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2017 Women in United Methodist History Writing Award Recipient Announced

The Women in United Methodist History writing award, administered by the General Commission on Archives and History (GCAH) is awarded to encourage and reward excellence in research and writing in the history of women in The United Methodist Church or its antecedents. Selection is made by a committee consisting of three persons who are historians of women in United Methodism. The newly announced 2017 recipient is Dr. Rachel Cope for her paper “Dwarfism and the Evangelical: Mary Garrettson’s Call for the Reform in Mabel and Her Sunlit Home and Little Mabel’s Friends.”

“As a historian, I love discovering the forgotten,” said Cope. “I see this award as a credit to Mary Rutherford Garrettson’s remarkable life; it was an honor to write about her.”

Cope is an associate professor of Church history and doctrine at Brigham Young University. She received a PhD in American History (with an emphasis in women’s history and religious history) from Syracuse University. Rachel has published several articles on American women’s spirituality and conversion in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which have appeared in various edited volumes and journals, including Journal of Spirituality, Lifewriting Annual: Biographical and Autobiographical Studies, Religion in the Age of Enlightenment, New York History, and Magistra: A Journal of Women’s Spirituality in History. She also co-edited Family Life in England and America, 1690–1820 (Routledge, 2015), a four-volume collection of manuscript records documenting the lives of early American and British families. Rachel has been the recipient of numerous research grants and fellowships, most recently a Princeton University Library Research Grant and a short-term research fellowship from the Oxford Centre of Methodism and Church History, both of which are enabling her work on spiritual friendships, the subject of her upcoming monograph. She is an assistant editor of Wesley and Methodist Studies, the managing editor of Mormon Studies Review, and one of the founding editors of the Transcribing Early American Manuscript Sermons project. 

For more information on this award, please visit