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New Master's Degree Combines Faith, Service and Leadership

A graduate program to assist nuns worldwide in integrating their spiritual formation with professional development in leadership and management has been developed by Duquesne University’s School of Leadership and Professional Advancement, in collaboration with the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in Rome.

The Master of Science in Community Leadership—Concentration in Leadership in Mission, which begins in December 2008, seeks to assist sisters to integrate their spiritual formation with professional development in leadership and management. The intention is for program graduates to make insightful, prophetic and constructive contributions to both Church and society, and leave a legacy of inspired service for the next generation of women religious.

The program was developed through a series of meetings with congregations in Africa, Asia and Europe. The program will consist of three six-week residential sessions at Duquesne University’s Rome campus and one session of study (up to two courses, equivalent to 6 credit hours) in a sister’s country of residence at a locally accredited institution. The entire master’s degree program can be completed in two years.

“Visiting and speaking with the sisters heightened my conviction that we live in times of increased uncertainty,” said Sr. Miriam Joseph Mikol, coordinator of the leadership in mission project management board. “Globally and locally, religious congregations and individual sisters are faced with historical and contemporary challenges. World conflicts, the ever-growing chasm between the rich and the poor, the freedom of religion or the lack of it, tensions between a culture of death and one of life, and the importance of people over profit are but a few of the sobering realities shaping socio-political and cultural environments.

“To meet these challenges, sisters require opportunities to deepen their religious commitment and expand their professional expertise. The Master of Science in Community Leadership program is a wonderful opportunity to integrate spiritual formation with professional preparation to enable women of faith to be leaders in Christ’s mission, in service, in society and in the wider community,” said Sr. Mikol.

Courses, taught by an international faculty, include: Spiritual and Professional Foundations for Leadership, Conflict Resolution and Transformation; Program Improvement and Development; Organizational Effectiveness and Spiritual Leadership; and Leadership for Global Mission.

Students will be drawn from congregations around the world. Applications are now being accepted for the program, which is offered in English.

The program is partially supported by a European foundation. Additional financial support is needed in the form of donations and foundation grants to enable sisters working in developing countries to participate. For more information, please visit www.leadership.duq.edu/womenreligious or e-mail Sr. Mikol at smjm@romelink.org.

Duquesne University

Founded in 1878, Duquesne is consistently ranked among the nation's top Catholic universities for its award-winning faculty and tradition of academic excellence. Duquesne, a campus of nearly 9,500 graduate and undergraduate students, has been nationally recognized for its academic programs, community service and commitment to sustainability. Follow Duquesne University on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.