A new initiative, which will deliver a specialised leadership program for women in the Church, has been launched this week.
The Leadership for Mission program has been specifically developed by women, for women who are inspired by the Gospel vision of justice, freedom and the dignity of the human person.
The program is a joint initiative of the Council for Australian Catholic Women, Australian Catholic Bishops' Conference, Catholic Mission and Australian Catholic University (ACU).
During a time of renewed calls within the Church for the participation and diversity of women’s voices in decision-making, leadership and ministry, this graduate program seeks to further embrace, enhance, and theologically ground the leadership capabilities, skills and aspirations of women in the Church and the broader community.
Director of the National Office for the Participation of Women Andrea Dean said, “I’m thrilled that this dynamic and practical partnership will enable another cohort of young Catholic women to be educated for leadership within and beyond the Church in a multi-faith society”.
Executive dean of the ACU Faculty of Theology and Philosophy Professor Dermot Nestor said, “This program situates the practical and contextual leadership experiences, needs and aspirations of women within an academically grounded and collaborative environment.”
“The Faculty has developed a purposefully designed curriculum that at all times presents an opportunity for participants to deeply reflect on their own faith, their personal mission and vocation as a way of addressing the many challenges and opportunities of our world,” he said.
“This program, and the learning design that anchors it, is thus a direct contribution to the pastoral practice of a Church for the third millennium,” said Professor Nestor.
National director of Catholic Mission Fr Brian Lucas said “I am delighted that Catholic Mission can join with the other sponsors so a new generation of young lay women can have a formation experience preparing them as missionary disciples for future leadership roles in the Church.”
Leadership for Mission is a sponsored, two-year, part-time program commencing in February 2018.
It is structured across four residential sessions in North Sydney and supported through ACU's online learning management system. Applications are being sought from women across Australia aged between the ages of 25-35, with diverse personal and professional experiences.