The PhD curriculum consists of the 36 units of coursework, and requires that students take two 0-unit culminating courses before advancing to candidacy.

Applicants to the PhD program must have completed an MA degree prior to enrollment. Students admitted with an MA in a field other than philosophy, religion, women's studies, or women's spirituality may need to take up to 18 supplemental units from the Women's Spirituality curriculum. If some of the student's masters-level coursework included an examination of gender and/or religion, those courses may count toward the 18 supplemental units. 

PhD in Philosophy and Religion with a concentration in Women's Spirituality-36 units

I. Required Foundation Courses-21 units

A. PARW 6047: Critical and Liberatory Methods of Inquiry (2 units)
B. PARW 6286: Building Conscious Allyship (1 unit)
C. PARW 6500: Sacred Lineages: Goddesses, Foremothers, and Activists (3 units)
D. PARW 6548: Women and World Religions (3 units)
E. PARW 7609: Womanist, Feminist, and Decolonial Worldviews (3 units)
F. PARW 8012: Women's Spirituality Research Methodologies (3 units)
G. Women's Mysteries, Sacred Arts, and Healing -Select 3 units from WS curriculum.
H. Feminist & Ecofeminist Philosophy and Activism- Select one of three options:

PARW 6658: Spiritual Activism and Transformative Social Change (2 units)
PARW 7585: Spirit, Compassion and Community Activism (1 unit) 

Or - PARW 7002: Ecofeminist Philosophy and Activism (3 units) 
Or - PARW 7006: Women Philosophers, Mystics, and Wisdom Teachers (3 units)

II. Areas of Emphasis-6 units

3 units in each of two of the following areas. Please note that course offerings vary from year to year.

1. Women and World Religions

PARW 6426: The Spirit and the Flesh: Christianity and Paganism in Comparative Perspective
PARW 6440: Liberation Dharma: Gender, Buddhism, and Social Justice 
PARW 6425: Gender, Power, and Spirit in Indigenous Cultures
PARW 6187: Womanist Theology and Restorative Justice 
PARW 6265: Return of the Goddess: Literature of the Goddess Spirituality Movement 
PARW 6600: Goddesses of Prehistory: An Archaeomythology 
PARW 6671: Lady Wisdom, Hagia Sophia
PARW 6787: Sacred Women of Africa and the African Diaspora 
PARW 6792: Women and Tantra
PARW 6548: Women and World Religions 
PARW 7560: Thealogy/Theology: Goddess/God, Humanity, Nature, and Ethics
PARW 7640: Goddess and God Civilization of Ancient Crete

2. Feminist and Ecofeminist Philosophy and Activism

PARW 6419: Transformative Philosophies of Justice: Local and Global Perspectives
PARW 6429: Spiritual Responses to Gender Based Violence
PARW 6428: Ecological Consciousness and Climate Justice
PARW 6073: Animal Ethics: Spiritual, Ecological, and Philosophical Perspectives 
PARW 6080: Holistic Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Rights and Freedoms 
PARW 6291: Teaching to Transform: Practical Strategies for Liberatory Educators 
PARW 6423: Feminist Perspectives on Transpersonal Psychology 
PARW 6446: Nature as Sacred Text 
PARW 6658: Spiritual Activism and Transformative Social Change
PARW 7002: Ecofeminist Philosophy and Activism
PARP 6682: Ecologies of Liberation

3. Women's Mysteries, Sacred Arts, and Healing

PARW 6424: Mirrors: Reflections on Consciousness, Empowerment, and Spirituality
PARW 6351: Women's Visionary Poetry 
PARW 6352: Women's Visionary Fiction 
PARW 6075: Gender, Sacred Sexuality, and Healing 
PARW 6328: Writing Spiritual Memoir 
PARW 6336: Curanderismo: Ancestral Spiritual Healing Traditions 
PARW 6450: Women's Visionary Film: Magic, Myth, and Mystery
PARW 6575: The Art of Conscious Dreaming 
PARW 6779: Embodied Healing Traditions 
PARW 6780: Sacred Women of the African Diaspora: Goddesses, Queens, Priestesses, and Other
PARW 6781: Orisha: Indigenous Philosophy - Experienced Through Song, Drum, and Dance 
PARW 6788: Embodying Praise: Sacred Traditions of Movement 
PARW 6793: Embodied Earth Wisdom: Healing and Percussion in the African Diaspora
PARW 6795: Kundalini Energy, The Tree of Life, and Cosmic Consciousness
PARW 7020: Sacred Music of the World: Traditional and Contemporary 
PARW 7199: Coming Alive: Rosen Method Movement and Bodywork 
PARW 7202: Peace Is in Our Hands: Rosen Method Bodywork and Movement 
PARW 7420: The Healing Ecstasy of Sound 
PARW 6427: Eleusinian Mysteries and Greek Goddess Traditions

III. Electives-6 units

Select any 6 units from CIIS or WSE curriculum; students are encouraged to take electives in their area of emphasis. A maximum of 3 elective units can be taken through Public Programs workshops that have been approved for academic credit.

IV. Foreign Language Proficiency-Noncredit

Knowledge of a foreign language is highly recommended for all Women's Spirituality PhD students as a demonstration of multicultural awareness in an extremely diverse and pluralistic world. Knowledge of a foreign language is required for WS PhD students if, and only if, it is inherent to the research necessary for the dissertation (e.g., the necessity to read primary sources in the language in which they were written rather than depending on translations).

V. Comprehensive Exams - 3 units plus a 0-unit course

PARW 7880: Comprehensive Exam: Literature Review -3 units
PARW 7881: Comprehensive Exam: Advanced Research Methods -0 units

VI. Culminating Coursework-0 units

PARW 7809: Dissertation Proposal Writing -0 units 
PARW 6900: Dissertation Proposal Completion -0 units; (only if the dissertation proposal was not completed in one semester; this can be taken two times maximum)
PARW 7900: Dissertation Writing Seminar -0 units

To view dissertation samples from our Women's Spirituality PhD Program Alums, please visit our dissertations page.

For course descriptions and more information, please visit the Women's Spirituality section of the Academic Catalog

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