Young women invited to apply for leadership program

Applications are now open for an Australian women’s leadership program that has been held up as an international exemplar for supporting the formation of Church leaders.

The Leadership for Mission program, a joint initiative of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and the Australian Catholic University with support from Catholic Mission, is a postgraduate program for women aged 25 to 35. It is delivered through three residential sessions over an 18-month period.

“For the good of society as a whole, it is critical that we raise up Catholic women leaders who will bring the Good News of Christ into the multitude of forums that they enter,” said Bishop Michael Morrissey, Bishop Delegate for Women.

“This graduate program provides an opportunity for a group of young women to receive excellent academic and formative input, as well as the chance to build strong and supportive relationships with other Catholic women.”

Designed by women and for women, Leadership for Mission provides educational and formative encounters within the context of an academic and collaborative learning environment.

Framed by an engagement with Scripture, theology, spirituality and leadership, the program encourages participants to reflect on their faith and how it can address the many challenges and opportunities of the contemporary world.

Upon completion, students will be awarded a Graduate Certificate in Theological Studies from ACU’s Faculty of Theology and Philosophy.

Janine Luttick, a Leadership for Mission lecturer for recent cohorts, said the young women who participate in the program are “inspiring”.

“They are influencers within and beyond the Church, within and beyond Australia, committed to a way of being in the world that is bold, intelligent, contemplative, practical,” Dr Luttick said.

“Want to hear what women see, know and feel when they think about leading for mission today? This is the space to learn with and from each other.”

Natalia Teguhputri, a 2018 graduate of the program, said it provides the opportunity for “encountering Christ in the face of Catholic women leaders through our immersion in academic study and mission”.

Leadership for Mission was showcased at a 2018 Vatican consultation on the promotion and formation of the lay faithful. Last year, the Dicastery for Laity, Family and Life acknowledged it as a “best practice” example of work in that area.

The latest offering of the program had previously been scheduled to start earlier this year, but was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Applications for the 2021 intake of participants close on October 30. Visit the Bishops Conference’s National Centre for Evangelisation website for more details.