The Center for Women, Faith & Leadership (CWFL) supports and equips women of faith to assume and advance in leadership roles and influence decision making in global affairs, with particular emphasis in areas where women are most affected yet have had the least influence - religious freedom, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding.

2019-2020 Fellowship Cohort

The CWFL Fellowship Program

The CWFL Fellowship Program is an innovative 1-year program that offers women of faith the opportunity to increase their capacity and leadership skills, in order to more fully address religious freedom, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding in their own contexts. Fellows will learn from one another, and from a network of experts, in order to enhance their leadership, cross-cultural communication, and negotiation skills, while leveraging their expertise and networks to more effectively influence and educate multiple audiences and stakeholders.

The Fellowship concludes with a capstone project where Fellows work to apply their skills and networks to a particular issue/challenge. In the process these Fellows demonstrate how women of faith can play integral roles in decision-making in global and community affairs, while also building a global movement of women experienced and equipped to be difference makers both in analyzing problems and implementing practical solutions.

Hybrid Fellowship

The CWFL Hybrid Fellowship is a one-year fellowship program for women-of-faith seeking to advance their leadership, as they advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized. Women-of-faith bring unique perspectives and innovative responses to the needs of vulnerable groups around the world. The Fellowship provides a platform to empower and elevate the voice of women-of-faith, in order to effectively advocate for the marginalized among us.

The Hybrid Fellowship offers both in-person and online learning experiences that are built on three core focus areas: interpersonal psycho-social groups, skill-building; and, experiential self-care.

The 2020 CWFL Hybrid Fellowship cohort will include 8-10 women-of-faith from around the world. The cohort will meet for 2 in-person week-long workshops: Washington, D.C. (May 2020) and Hanoi, Vietnam (September 2020), as well as 10 synchronous online learning webinars. The Fellowship experience will conclude with a final Capstone Project where participants are mentored by CWFL staff and Advisory Council members.

Applications are due by January 31st, 2020. 

Distance Learning Fellowship

The CWFL Distance Learning Fellowship is a one-year online fellowship program for women-of-faith seeking to advance their leadership through skill building, as they advocate for the vulnerable and marginalized. The online fellowship is a means for CWFL to expand the reach of its successful hybrid fellowship, to women-of-faith who are unable to participate in-person, due to health constraints, visa restrictions, transportation constraints, economic hardship, etc. 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 distance learning fellowship will consist of 20-25 women-of-faith from around the world. The cohort will meet for 12 synchronous and asynchronous online learning webinars.  

Applications for our 2020 distance learning fellowship are now closed. 

CWFL Educational Resource Site

The CWFL resource site seeks to make resources more accessible to global women of faith leaders and their supporters. The site includes:

  • Detailed information about the mission of CWFL;
  • Encouraging prayers and meditations from women of faith leaders, around the world;
  • Information about advisory support;
  • Suggested educational and supportive resources;
  • CWFL programming, including the CWFL Fellowship Program;
  • Ways to get involved in CWFL; and,
  • A self-led leadership development toolkit specifically for CWFL program participants and supporters.

“What is happening in Syria is beyond all of our imaginations and it breaks my heart…if women are not educated and empowered they will not have the ability to play a role in rebuilding security and peace. IGE’s CWFL Fellowship offered me the opportunity to increase my capacity and leadership skills. Through the Fellowship, I became a difference-maker, both in analyzing problems and implementing practical solutions.”

Ghada Ghazal, CWFL 2017-2018 Fellow
Ghada Ghazal, CWFL 2017-2018 Fellow
Educator from Syria; has lived abroad since 2012 due to the ongoing civil war. In Syria, she taught Islam & Arabic at the Al-Anduluse Institute for Islamic Studies, the only institute of its kind that works to empower Muslim women.

The Religion, Gender & Identity (RGI) Initiative

The CWFL Religion, Gender & Identity (RGI) Initiative serves as a public resource, compiling and disseminating research findings and analyses on issues related to the integration of women of faith in global affairs. With an emphasis on understanding women’s roles in religious freedom, conflict resolution, and peacebuilding -- and their intersection with policy and practice -- the initiative serves as a platform for the pursuit and presentation of original research and as a resource to help equip leaders to better realize and utilize the imperative roles of women in all forms of decision-making and agenda setting, globally.

More information about the RGI Initiative can be found on the CWFL Educational Resource Site.

The CWFL Advisory Council

The Center for Women, Faith & Leadership Advisory Council is a body of prominent leaders from diverse sectors dedicated to supporting the vision and mission of IGE’s Center for Women, Faith & Leadership (CWFL) and its corresponding programs. Council members play a valuable role in the substance and sustainability of the Center, serving as advocates and advisors on issues relevant to women of faith and religious women’s leadership, especially their engagement and influence in under-represented sectors, in real-time.

As a global initiative, Council members represent a diverse array of cultures, geographic locations, ethnic and religious backgrounds, political perspectives and professional competencies. Individuals invited to serve as CWFL Advisory Council members typically include leaders from the public, non-profit and private sectors that have demonstrated personal distinction, leadership, and a commitment to building the capacity of women of faith in order to ensure that these women, with full agency as equal citizens, are equipped and empowered to serve as leaders and agents of change-across vocations and locations; and, on the world’s most pressing socio-economic and geo-political challenges and conflicts.

For more information on the aforementioned programs, or for partnership inquiries, please contact Kristen Lundquist, Program Director, Center for Women, Faith & Leadership at

Interested in signing up for the quarterly CWFL newsletter? Visit the CWFL Educational Resource Site to learn more!