IGE and Pepperdine University co-hosted the third and final workshop of the 2015-16 Center for Women, Faith & Leadership (CWFL) Fellowship Program at Pepperdine University’s Washington, D.C. Campus from March 14-17th. The 2015-16 CWFL Fellowship Cohort includes 10 professional women of faith representing leadership within the academic, defense, non-profit, development, relief, legal, and government sectors. The women represent Buddhist, Muslim, and Christian (Protestant and Catholic) faith backgrounds from Burundi, Myanmar, Nigeria, Liberia, Italy, Pakistan, Uzbekistan, Kenya, and the U.S.

The four-day workshop explored how women integrate faith with their leadership on peace and security issues. The Fellows contributed to a lively discussion with Pepperdine University Washington, D.C. campus students and faculty on critical issues of multi-faith engagement impacting the U.S. and abroad.

The workshop also marked the beginning of the Fellows’ Capstone Project year. During 2016, the Fellows will conduct independent research, with the support of a mentor, on critical peace and security issues that will produce a paper containing new scholarship, fresh thinking, and tangible policy recommendations.

In support of the Capstone Projects, Fellows participated in practical skill-based trainings on applied and secondary research, strategic planning, program design, monitoring & evaluation, cause marketing, event management, proposal writing, and philanthropic partnerships. Trainings were led by CWFL Senior Fellows along with private consultants and experts from the Peace & Security Funders Group, WorldVision, and Empowered Women International.

The CWFL Fellowship workshop concluded with a meeting with the CWFL Advisory Council. Over the course of the 2016 Fellowship year, Fellows will receive mentoring support for their Capstone Projects from Advisory Council members. Fellows will also continue to receive further leadership training and support through interactive online sessions with CWFL experts. The Fellowship will culminate in the presentation of Capstone Projects at international conferences in the fall.

CWFL is currently preparing for the second Fellowship which begins in January 2017. The 2017-18 CWFL Fellowship Program will consist of two cohorts of 10 women, based in two locations. The Western Hemisphere cohort, based in Washington, D.C., will focus on leadership development of women of faith in North and South America, empowering them to advance their leadership and response on issues of conflict resolution and peacebuilding. Similarly, the Eastern Hemisphere cohort based in Rome, Italy, will focus on leadership development of women of faith in Eurasia, Africa, and the Middle East. Fellows accepted into the program will participate in a total of 3 one-week workshops, 2 regional meetings, 14 online training seminars (with East and West cohort interaction), and regular one-on-one mentorship consultations.

A call for applications for the 2017-18 CWFL Fellowship Program will be posted on IGE’s website in late-September 2016. CWFL gladly welcomes support in sponsoring Fellowship scholarships for incoming Fellows. For more information regarding the Center for Women, Faith & Leadership or to sponsor a CWFL Fellow scholarship, please contact CWFL Program Director Kristen Lundquist at klundquist@globalengage.org.