CTS Scholarship Honors Dr. Sue Cardwell

Christian Theological Seminary is honoring the first female faculty member of a Disciples of Christ seminary with a scholarship established in her name. The Dr. Sue and Walter Cardwell Endowed Scholarship Fund, was inaugurated by the trustees and alumni of CTS on September 25, during an alumni reunion.

Funding for the scholarship comes from the Christian Theological Seminary alumni board, representing more than 140 individual gifts. The scholarship will be awarded to a female, full-time CTS student pursuing a degree in one of the following areas: Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy, Master of Divinity with Master of Arts in Mental Health Counseling, or Master of Divinity with Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Counseling. The counseling component of the scholarship reflects Dr. Cardwell’s role as the first director of the CTS Counseling Center and her leadership as the first female president of the American Association of Pastoral Counselors.

Introducing Dr. Cardwell, CTS friend, colleague and lecturer Dr. Richard Hamm noted that colleagues and students remember her as a pastor, clinician, professor, friend and compassionate person. “The fundamental character about Sue was described as grace incarnate,” Hamm said. He spoke about the frustration that seminary students may experience as they are challenged with the renewal of their minds and spirits. “We need people who can embody grace for us and Sue represented that incarnation of Grace to two or three generations here at CTS,” Hamm said.

Cardwell, who turned 95 in February, earned her PhD from CTS at age 60. Addressing the faculty, students, alumni and friends gathered to honor her, Cardwell said, “My heart is full and my eyes are damp.” As a young woman at a Baptist women’s college in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, Cardwell said she would have “laughed and laughed” if someone had told her that she would one day serve on a seminary faculty. “I feel deeply touched, deeply honored, highly blessed and grateful to God for my years at CTS,” Cardwell said.

CTS President Matthew Myer Boulton noted that Dr. Cardwell was part of a revolution in female leadership during the 21st century. “When the story of the church in the 21st century is written, the main headline will be the revolution that we have lived thru in terms of women in ministry,” he said. “It has been a sea change and Sue Cardwell has been an extraordinary fixture in that history.”

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