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Sonja M. Stewart came to Western Theological Seminary in 1970 as a part-time instructor in Christian education, having received her B.A. degree from Muskingum College in Ohio and her M.R.E. degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary. In 1973, she was appointed assistant professor of Christian education and director of the Masters of Religious Education degree program-the first full-time female professor and one of the first non-R.C.A. professors at Western (Dr. Stewart is a member of the Presbyterian Church [U.S.A.].) During the same year, she began doctoral studies at the University of Notre Dame, completing her Ph.D. in 1977 with only one year's leave from teaching. In 1980, she was promoted to associate professor. For several years in the mid-1980s, she directed Western's continuing education program, and in 1983 initiated and directed a new in-ministry M.R.E. degree program. Dr. Stewart was promoted to full professor in 1984 and completed studies to receive her M.Div. degree from Western in 1996. She continued to direct the in-ministry M.R.E. until her retirement in December, 2002.
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