Santa Clara University

Women of Wisdom and Action

About WWA

In July 2012, the Henry Luce Foundation awarded a four-year grant of $375,000 to the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, California. This grant funded a pilot program, Women of Wisdom and Action, which enables Catholic women religious from China, India, and Vietnam to pursue advanced theological degrees at the Jesuit School of Theology.  In collaboration with the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity, an international community of women religious, and the Society of Jesus, the initiative created a whole-person approach to the education and support of the participants. 

In December 2014, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation committed its support to empower Catholic women religious in Asia as increasingly effective agents of social change and to enhance the professional and educational networks that underpin their ministry across Asia. This new partnership is helping WWA realize the original dream of creating an innovative, dynamic theological model, one that authentically takes into account the cultural context of the participants and their communities,supports ongoing networking and professional development with partners in Asia, and continues to transform theology in the United States by creating access for new voices to enter the theological conversation.

Rigorous academic theological training for participants is bound into an interdisciplinary framework that takes into account each individual congregation’s unique and specific mission, as well as the particular talents and goals of the individual sister.

The initiative fosters leadership for the sisters through interdisciplinary and contextualized theological training. Upon return to their home country, the participants may lead a hospital or religious community, educate other women in non-formal settings, or become a Novice director, among other important roles. This initiative seeks to support each sister’s own voice as a woman generating social change in the Church and society.

The women, the first of whom arrived for the Fall 2013 semester, are welcomed into an international and inter-congregational community with sisters from other parts of Asia, sharing a house with a common kitchen, dining, living and chapel area. They also have the opportunity to receive spiritual formation and training and to be in contact with ministry settings in their culture of origin in the Bay area.

Please see the July 2012 press release for more information about the pilot grant from the Henry Luce Foundation.

Please see the December 2014 press release for more information about the grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

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Contact Us

Please refer all admissions inquiries to:

Kristin Casey

Senior Associate Director of Admissions and Financial Aid
(510) 549-5013

Please refer all general inquiries about the program to:

Julia D.E. Prinz, V.D.M.F.

Director of the Women of Wisdom and Action Initiative
(510) 549-5051

Mailing Address
Women of Wisdom and Action
1735 LeRoy Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94709

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