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Women’s Leadership Institute*
A year-long six credit course in leadership and applied spirituality rooted in women’s experience and from a feminist perspective that meets monthly from September through May and requires a separate admissions process. Prerequisite: enrollment in the Women’s Leadership Institute.
Fridays from 6-9 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. on September 28-29; October 26-27; November 16-17; December 14-15; January 25-26; February 22-23; March 22-23; April 19-20; May 10-11
Goals and Outcomes
- An openness to feminist values and perspectives.
- An appreciation for diversity and a sensitivity to those whose lifestyle or faith perspective is different from one’s own.
- A willingness to share from one’s own experience and an openness to learn from the experience of others.
- To facilitate an understanding of the feminist movement from the perspective of women’s spirituality and to introduce women to the principles of feminist leadership in theory and in practice.
- To introduce principles of empowerment whereby women may more fully embrace their personal, public, and planetary roles within the universe story.
- To provide a supportive and stimulating environment for women to become conversant with feminist resources and feminist values, and to ensure that there is opportunity for personal application and integration.
- To facilitate growth in the knowledge and skills needed for articulating the essentials of a feminist perspective in religion and spirituality and within an evolving universe for the purpose of leading others to similar understandings in local or regional settings.
- An understanding of the feminist perspective and core aspects of feminist spirituality; and how these function to transform one’s own personal life, and beyond that, religion and society.
- A more enlightened awareness of the contributions of women within religious traditions and within American religious history and a knowledge of the principles of feminist leadership and their practical application.
- An awareness of the evolutionary dynamics of the universe story and how one might contribute to the well-being of the planet, its people, and all creation.
- A sense of support and affirmation for one’s own spiritual journey and an ability to share with others the basics of what one has learned.
Syllabus / Schedule / Readings
September 28-29 September Seminar / “Beginnings”
No pre-assigned reading / handouts distributed in class
(1) Cherry, "What is Transformational Leadership?"
(2) Estes, "Lantern of the Soul"
(3) Winter, Defecting in Place [Introduction, Conclusion]
October 26-27 October Seminar / “Spirit and Spirituality”
Reading: Winter, The Singer and the Song
Reading: Winter, Paradoxology
November 16-17 November Seminar / “Embodied Spirit”
Reading: Philips, Divining the Body
December 14 -15 December Seminar / “Women of Spirit”
Reading: Eden, Energy Medicine for Women
January 25-26 January Seminar / “In Our Own Voices”
Reading: Rayburn, WomanSoul
February 22-23 February Seminar / “Women of Story, Wisdom, Word”
Reading: Chittester, The Story of Ruth
Reading: Fentress-Williams, "Exodus"
March 22-23 March Seminar / “Ways Women Lead”
Reading: Schaaf, Transformative Leadership
Reading: Essex, "Ways Women Lead"
April 19-20 April Seminar / “Spiritlinking Leadership”
Reading: Markham, “Spiritlinking Leadership”
Reading: Broz, Midwives
May 10-11 May Seminar / “Into the Future”
Reading: Wheatley, Leadership and the New Science
Reading: Wheatley, So Far from Home
Core Faculty - Miriam Therese Winter,
Visiting Faculty - Barbara Essex, Judy Fentress-Williams, Bonnie Buongiorne, Jan Gregory
Broz, Mary Ruth, RSM, and Flynn, Barbara. Midwives of an Unnamed Future. Spirituality for Women in Times of Unprecedented Change. Skokie, IL: Acta Publications, 2006.
Chittester, Joan. The Story of Ruth. Twelve Moments in Every Woman’s Life. Eerdmans, 2000.
Eden, Donna. Energy Medicine for Women. Aligning Your Body Energies to Boost Your Health and Vitality. New York: Penguin Group, 2008.
Fentress-Williams, Judy, Ph.D. "Exodus." In The Africana Bible. Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora. Ed. by Hugh R. Page, Jr. Fortress Press, 2010 - pp. 80-88.
Phillips, Jan. Divining the Body. Reclaim the Holiness of Your Physical Self. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2005.
Rayburn, Carole A. and Lillian Comas-Diaz, eds. Woman Soul: The Inner Life of Women's Spirituality. Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 2008.
Schaaf, Kathe, Kay Lindahl, Kathleen Hurty, Ph.D., and Guo Cheen. Women, Spirituality, and Transformative Leadership. Where Grace Meets Power. Skylight Paths Publishing, 2011.
Wheatley, Margaret J. Leadership and the New Science. Learning About Organization from an Orderly Universe. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1994,
--------. So Far From Home. Lost and Found in Our Brave New World. Berrett-Koehler, 2012.
Winter, Miriam Therese. Paradoxology. Spirituality in a Quantum Universe. Orbis Books, 2009.
