Muriel Spurgeon Carder

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Muriel Spurgeon Carder
Born (1922-11-01)November 1, 1922
Woodford Green, England

McMaster University (B.A., B.D.)
Union Theological Seminary (New York) (S.T.M.)

Toronto School of Theology (Th.D.)

Mother: Elizabeth Frances (Keeley)

Father: Carey Bradford Spurgeon
Church Canadian Baptist Ministries, Canada
Ordained 16 September 1947[1]

Jeevie, an Indian Boy[2]
A Caesarean Text in the Catholic Epistles[3]

The Biblical Concept of Sin in Translation[4]
Offices held

Professor of New Testament, Theology and Ethics:
Ramayapatnam Baptist Theological Seminary, Rajahmundry (B.D. section)

Andhra Christian Theological College, Hyderabad

McMaster Divinity College, Hamilton, Ontario
Nurses Chapel, King George Hospital, Visakhapatnam[1]

D'Arcy Place Developmental Centre, Cobourg

Oxford Regional Centre, Woodstock General Hospital
Title Reverend Doctor

Muriel Spurgeon Carder (born November 1, 1922) is a Canadian Baptist who was the first woman ordained as a Baptist minister in Ontario and Quebec;[5][6][7] she was also a missionary in India.


Childhood and studies[edit]

Muriel Spurgeon was born in Woodford Green, England to Elizabeth Frances (Keeley)[4] and Carey Bradford Spurgeon. Carder is related[6] to Charles Spurgeon, a Reformed Baptist minister, and had a brother named David.[4] Her mother, Elizabeth Frances (Keeley), died in 1953.[8] Her father, Carey Bradford Spurgeon (December 13, 1892 – March 2, 1968), was born in India to Rev. Robert Spurgeon.[8] Carey was a fellow of the Institute of Actuaries[8] and an associate of the Society of Actuaries;[8] he was also on a tour of duty in the Battle of Vimy Ridge.[8]

Carder enrolled at the McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1944[4] and a Bachelor of Divinity (B. D.) degree in 1947.[4] The Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec ordained her the same year.[9] Carder was the first woman to receive a B. D.[9] degree from McMaster University, and the first woman to be ordained[9] as Baptist minister in Ontario and Quebec.[10]

Missionary work and teaching in India[edit]

Carder took up evangelisation, and was sent to India as a representative of the Canadian Baptist Mission serving in schools and hospitals.[11] She was also associated with the leprosy mission in India.[12] She returned to Canada and taught for a year at McMaster Divinity College from 1956–1957. From 1957–1958 she pursued postgraduate studies at Union Theological Seminary (New York), obtaining a Master of Sacred Theology (S.T.M) degree. During the academic year 1965–1966, she again taught New Testament and Greek[1] at McMaster Divinity College.

Carder began teaching the New Testament and Theology and Ethics from 1967–1969 in Rajahmundry,[4] where the B.D. section of the Ramayapatnam Baptist Theological Seminary is today located on the campus of Andhra Christian Theological College. Soon after the merger of the Ramayapatnam Baptist Theological Seminary with Andhra Christian Theological College in 1969, the campus moved to Secunderabad; Carder followed, and continued teaching there until 1976.[4] At that time Carder enrolled as a doctoral candidate at the Toronto School of Theology and was awarded a Th.D. in 1969, based on her thesis entitled An Inquiry into the Textual Transmission of the Catholic Epistles.[13]

Retirement and chaplaincy[edit]

Soon after Carder retired in 1976,[9] she returned to Canada and began serving as a chaplain. She first served as an intern[11] at the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital and Toronto General Hospital before becoming chaplain at the D'Arcy Place Developmental Centre in Cobourg and, later, at Oxford Regional Centre of Woodstock General Hospital. In 1984, Carder was certified as a clinical pastoral education supervisor.[9]


  • A Caesarean Text in the Catholic Epistles? New Testament Studies, 1970.[14]
  • The Biblical Concept of Sin in Translation. Indian Journal of Theology, 1971.[4]
  • Spiritual and Religious Needs of Mentally Retarded Persons. Journal of Pastoral Care, Volume 38, Number 2, June, 1984.[15]
  • Journey into understanding mentally retarded people's experiences around death. Journal of Pastoral Care, Volume 41, Number 1, 1987, pp. 18–31.[16]

When the Andhra Pradesh Auxiliary of the Bible Society of India began a Telugu New Testament translation, Carder served as a panel member on the Translations Committee[12] with P. Dass Babu, A. B. Masilamani, K. David and Victor Premasagar. She has translated a Greek grammar text and the Didache into Telugu.[11]

Awards and affiliations[edit]

In 2007, Carder received the Katharine Hockin Award for Global Mission and Ministry from the Canadian Churches' Forum for Global Ministries, Toronto, in recognition of her missionary service in India.[17] The citation also noted that her ordained status was a contributing factor to the later ordination of women in the Church of South India.[17]

