Our graduates are inspirational 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 graduates carry learning and passion with them into the world. Below, we highlight a variety of ways in which graduates have used their degrees in their professional lives.
Cecillia Naomi Lipp, Executive Director, International Action Network for Gender Equity & Law.
Lorin Jackson, Public Services Librarian, Scholar and Activist, AIDS Library.
Anna Joyce, Psychotherapist.
Marisa Manriquez, Healer, Yoga Instructor, Artist, Life Coach, Soul Witness.
Nadirah Adeye, Faculty Relations Manager, Shift Network.
Leilani Birely, Priestess and Founder, Daughters of the Goddess.
Chandra Alexandre, Founder and Executive Director, SHARANYA: A Devi Mandir Goddess Temple.
Cristina Rose Smith, Professor, Gender and Ethnic Studies, California State University, Dominquez Hills, CA.
Eahr Joan, Reference Librarian, CIIS.
Marcelle Williams, Co-Chair, The Women's Caucus at the American Academy of Religion and Society of Biblical Literature.
Deborah Santana, Author and CEO Founder, Do A Little Foundation.
Tricia Grame, Visual Artist.
Sandy Miranda, Radio Producer, KPFA.
"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." —Lorin Jackson
"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." —Anna Joyce
"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." —Leilani Birely
"My five years in the 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 the program and I am now passing on my own intuitive strength to my students, most of whom 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." —Cristina Rose Smith
"I had always had a passion for seeking out the unheard voice and the 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 PhD 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." —Marcelle Williams
"My life has always been about spirituality and social justice. I returned to CIIS to earn my MA to better understand the disparities in the world for women and to be able to articulate women's voices and leadership in my work, which I call spiritual activism." —Deborah Santana