Jessica Spillers Wins History Writing Award

Congratulations to Perkins student Jessica Spillers, recipient of the 2021 Women in United Methodist History Writing Award. Spillers’ paper examines how Methodism appealed to women by aligning head and heart. For her research, she reviewed the letters written in the eighteenth century to Charles Wesley by young converts, particularly the ones written by female converts.  A mother of three, Spillers and her family are members of The Woodlands United Methodist Church. She worked as an electrical engineer in technical sales for 16 years before leaving the workforce to pursue Christian ministry and spend more time with her children. Spillers wrote the paper as part of an assignment for a Methodist history course taught by Dr. Ted Campbell, who is Albert C. Outler Professor of Wesley Studies and Church History at Perkins.

A second year M. Div. student, Spillers was also the 2021 recipient of the Georgia Harkness Scholarship, named in memory of Harkness (1891-1974), the first woman to teach theology at an American seminary and an early trailblazer for gender equality in The United Methodist Church. The Scholarship is designed to encourage women over 35 to prepare for ordained ministry as an elder in The United Methodist Church as a second career. It is awarded annually as an individual $5,000 grant applicable toward tuition, fees and room and board.