A joint initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference, the National Centre for Evangelisation 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 innovative 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 part-time program structured across three residential sessions in North Sydney, supported through ACU’s online learning management system. Airfares, accommodation and meals are provided.
The academic component of this program consists of a total of 40 credit points (cp), comprising three compulsory units (10 cp each) along with various exposures and experiences and a purposefully tailored introductory module that provides theological frameworks for learning across the other units (10cp). Upon completion, students will be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies by ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.

Introductory Formation

In this introductory component of the program, participants will explore the theological frameworks for learning during the program. More specifically, participants will be introduced to religion and theology in general, particularly contemporary sources and approaches in theology. This component of the program will also introduce participants to the challenges and opportunities for women’s leadership in Church and society in conversation with theologies or theological works that engage women’s experiences and perspectives.

Unit 1: Interpreting the Bible for Leadership and Mission

In this unit, participants will have the opportunity to bring the experiences and questions of their own contexts into dialogue with texts concerning figures of leadership within the biblical tradition. Learning is structured to support participants to approach an encounter with the Bible as a key dimension of theological reflection. Participants will be given opportunities to employ the skills, tools and resources for critical biblical interpretation in conversation with issues in the context of their current situations and to identify the subsequent implications for action. This unit is aimed at supporting participants to understand the function of a critical and reflexive approach to interpreting the Bible in the process of theological reflection for leadership and mission.

Unit 2: Theology for the Future: Reimagining Leadership

Participants will be called to imagine and propose future models of Church leadership capable of grappling with the challenges of the contemporary context, now and into the future. Having journeyed through scripture and contemporary theological reflection, participants now focus on articulating visions for leadership that are grounded in their own personal and professional contexts. Participants will explore models of Church and leadership. They will engage in dialogue with contemporary Australian and international sources, as well as emerging and established female leaders. The unit will involve mentored reflection and creative theological work on designing approaches and strategies for women’s leadership for the future of the church. The aim of this unit is for participants to begin to reimagine and to sketch theological understandings of leadership that are empowering for their own professional and personal context, and that can inspire and foster greater participation for all.

Unit 3: Theology as Leadership for Mission

This unit focuses on the missionary dimension of leadership, particularly in Catholic theology and practice. In this unit students will explore the tools and principles of Catholic Social Teaching, including the Pastoral Circle, and their implications for leadership from socio-ethical and practical theological perspectives. The unit will explore the sources, key themes and principles of Catholic Social Teaching and their implications for the exercise of leadership in the Church and in the world today. The unit serves as a practical application of the contemporary modes of theological method and hermeneutical reflection engaged throughout the course, and the unit itself, by helping the students construct a credo of leadership from a missiological perspective

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.

This is a sponsored program with the majority of course costs, residential accommodation and travel being covered. However, students will be asked to contribute $4,500 (paid over 18 months).

To apply for this course, interested students are required to undertake an application process through the Australian Catholic Bishops’, National Centre for Evangelisation. Full details can be found in the flyer (PDF, 379KB).

More information

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

Visit the program website

Download the flyer (PDF, 379KB)


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