When the United Methodist Black Clergywomen’s Caucus met for the first time in 1987, there were almost no women of color to represent their voices in religious higher education.
Dr. Angella P. Current-Felder, then the executive director of the Office of Loans and Scholarships at the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry (GBHEM), remembers a common excuse for why seminaries and universities did not have any women of color teaching religious education.
“When asked about it, schools often told us some version of ‘We don’t know of any,’ or ‘We can’t find any,” said Current-Felder.
With support from GBHEM, the caucus moved to forever invalidate that excuse and create a robust academic pathway for women of color interested in religious scholarship. Through their efforts, the Women of Color Scholars Program was born and has supported 49 graduates to date.
Today, in recognition of her tireless efforts in support of the program, it will officially be renamed the Angella P. Current-Felder Women of Color Scholars program. The African American Methodist Heritage Center nominated Current-Felder for this honor in recognition of her history of promoting scholars of color and the GBHEM Board of Directors voted to formalize the name change in 2020.
To give to the Angella P. Current- Felder Women of Color Scholars endowment directly, visit: www.gbhem.org/donate4students.
In her 25 years with GBHEM’s Office of Loans and Scholarships, Current-Felder worked not only to shepherd the program’s funding, but also to recruit and encourage new scholars and support the ever-growing network of graduates.