The Women's Spirituality Program offers a MA and PhD. Please visit Applying to CIIS for application deadlines and other important information.

MA in Women, Gender, Spirituality, and Social Justice (WGS)

The Women, Gender, Spirituality and Social Justice master's degree is an interdisciplinary degree that integrates a number of fields in the humanities and social sciences. Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of CIIS and demonstrate the potential to be successful in this academically rigorous program.

Successful candidates for admission into this MA program typically have the following qualifications:

  • A vision that is compatible with the program's mission
  • A commitment to personal and social transformation 
  • An ability to think critically and creatively 
  • Respect for a diversity of viewpoints 
  • Sufficient maturity and stability to pursue independent inquiry
  • Scholarly writing skills

Click here to view MA application requirements

Online Admissions Application: Begin the application process by submitting an online graduate application at the link below and submitting the non-refundable $65 application fee payment.

Degree Requirement: An undergraduate degree (BA, BS, or the equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution.

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended within the United States. Transcripts must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes.

Autobiographical Statement: A four-to-six page (typed, double-spaced) essay focused on the values, interests, life experiences, and spiritual insights that led to your decision to apply to this program.

Goal Statement: A one-page (typed, double-spaced) statement that clearly articulates how an MA in Women, Gender, Spirituality, and Social Justice will serve your long-term personal and professional aspirations.

Academic Writing Sample: A writing sample of eight-to-ten pages (typed, double-spaced) that demonstrates your capacity to think critically and reflectively and demonstrates graduate level writing abilities. A sample that uses outside sources must include proper citations. You may submit copies of previous work, such as a recent academic paper, article, or report that reflects scholarly abilities.

Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters will be accepted from academic advisors, professors, professional supervisors, or someone able to attest to your ability to undertake the work required for your program. Recommenders should use standard business format and include full contact information-name, email, phone number, and mailing address.


Please submit all electronic materials as individual attachments (one document per submission, in .doc, or .pdf formats) to materials@ciis.edu. Supporting materials listed above may be submitted at a later time, after submitting the online application.

Doctor of Philosophy and Religion with a concentration in Women's Spirituality (WSE)

The Women's Spirituality doctoral program is located at the intersection of women's/gender studies, ethnic studies, philosophy, and religion. Applicants must meet the general admission requirements of CIIS and would ideally have an MA in one of the disciplines mentioned above.  For those who do not have a background in a related field, up to 18 additional units of courses drawn from the WSE curriculum will be  required, minus equivalencies. (Equivalency for university courses previously taken is determined by the WSE Admissions Committee on an individual basis.)

Successful candidates for admission into the Women's Spirituality doctoral program typically have the following qualifications:

  • A vision that is compatible with the program's mission
  • A commitment to personal and social transformation 
  • Demonstrated ability to think critically and creatively 
  • Respect for a diversity of viewpoints Sufficient maturity and stability to pursue independent inquiry
  • The ability to clearly articulate educational, professional, and research goalsStrong scholarly writing skills
  • The ability to identify a prospective area of specialization and/or dissertation topic that is consistent with the program's mission and resources

Click here to view PhD application requirements

Online Admissions Application: click the graduate application link below to begin

Non-refundable $65 Application Fee

Degree Requirement: A bachelor's and master's degree (or the equivalent) from a regionally accredited institution.

Transcripts: Official transcripts from all accredited academic institutions attended. Transcripts must arrive in their official, sealed envelopes.

Autobiographical Statement: A four-to-six page (typed, double-spaced) essay focused on the values, interests, life experiences, and spiritual insights that led to your decision to apply to this program.

Goal Statement: A 1-2 page (typed, double-spaced) statement that clearly articulates how a PhD in our program will serve your long-term personal and professional aspirations. Please include your potential areas of research interest.

Academic Writing Sample: A writing sample of eight to ten pages (typed, double-spaced) that demonstrates your capacity to think critically and reflectively and demonstrates graduate level writing abilities. A sample that uses outside sources must include proper citations. You may submit copies of previous work, such as a recent academic paper, article, or report that reflects scholarly abilities.

Two Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation should ideally be from professors who can attest to your scholarly writing and research abilities. If you are not able to obtain two letters from faculty, one of the letters can be from an academic advisor or professional supervisor. Recommenders should use standard business format and include full contact information-name, email, phone number, and mailing address.


Please submit all electronic materials as individual attachments (one document per submission, in .doc, or .pdf formats) to materials@ciis.edu. Supporting materials listed above may be submitted at later time, after submitting the online application.

International Students

Please note: International students and individuals who have studied at institutions outside the US and Canada have additional requirements. Please see the International Student page for additional details.

For more information about the program, please contact:

Caitlin Shepherd
Women's Spirituality Program Coordinator
(415) 575-6255
wse@ciis.edu

Lisa Christie, PhD
Adminstrative Adjunct Liaison
(415) 575-6172
lchristie@ciis.edu

Contact Us

If you have any additional questions about admissions, please contact our admissions counselor:

AmyJo Mattheis
(415) 575-6246
amattheis@ciis.edu

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