Our Founder

The Young Clergy Women Project (TYCWP) – now Young Clergy Women International (YCWI) – was the brain-child of the Rev. Susan Olson, who describes her passion for connecting and supporting young clergy women this way:

Susan Olson

“My interest in the project is both professional and personal. Professionally, I work at a theological school, and am interested in ways to make transitions to ministry smoother for my students and others. Also, my first masters degree was in the social sciences, and I enjoy the research aspect of the project.

On the personal end, I was ordained in my twenties, and remember the searing isolation of those years. Things have changed, but many of the same things are issues for young women. I have stood, and continue to stand, on the mighty broad shoulders of first generation ordained young women, and for that I am grateful. If I can do even a bit of the same, I would count it as joy.”

Susan wrote and managed the grant from Louisville Institute, the funding that allowed TYCWP to establish a web presence and sponsor its first two conferences, until the grant’s expiration in December 2008. She is writing a book on the research she compiled from surveying and interviewing young clergy women as part of the founding grant.

Susan currently lives and works in New Haven, Connecticut. She is employed by Yale University, where she serves as Divinity School Career Services Director and Part-Time Preaching Teacher. She is ordained to the service of the Presbyterian Church (USA), and she notes that her hair is never as straight in real life as it is in that picture.

The members of YCWI are exceedingly grateful for Susan’s initial energy and leadership!