Institutes & Initiatives

Institutes & Initiatives

Institutes & Initiatives - Women, Religion & Globalization
 2013 - 2014

Interfaith Women's Residency Program:

A Pilot Program of Union Theological Seminary’s Institute for Women, Religion, and Globalization


Beginning, Fall of 2013, through a joint program between the Institute for Women, Religion, and Globalization (IWRG) and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Community Engagement, Union Theological Seminary will host a small interfaith residency program for women.

Six graduate students from Christian, Jewish, and Muslim faith backgrounds will build an intentional community while developing relationships with one another and exploring the nuances of inter-religious dialogue. With the support of faculty mentors, the participating students through shared study, meals, spiritual practice, theological reflection, service will gain greater understanding of the intersections of faith, gender, and justice.

During the pilot year IWRG will offer 6 graduate students from diverse faith backgrounds the opportunity to coexist in an intentional community for a full academic year: August 2013 – May 2014.

More Information

Interfaith Women’s Residency Program

The heart of the program involves living in community with women of diverse religious and cultural backgrounds in an intentional way. The residency space is located in McGiffert Hall on Union Theological Seminary’s campus and includes: 

  • Participants will receive 6 graduate course credits: three from a guided reading in the fall and three from a course in the spring.

  • Participants will live in single dorm rooms, each room costs $8,080 for nine months (September-May). Financial assistance is available, please inquire.

  • This is an intentional community, each member is expected to devote approximately ten hours per week to community building activities. This includes: weekly meetings, dialogue sessions, group dinners, and reflection.

  • Each participant will be paired with mentor, this person will be available for professional development and personal support. Additionally, the six women will participate in trainings together. These workshops will specifically address diversity and conflict resolution.

  • Participants will also have access to Union's campus, including a variety of spaces for prayer, meditation, worship, and cultural events.

The program itself is organized around 4 core areas:


Religious and Spiritual Life

Religious and Spiritual Life

Throughout the course of the academic year, each resident will have the unique opportunity to learn in depth about the religious and spiritual lives of her neighbors. Residents will be encouraged to organize activities related to this learning, such as site visits to houses of worship, reading one another’s sacred texts, spiritual practice, etc.


Community Building

Each week participants will be encouraged to prepare and eat at least one meal together in the shared kitchen. In addition to fostering community, these weekly meals will provide opportunities for the residents to reflect on the importance and joy of food practices within one another’s traditions.

Reflection, Documentation and Storytelling

Reflection, Documentation and Storytelling

Residents will be encouraged to document and share their stories in a variety of mediums and for a variety of audiences: journaling, blogging, preaching, singing, performing, etc. By the end of the year, each resident will have gained significant experience in cultivating an authentic and compelling public voice.

Academic Study

Academic Study 

In addition to the residential aspects of the program, participants will earn 6 graduate credits throughout the academic year: 3 credits for a guided reading course in the fall semester, and 3 credits for an interdisciplinary course related to the theme of Women, Religion and Globalization at Union Theological Seminary in the spring semester.

Interfaith Women's Blog

Residents are encouraged to document and share their stories in a variety of mediums and for a variety of audiences: journaling, blogging, preaching, singing, performing, etc. Check out their blog>>

Contact us

If you are interested in learning more about the Interfaith Women’s Residency Program at Union Theological Seminary, please contact Tanya Williams, Deputy Vice President for Institutional Diversity and Community Engagement at Please allow 24 to 28 hours for a response. 




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