RISE Together Mentorship Network

Renew | Inspire | Support | Empower

A National Mentorship Network
for Women of Color in Ministry

RISE Together Mentorship Network is an initiative of Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York in collaboration with the Women of Color in Ministry (WOCIM) Project. RISE Together seeks to Renew, Inspire, Support and Empower female ministers, activists, and scholars by providing compassionate, culturally-relevant, professional connections and leadership development opportunities.


For more than three decades, women of color have been entering every phase of ministry in increasing numbers. This trend reflects the changing multicultural and gender landscape of our nation, and an increase in the racial/ethnic and gender make-up of theological education. Despite this increase in numbers, women of color in ministry are experiencing significant gaps in mentorship opportunities and relationships, particularly with female pastoral leaders.

From May 2015 – May 2016, over 200 women in 14 cities participated in focus group research in order to better understand the racial/ethnic and gender trends in theological education, mentorship gaps, and needs for achieving successful ministry leadership.

Bridging the Gap

Across the country, the findings are consistent. There is a strong and steady call for female mentorship and a need for more local and national female centered networks of support and safe spaces to connect with other women of color in ministry.

RISE Together seeks to fill this gap and address the need for a cross-cultural, intergenerational and interdenominational female-centered web of connections to empower women for excellence in ministry leadership. Anchored at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York, and in collaboration with the Women of Color in Ministry (WOCIM) Project, RISE Together is envisioned to be a multicultural median and conduit for WOCIM to enter a network of mentoring communities where building bridges and creating safe, cross-cultural spaces are core and center of the Mentorship Network.

Thriving in Ministry Webinar Series

This dynamic leadership series aims to help ensure women of color have access to empowering expertise, skills and resources to thrive in ministry and will commence with a workshop entitled, Take Charge of Your Financial Wellness on Friday, October 26 @ 6:00 p.m. in James Chapel.

Learn More

Mentoring is a spiritual practice of self-care that calls forth an intrinsic commitment to both personal and vocational growth. RISE mentorship is a relational journey of trust and mutual respect with the vision of providing and receiving wisdom for excellence in ministerial leadership. - Lisa D. Rhodes, Executive Director, Rise Together


RISE Together provides a multicultural mentorship network for female ministers, scholars, and activists to foster interdisciplinary, ecumenical connections and leadership development opportunities designed to overcome the challenges of age, race, and gender inequalities.


RISE Together envisions a vibrant network of women of color in ministry who are committed to mutually advancing the professional and personal effectiveness of participating mentors and mentees so that they may be Renewed, Inspired, Supported, and Empowered.

Apply To Be A Mentee!

RISE Together is seeking early and mid-career ministry leaders, pastors, scholars and community activists to connect, as mentees, with one of eight (8) regional cohorts, and to the larger community of support made available as a member of the Mentorship Network.

Each regional cohort will include 3 cross-cultural, ecumenical and interdisciplinary mentors and 12-15 mentees.  This is a two-year (2) commitment, of female centered community support and empowerment.

RISE Together cohorts, both Mentees and Mentors, can expect monthly face-to-face meetings, as well as virtual leadership events and spiritual formation activities. Every other year, in collaboration with Network partners, a National RISE Together Leadership Forum will be held at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York.

RISE Together Mentee Applications for the inaugural class are no longer being accepted.