Please support women who have dedicated their lives to working with the poor and to investing themselves in social change. Enable religious women, proven leaders in their communities, to increase their impact and to widen their influence. Help build bridges between Asia and the United States through people who are agents in social change on the ground. Join the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, The Henry Luce Foundation, the Jesuit School of Theology, the Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity and the Society of Jesus in support of Women of Wisdom and Action (WWA).
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and Henry Luce Foundation have partnered with JST by awarding the school substantial grants to fund the WWA program. We continue to seek additional partners, individual and corporate, to aid in developing and sustaining this unique educational initiative.
Responding to the educational needs and desires of Asian women religious and their communities, the WWA program offers them the opportunity to attain a solid foundation in theology in a time when political, geographical, and social barriers prevent such formation. These women, whose religious communities are growing in number, are committed to live and work with underserved populations in Asia as teachers, nurses, doctors, and social workers and to create innovative educational and social structures such as health clinics, hospitals, kindergartens, schools, shelters, orphanages and other institutions.
The women religious who are accepted into the program have years of on-the-ground experience in the ministries of their communities. The potential of these student-sisters to impart decisive positive social change is particularly high, since their experience will be paired with contextual theological training, interdisciplinary analysis, leadership training and spiritual formation.
Training at the Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University will equip these women to become prepared leaders in the Catholic Church, to develop spiritual and theological reflections on their charism and mission, and to support building a church in unique circumstances and situations. They will be prepared to engage tough questions about faith and religion in situations of diversity, discord and tension found in their worlds. The WWA initiative seeks to support the voice of women religious in Asia for their corresponding local Church and society.
The Verbum Dei Missionary Fraternity (VDMF) and the Society of Jesus have already come forward to help create a model of inter-congregational community life that will best support these students in their journey to become change agents and leaders in their home countries. How can you, as an individual, a religious community, or an organization, make this transformative experience possible?
Opportunities to give include monetary donation of a complete or shared scholarship, offering a home stay experience for a sister during the holidays, sharing your wisdom as a community with a sister, arranging retreat opportunities or spiritual direction training, providing ministry opportunities in the Bay Area, or offering summer ministry experiences somewhere in the United States. The cost of a year of study includes $16,000-$19,000 in tuition (dependent on academic program), $20,000 in living expenses, and a potential flight to the sister’s home community once during her period of study.