Carder is a member of the Society for Biblical Studies in India and the Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas.[18]


Talathoti Punnaiah who studied a 3-year theology course leading to Bachelor of Theology at the Andhra Christian Theological College, both at Rajahmundry and at Hyderabad from 1970-1973 recalls his association with Muriel Carder,

Preceded by
Sr. Frances Brady[20]
Katharine Hockin Award
for Global Mission and Ministry awarded by the Canadian Churches' Forum for Global Ministries, Toronto

Succeeded by


  1. ^ a b c Alumni Directory 1836–1970, The Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, The Alumni Office, New York, 1970, p. 429
  2. ^ Muriel Spurgeon Carder, Jeevie, an Indian Boy, For the Dominion Committee, Baptist Women's Missionary Societies of Canada, 1963.
  3. ^ Muriel Spurgeon Carder, A Caesarean Text in the Catholic Epistles, New Testament Studies, 1969. pp. 252-270. Cited by Carroll D. Osburn in The Text of the Apostolos in Epiphanius of Salamis in The New Testament in the Greek Fathers, Monograph by Society for Biblical Literature, 2006, p.257
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h Muriel Spurgeon Carder, The Biblical Concept of Sin in Translation, Indian Journal of Theology, 1971. Cited in Biblical Archaeology Society, Who's who in Biblical Studies and Archaeology: 1993, Second Edition, 1993, p. 43.[1]
  5. ^ Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether, Marie Cantlon Encyclopedia of women and religion in North America 1, p. 294 (2006) "Canadian Baptists ordained Jennie Johnson in 1907, who preached in Chatham, Ontario, for twenty years. The Baptist Convention of Ontario and Quebec ordained a woman for the first time in 1947, Muriel Spurgeon Carder."
  6. ^ a b William H. Brackney, Baptists in North America: An Historical Perspective, Blackwell Publishing, 2006, p. 152.
  7. ^ Bruce Fawcett, Recruiting Clergy for the Canadian Baptist Churches: A Typological Understanding (doctoral dissertation submitted to the University of Wales, Bangor in 2006, p. 69)
  8. ^ a b c d e Transactions of Society of Actuaries, Volume 20, Point 1, Number 56 AB, 1968. p. 160
  9. ^ a b c d e Susan Hill Lindley, Eleanor J. Stebner (Eds.), The Westminster Handbook To Women In American Religious History, Westminster John Knox Press, 2008, pp. 33-34
  10. ^ Rosemary Skinner Keller, Rosemary Radford Ruether (eds.), Encyclopedia of Women and Religion in North America (2006), p. 294.
  11. ^ a b c McMaster University Alumni Association Accessed 15 January 2009.
  12. ^ a b Cindy Doering, Signals, Bethany Lutheran Church, Woodstock, Ontario, p.2
  13. ^ W. L. Richards, Textual Criticism on the Greek Text of the Catholic Epistles: A Bibliography, Andrews University Seminary Studies, pp. 107–108 "Deals with 1 Peter and 1-3 John. The MSS used in the dissertation are discussed 'according to von Soden's classifications', although only a few of the 25 MSS used were actually classified by von Soden. In chapter 2, the textual characteristics identified as Alexandrian, those identified as Alexandrian, and those identified as Byzantine are set forth. A delineation of textual groupings (using Colwell's method) is given in chapter 3, and then in chapter 4 the question is asked, 'Was von Soden's classification correct?'"
  14. ^ W. L. Richards of Andrews University, Michigan: "Muriel used Colwell's method and concluded that Gregory 1243 was not Byzantine in Catholic epistles but had high proportion of Alexandrian and Western readings and since Caesarean was the only text in this ratio the MS could be Caesarean".
  15. ^ Muriel Spurgeon Carder, Spiritual and Religious Needs of Mentally Retarded Persons, Journal of Pastoral Care, Volume XXXVIII, Number 2, June 1984
  16. ^ Muriel Spurgeon Carder, Journey into understanding mentally retarded people's experiences around death. Reprinted in the Journal of Pastoral Care, Volume 41, Number 1, 1987, pp. 18-31. Cited by Kathryn Pekala Service, Diane Lavoie (Eds.), Coping with losses, death and grieving. In Matthew P. Janicki, Arthur J. Dalton (Ed.), Dementia, Aging and Intellectual Disabilities, Psychology Press, Philadelphia, 1999.
  17. ^ a b Milestones, Victoria University in the University of Toronto
  18. ^ Studiorum Novi Testamenti Societas membership list (updated up to 2006).Accessed 15 January 2009.
  19. ^ Talathoti Punnaiah, My Memoir, Ministry and Message: (60 years Life Experiences 1950-2010), Kakinada, 2010, pp.23.
  20. ^ Sr. Marie Clarkson, O.L.M., Scarboro Missions Magazine, May 2006 Accessed 15 January 2009.