The Women's Spirituality program holds diversity as a crucial component to our understanding of integral education. The program acknowledges the power differentials based on the social meanings assigned to gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, ethnicity, immigration status, colonization, ability, and disability. We are committed to unlearning oppression, building alliances, and unpacking our various privileges. While we are a program that focuses on the roles, activities, and spiritual practices of individuals and groups characterized as "women," the Women's Spirituality program explicitly acknowledges difficulties that arise from heteronormativity in spirituality, and from dual or binary gender systems. We welcome individuals of all sexualities and diverse gender identities.
In its more than 20 years, our program has witnessed a burgeoning expansion in faculty, student, and curriculum diversity which allows us to assert that diversity is one of our most solid strengths.
Our core and adjunct faculty represent diverse spiritual traditions, academic disciplines, artistic practices, ethnic and cultural groups, class perspectives, countries of origin, and sexual orientations and identities (including lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual, queer). Some faculty members are single while others are married/partnered; some are without children, some have children, and some have grandchildren.
We value ethnic and economic diversity in our program, and we make a concerted effort to recruit and retain students who come from communities that reflect these diversities. We support our students by recruiting and retaining diverse faculty, by building a diverse curriculum, by offering diversity scholarships, and by involving students of color in recruitment. We pay particular attention to issues of diversity in our advising and mentoring, recognizing that ethnic and class background, along with sexual orientation, are often part of what shapes and directs students' academic and career goals.
The diversity of students in our classes promotes an embodied understanding of disparate worldviews and epistemologies. The diversity supports a lively exchange of information in which many points of view are represented and discussed. The diversity facilitates students' ability to effectively participate in the increasingly pluralistic world of the 21st century. In a situation in which all of us are co-learners, new information emerges from our diversity that expands our scope of knowledge. Our collective understanding of the human condition is enhanced by the safe and facilitated sharing of personal reflections and experiences that encourage us to reexamine assumptions of privilege in the dominant paradigm(s).