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In Memoriam: Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger

February 15, 2011

Dr. Catherine Clark Kroeger, Ranked Adjunct Professor of Classical and Ministry Studies, passed away February 14 at the age of 85, after a brief illness.

“We are all saddened to learn of Dr. Kroeger’s unexpected death,” says Provost Dr. Frank James. “She will be remembered as one of the most respected Bible scholars of our day, a champion of the equality of women and a staunch opponent of domestic violence. It was just a few short weeks ago that she was reminding me, with a twinkle in her eye, that we needed to devote a chapel service to encouraging women. She will be greatly missed by our community, but we are confident she will brighten the halls of heaven.”

Dr. Kroeger had taught courses in women's studies, patristics, early Christian history, Latin and Greek at Gordon-Conwell since 1990 and was beloved for her passion, generosity and wit.

"Dr. Kroeger made substantial and abiding contributions over the years to Gordon-Conwell,” says Dr. John Jefferson Davis, Professor of Systematic Theology & Christian Ethics. “She leaves a rich and valued legacy, and she will be sorely missed."

“I was deeply touched as a student by her generosity to me,” says Dr. Donna Petter, Assistant Professor of Old Testament.” “She was generous in providing resources to travel abroad with her and to utilize her home and her home library. Her life was an open book.”

Dr. Kroeger dedicated much of her life to fighting for the equality of women and against domestic abuse. She founded and was president emerita of Christians for Biblical Equality, a coalition of Christians united around the belief that Scripture supports the equality of men and women. She was also founder and president of Peace and Safety in the Christian Home, an organization committed to providing resources and education to eliminate domestic violence in the Christian home.

Her writings on these topics include the books Refuge From Abuse: Hope and Healing for the Abused Christian Woman and I Suffer Not a Woman: Rethinking 1 Timothy 2:11-15 in Light of Ancient Evidence. Most recently, she traveled to England to speak at a conference about domestic abuse. She had also served on the editorial board of the Journal of Religion and Abuse.

Dr. Kroeger was active in the academic realm, founding the Women in the Biblical World section of the Society of Biblical Literature and holding many professional memberships, and was an active layperson in the Presbyterian Church USA. She held an M.A. and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and an honorary doctorate from Houghton College. Her expertise included women in ancient religion, especially women and the Apostle Paul; great Africans of the Bible and early church; human sexuality and the biblical mandate; and domestic abuse and the Bible.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Rev. Dr. Richard Clark Kroeger, Jr., and survived by 5 children, 10 grandchildren, and numerous foster children. She will be missed by all whose lives she touched.

A study tour Dr. Kroeger led to Egypt, was highlighted on the TV documentary “Africa and the Bible.” The following links provide access to this documentary, including interviews with Dr. Kroeger.