As I got older I understood the power of a woman who had no education and couldn’t lead in silent prayer, but she was a homemaker.”
Bailey Draper of Roanoke donated his time as a custom home builder to create space for a kitchen and textile lab, a large library filled with resources for classroom lectures and upstairs bedrooms that will house two students enrolled in the homemaking concentration. Another bedroom will be available for guest housing.
Other donors honored family members by outfitting rooms designed to teach particular skills. Churches are encouraged to stage their own kitchen showers to collect needed supplies listed on a registry by the seminary.
Joan Horner voiced her desire to see the home used to teach pastors’ wives to have a home that honors God in every way.
“Over these past 100 years, God has brought to Southwestern women who have taken up the mantle to continue that legacy of the primary place of the home in ministry,” added Terri Stovall, dean of women’s programs at Southwestern.
Students enrolled in the 23-hour concentration will fill the remaining 108 hours of credit in biblical and theological studies, including Greek or Latin. Trained “intellectually, practically and spiritually,” Stovall said a dozen women enrolled in the initial class in 2007. That number doubled in size last fall with more students expected for the next school year.
Individuals or churches interested in donating further funding or equipment may contact Stovall toll-free at 800-SWBTS-01 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.