Susan Carter, PhD

Adjunct Faculty
Transformative Leadership

Transformative Studies

CIIS Main Building
1453 Mission Street
San Francisco, CA 94103

Susan Carter, PhD, received her PhD in Humanities (Philosophy and Religion) at The California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS), San Francisco, California.

Prior to attending and teaching at CIIS, Susan worked in the corporate financial sector; she co-founded, co-owned and operated a private real estate investment company that grew to employ approximately 200 employees by the mid-1990s.

Susan is now an associate professor (adjunct) at the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and Marylhurst University (Portland, OR). She has been teaching at CIIS for over a decade in the School of Undergraduate Studies, the Transformative Leadership M.A. program, the Transformative Studies Ph.D. program, and the Women's Spirituality M.A. and Ph.D. graduate programs. At Marylhurst University she teaches in the Masters of Interdisciplinary Studies program (Spiritual Traditions and Ethics) as well as the Human Sciences and Business/Real Estate Studies programs.

Believing that learning is most effective when coupled with relevant direct application to daily lives and contemporary issues, Susan has developed courses with action, experiential, and community engagement components. Her courses are structured to expand the dynamic possibilities of academic studies and collaborative community activism/social change work. She has also been instrumental in developing a number of the courses offered in the Partnership Studies Concentration of the Transformative Leadership Program.

Some of Susan's courses include "The Power of Partnership" (co-taught with Riane Eisler), "Partnership in Action," "Spirit, Compassion, and Community Activism," "Power, Influence, and Responsibility," "Spiritual Entrepreneurship: Creating a Caring Economics," Global Studies/Personal Responsibility and Social Change," "Business Writing and Communication, "Ecology and the Environment," "Research Writing and Development," "Mirrors in History: A Cross-Cultural Exploration," "Cultures in Balance: Women at the Center," and "Embodying the Present: Women's Spirituality."

As a feminist scholar and an avid advocate of volunteerism and community-based learning, Susan is actively involved in the non-profit sector, and has served on a number of boards that promote education and empowerment of underserved populations, cross-cultural understanding, and the arts. She has formed and directed a 501[c][3] foundation, and consults with other Bay Area educational institutions to help promote community service. In addition, she presents nationally and internationally on diverse spiritual and educational topics. She is also consultant to and on the speaker's bureau with The Center for Partnership Studies.

Susan's teaching is further informed by looking to ancient cultures for ideas that may help shape our future. Her academic and personal interests come together with the study of women's spirituality and prehistoric symbolism and art as an expression of ancient spiritual traditions. Over the last decade she has studied the prehistoric origins of the Japanese sun goddess, linking this goddess' influence on the current political discussion of women's right of ascendancy to the Chrysanthemum thrown. Additionally, over the last several years she has been researching her ancestral roots (and possible Sami lineage): women's roles in contemporary Sweden, women's possible roles in Scandinavian prehistory, Scandinavian mythology, and the ancient rock carvings of Sweden. In her picture on the CIIS website you see her in action, working as a volunteer in the documentation of rock art with the Scandinavian Prehistoric Art Society.