A joint initiative of the Council for Australian Catholic Women, the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, Catholic Mission and Australian Catholic University.
Leadership for Mission is designed by and for women who are inspired by the Gospel vision of justice, freedom and the dignity of the human person. Across a series of educational and formative encounters, this unique program brings together the leadership experiences of women in the Church within the context of an academic and collaborative learning environment.
Framed by an engagement with scripture, theology, spirituality and leadership, this program encourages participants to reflect on their faith and how it can address the many challenges and opportunities of our contemporary world.
In the company of other women, participants explore how and in what ways their personal mission and vocation can contribute to a vision of leadership for the Church and society that promotes equity, equality, and reconciliation.
In this introductory unit of the program, participants will engage with the theological grounding for women’s leadership in the Church. Participants will be introduced to and engage with contemporary modes of theological method and hermeneutical reflection, particularly those that identify women’s experiences and perspectives, and will bring them into personal conversation with the challenges and the opportunities facing women’s leadership in the Church and the wider world.
In the second unit of the program, participants will have the opportunity to bring the experiences and questions of their own contexts into dialogue with the biblical tradition. Learning is structured to support participants to approach the encounter with sacred scripture as a key dimension of theological reflection. Participants will be given opportunities for critical interpretation of scripture in the context of their current situations and the subsequent implications for their own leadership.
In this component of the program, the focus is on creating a way forward for women’s leadership in the future. Having journeyed through scripture and contemporary theological reflection, participants are called together to create and articulate a vision for leadership that is grounded in their own context, both personal and professional. In this way, the unit will open a space where personal identity, understood with and through a relationship with God, can be fully grasped as that which provides the template for future leadership. This unit will involve mentored reflection and creative theological work on designing approaches and strategies for women in leadership for the future of the Church and society more broadly.
This final unit will serve as a practical application of the contemporary modes of theological method and hermeneutical reflection engaged throughout the program. Participants will here be asked to re-engage, from a pastoral and practical theological perspective, the challenges and opportunities for women in contemporary times. Drawing upon the tools and principles of Catholic Social Teaching, participants will also assess how and in what ways participation in the program, and in any related volunteer or immersion experience, has assisted them in re-imagining and enacting a vision of leadership as ministry for their own immediate context and the wider world in which they work and live.