--------. The Singer and the Song. An Autobiography of the Spirit. NY: NY: Orbis Books, 1999.
Cherry, Kendra. "What is Transformational Leadership?" Online resource. Psychology Guide. Summer 2011. At www.About.com.
Essex, Barbara J. "Ways Women Lead." Unpublished manuscript, 2011.
Estes, Clarissa Pinkola. “The Lantern of the Soul.” Earthlight, vol. 13 (Spring 2003), p. 6.
Markham, Donna. “Spiritlinking Leadership.” In Human Development XV (Fall 1994), pp. 5-9.
Winter, Miriam Therese. Defecting in Place. Women Claiming Responsibility for Their Own Spiritual Lives. New York: Crossroad Publishing, 1995. “Introduction” and “Conclusions.”
Class DVD Resources
“Journey of the Universe”~ Brian Swimme and Mary Evelyn Tucker
“The Empowerment Project. A Compass for the Journey” ~ James Conlon
For All WLI Participants
Read the book of the month and the additional reading indicated in the course syllabus
Those who are auditing WLI ~ Read as many of the assigned books as you are able to manage
Those who are taking WLI for credit ~ Read all the assigned books and articles. At the end of the program submit a list of what you have read with a brief description of an applied learning from each of the readings
II. Cross-cultural Immersion
Visit to Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam. The Saturday session in November will take place at Ray of Light Farm in East Haddam. Directions on how to get there as well as information on what we will do when we arrive will be provided once WLI is in session.
III. Creative Expression
An intuitive and imaginative response to Part I of WLI. Please respond to your experience of WLI (September through December) verbally or visually by creating a collage to share with the class. Any medium, including multimedia or movement, may be used. Bring your creative expression to the January seminar for a collective sharing. Display items will be returned to you.
IV. Integrating Reflections
Journal response to the WLI experience. Write a brief reflection (one, two, or three pages) on your overall experience of the WLI weekends, highlighting something that touched you or stretched you - an insight, area of growth, learning, or struggle that either resonated within you or challenged you. Reflect on how you might integrate what you have learned from the weekend into your lived reality and how you might go about sharing something of what you have learned with others. Send your reflection paper as an email attachment with your name on it to firstname.lastname@example.org or bring a printed copy to the final (May) seminar.
V. Project in Leadership
Practical application/integration of women’s leadership and spirituality. During the second half of the program, each participant will design, implement, evaluate, and present a project that reflects a practical application of the principles and values of feminist leadership as applied spirituality.
See An Exercise in Leadership Guidelines
A brief written report of project essentials is required of all credit students. Include the main points of your oral presentation; an evaluation of the project experience; and an indication of how and why the project met one or more WLI program outcomes.
See An Exercise in Leadership Guidelines
ALL ASSIGNMENTS MUST BE COMPLETED BY MAY 15, 2012
Broz, Mary Ruth, RSM, and Flynn, Barbara. Midwives of an Unnamed Future. Spirituality for Women in Times of Unprecedented Change. Skokie, IL: Acta Publications, 2006. Buy now
Chittester, Joan. The Story of Ruth. Twelve Moments in Every Woman’s Life. Eerdmans, 2000. Buy now
Eden, Donna. Energy Medicine for Women. Aligning Your Body Energies to Boost Your Health and Vitality. New York: Penguin Group, 2008. Buy now
Fentress-Williams, Judy, Ph.D. "Exodus." In The Africana Bible. Reading Israel's Scriptures from Africa and the African Diaspora. Ed. by Hugh R. Page, Jr. Fortress Press, 2010 - pp. 80-88. Buy now
Phillips, Jan. Divining the Body. Reclaim the Holiness of Your Physical Self. Woodstock, VT: Skylight Paths, 2005. Buy now
Rayburn, Carole A. and Lillian Comas-Diaz, eds. Woman Soul: The Inner Life of Women's Spirituality. Westport, CT: Praeger Press, 2008. Buy now
Schaaf, Kathe, Kay Lindahl, Kathleen Hurty, Ph.D., and Guo Cheen. Women, Spirituality, and Transformative Leadership. Where Grace Meets Power. Skylight Paths Publishing, 2011. Buy now
Wheatley, Margaret J. Leadership and the New Science. Learning About Organization from an Orderly Universe. San Francisco: Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 1994, Buy now
--------. So Far From Home. Lost and Found in Our Brave New World. Berrett-Koehler, 2012. Buy now
Winter, Miriam Therese. Paradoxology. Spirituality in a Quantum Universe. Orbis Books, 2009. Buy now
--------. The Singer and the Song. An Autobiography of the Spirit. NY: NY: Orbis Books, 1999. Buy now