New England Women Ministers Association

NEWA actual logoWelcome! The New England Women Ministers Association invites all women in ministry to join us for sisterhood, discussion, spiritual growth, and support.

Our Purpose

THE PURPOSE of the New England Women Ministers Association (NEWMA) is to affirm the ministries of individual women and strengthen the ties which bind women ministers together. NEWMA includes women in both ordained and lay ministries, women religious, chaplains and theological educators.

Our Beginnings

The New England Women Ministers Association (NEWMA) traces its beginnings to a gathering of women ministers in Keene, New Hampshire in May of 1938. Hilda Ives was instrumental in organizing this first meeting of women clergy in New England in order to strengthen the work of women in ministry by meeting to share and worship together. Rev. Ives, a Maine native, was ordained in Portland and served a rural parish in her home state. She also held a chair in rural work at Andover Newton Theological School in the 1930’s. Thanks to Gretchen Hall, long-time historian of NEWMA, records have been kept of many of the “firsts” of women in ministry in New England. These records are now part of the archives of the library at Andover Newton Theological School. Hilda Ives died in 1969, but her cherished vision continues as women in ministry throughout the Northeast reach out to each other through the sisterhood that is the New England Women Ministers Association.

We do this by:

  • Creating a safe place for women to share both the joy and pain of our calling
  • Offering opportunities for spiritual nurture
  • Providing role models for women as they seek to discern their call to ministry
  • Maintaining ongoing friendships throughout our lifespan
  • Promoting continuing education
  • Offering two primary annual events – a Forum Luncheon and a Spring Retreat
  • Giving a yearly scholarship to women seminarians
  • Hosting local gatherings of women ministers