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.

This is a two-year, part-time program structured across four residential sessions in North Sydney, supported through ACU’s online learning management system. Airfares, accommodation and meals are provided for. The academic component of this program, A Catholic Theology of Women’s Leadership, consists of a total of 40 credit points (cp), comprising four compulsory units (10 cp each). Upon completion, participants will be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies.

Unit 1: Theology and the challenges and opportunities for women’s leadership

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.

Unit 2: Interpreting ancient texts for contemporary (and future) worlds

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.

Unit 3: Theology for the future: Designing approaches and strategies for women’s 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.

Unit 4: Theology as Leadership for Mission

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. 

This program is open to women aged between 25-35 with diverse personal and professional experiences from across Australia. As this is a graduate program, participants will need to have successfully completed an undergraduate degree in advance.

More information

Follow the links below to learn more about Leadership for Mission.

Visit the program website

Download the flyer (PDF, 767.95KB)


Have a question?


We're available 9am–5pm AEDT,
Monday to Friday

If you’ve got a question, our AskACU team has you covered. You can search FAQs, text us, email, live chat, call – whatever works for you.

Live chat with us now

Chat to our team for real-time
answers to your questions.

Launch live chat
Visit our FAQs page

Find answers to some commonly
asked questions.

See our FAQs