On 23-24 March 2021, the Institute for Global Engagement’s Center for Women, Faith & Leadership (CWFL) launched its 5th Hybrid Fellowship and 2nd Distance Learning Fellowship Program. The Hybrid and Distance Learning Fellowships are one-year programs for women of faith seeking to advance their leadership through skill building, as they advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized. The Hybrid Fellowship offers both in-person and online learning experiences that are built on three core focus areas:

  1. Interpersonal psycho-social groups: These groups offer participants the opportunity to explore their identity as women of faith in a safe and supportive space. By exploring life experiences, cultural expectations, religious influences, and ultimately the question of “Who am I?”, participants gain greater resiliency as individuals in the midst of ongoing personal and professional challenges.
  2. Skill-building: Training sessions focused on leadership skill building help women not only gain a seat at influential tables, but also utilize that seat to its full potential. Sessions have focused on topics such as negotiation skills, public speaking, networking, mentorship, and strategic planning.  
  3. Experiential self-care: Oftentimes the extraordinary work of women of faith is unfortunately cut short by burn-out and compassion fatigue. The Fellowship focuses on wellness practices such as mindfulness, yoga therapy, therapeutic massage, art therapy, self-compassionate response, and helping skills to ensure the sustainability of their leadership. Through these practices, we not only learn how to honor ourselves as the Imago Dei, but also how to pass these skills on to other women struggling to lead sustainably.

The 2021 Hybrid Fellowship cohort consists of 10 women of faith from around the world: Nigeria, Congo, Kenya, Turkey, Syria, Pakistan, Mexico, Mongolia, the United Kingdom, and the United States. Participants represent women of Christian, Muslim, and Buddhist faiths spanning Clergy, Education, Media, Mental Health, Medicine, Development, and Social Services. The 2021 Hybrid Fellowship cohort will meet for 10 online learning webinars and in-person workshops in the U.S. and Vietnam, led by CWFL’s dedicated network of teachers and consultants. It is our hope that through these sessions and online dialogue, the Hybrid Fellows gain not only tangible skills for their leadership development, but also a valuable platform and safe space from which to gain greater connection and self-care. 

CWFL also launched its 2nd Distance Learning Fellowship cohort with 20 women of faith from around the world. The Distance Learning Fellowship provides the opportunity for women of faith who are unable to participate in the Hybrid Fellowship due to health, travel, or financial constraints. The distance learning fellowship represents the next phase in making CWFL resources more accessible and sustainable to a global community of women of faith leaders and advocates. The cohort will meet for 12 online learning webinars.  The 2021 Distance Learning Fellowship cohort consists of 20 women of faith from: Nigeria, Uganda, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Uzbekistan, Myanmar, France, and the United States. 

This brings the direct impact of CWFL’s Fellowship program to 86 women of faith across 32 countries worldwide.