Alumni Careers

The professional endeavors of the Women's Spirituality Program alumni are diverse and inspiring, often defying the boundaries of a singular career path. Women's Spirituality alums are trailblazers in diverse fields from spiritual leadership to media production. We are proud and honored by the impact this degree has made on our students, and ultimately on the community as they carry it with them into the world. Here we highlight a variety of ways in which alumni have used their degrees in their professional lives. 

Examples of Alum Careers

Non-Profit work and Community Activism

Executive Director, Cecillia Naomi Lipp, The International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law

Learn more here.

Scholar and Activist, Lorin Jackson, Public Services Librarian, The AIDS Library

"I realize that I am capable because of the program. This power helps me set my priorities and goals in a way that puts me first in my professional life. Too often our needs are neglected as women, and more specifically as women of color. I had practice in the program to respectfully disagree and assert my personal values in an academic way that helps me continue to shape my professional identity and energy."

Learn more here.


Counseling Practitioners and Healing Arts

Psychotherapist, Anna Joyce, PhD

"This degree resulted in enormous changes in the way I felt about my work. Through spending time with the curanderas, the way I worked began to evolve as well. ... The fact that all life and growth take place within a spiritual journey was more prominent in my assessment of and solutions to client challenges. I began to view my work as a true healing art."

Learn more here.

Healer, Yoga Instructor, Artist, Life Coach, Marisa Manriquez, Soul Witness- alternative holistic therapy and life purpose coaching, shamanic arts

Learn more here.

Spiritual Leadership

Faculty Relations Manager, Nadirah Adeye, The Shift Network

Learn more here.

Priestess and Founder, Leilani Birely, Daughters of the Goddess

"All I have learned from the classes, my teachers and ancestor spur me forth to share the forgotten and lost knowledge that is so powerful and that can become a vehicle for womyn to move together in Sisterhood. Our Foremothers left legacies for us to inherit. It is our right and blessing to join together to reclaim, preserve and perpetuate the traditions and ceremonies of our ancestors."

Founder and Executive Director, Chandra Alexandre, SHARANYA a Devi Mandir goddess temple

Learn more here.

Higher Education

Professor, Cristina Rose Smith, Gender and Ethnic Studies, California State University, Dominquez Hills, CA 

"My five years in the Women's Spirituality program deepened my engagement with caring and abundant epistemologies and ontologies. With mentors and teachers at and connected to CIIS, I was nurtured and encouraged to seek out the gifts of my motherline -- women of color who survived and thrived because of their intuitive strength. The ‘mothering' I received at CIIS helped to develop my goals in my own classrooms. I see myself as part of the lineage of women who have come through Women's Spirituality and am now passing on my own intuitive strength to my students, most of which are women of color. The knowledge and wisdom of matriarchal and indigenous and POC perspectives is what I share, and it is my responsibility and honor."

Learn more here.

Reference Librarian, Eahr Joan, MA, Reference Librarian & Archivist.

Learn more here.

Co-Chair- Marcelle Williams,  The Women's Caucus at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature

"I had always had a passion for seeking out the unheard voice and the WSE program gave me the tools and structure to continue the last segment of my graduate career on a path that was not only familiar, but was lacking in my higher ed career. The Ph.D. has supported my exploration of women's voices, but it has also given me the ability to network and find a group of women who support women's words and voices within the academy through the Women's Caucus at AAR/SBL."

Learn more here.

Arts, Writing & Media

Editor- Marion Dumont, PhD., Myths Shattered and Restored

Author and CEO Founder, Deborah Santana, MA, Do A Little Foundation

"My life has always been about spirituality & social justice. i returned to CIIS to earn my Master's in Women's Spirituality to better understand the disparities in the world for women & to be able to articulate women's voices & leadership in my work, which I call spiritual activism."

Learn more here.

Visual Artist- Tricia Grame

Learn more here.

Radio show producer- Sandy Miranda, KPFA

Learn more here.

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