Karen Nelson Villanueva Karen Villanueva

Adjunct Lecturer
Women's Spirituality
Philosophy and Religion Department
School of Consciousness and Transformation

PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies

MA, George Washington University; MA, Holy Names University

Karen Nelson Villanueva, Ph.D. is Adjunct Faculty at Holy Names University in their Humanities and Religious Studies programs, and also at the California Institute of Integral Studies in the Women's Spirituality program. As a Tibetan (Vajrayana) Buddhist practitioner in the Gelug tradition, she leads Buddhist ritual and meditation at the Tse Chen Ling Center for Tibetan Buddhist Studies. She is also a certified teacher in Cultivating Emotional Balance training. She was raised in Detroit and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan before serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Costa Rica.

She earned a Master of Public Administration degree from George Washington University and then worked for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Karen returned to school to complete a Master of Arts degree in Culture & Spirituality from the Sophia program at Holy Names University and successfully defended a doctorate in Philosophy & Religion with an emphasis in Women's Spirituality from the California Institute of Integral Studies.

Her dissertation, "Invoking the Blessings of the Tibetan Buddhist Goddess Tara Through Chanting Her Mantra to Overcome Fear," explores the effects of chanting mantra with contemporary Western practitioners at an urban Buddhist meditation center with the goal of overcoming a specific fear. She has written articles, essays, and encyclopedic entries on "Mother Love in Buddhism," "Buddhism and Mothering," and "White Tara Meditation." Her experience includes workshops on "Chanting Mantra: A Tool to Protect the Mind" and paper presentations at the American Academy of Religion National Meeting, the Association for the Study of Women and Mythology, and the Western Association of Women Historians. As an avid traveler, she has gone on pilgrimage to the Buddhist sites in India, Nepal, and Indonesia. Karen now lives with her family and teaches, tutors writing, and composes an upcoming blog at TaraMantras.com.

Women's Spirituality Faculty

Alka Arora Alka Arora
Assistant Professor, Women's Spirituality
PhD, University of Washington,
BA, University of Southern California,
Asoka Bandarage Asoka Bandarage
Adjunct Distinguished Professor, Women's Spirituality
PhD, BA, Yale University,
BA, Bryn Mawr College,
Jennifer Berezan Jennifer Berezan
Adjunct Professor, Women's Spirituality
MA, Holy Names College,
BA, University of Calgary,
Carolyn Brandy Carolyn Brandy
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
BA, Holy Names College,
Susan Carter Susan Carter
Adjunct Professor, Women's Spirituality & Transformative Inquiry
PhD, MA, California Institute of Integral Studies,
BA, Lewis and Clark College,
Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum Lucia Chiavola Birnbaum
Professor Emeritus, Women's Spirituality
PhD, MA, BA, University of California, Berkeley,
Carol P. Christ Carol P. Christ
Adjunct Professor, Women's Spirituality
Director,
PhD, MA, Yale University,
Lisa Christie Lisa Christie
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MBA, Santa Clara University; BA, Coleman College,
Jen Cross
Program Coordinator, Women's Spirituality
Cheryl Dawson Cheryl Dawson
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
MDiv, Graduate Theological Union,
MA, New College of California; BA, California State University, Hayward,
Vivian Dzyak Vivian Dzyak
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
PhD, MA, California Institute of Integral Studies,
BA, California State University, Hayward,
Riane Eisler Riane Eisler
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Women's Spirituality Program
Philosophy and Religion Department, School of Consciousness and Transformation
JD, University of California, Los Angeles,
Heide Goettner-Abendroth Heide Goettner-Abendroth
Adjunct Distinguished Professor, Women's Spirituality
PhD, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitat of Munich,
Susan Griffin
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
MA, BA, San Francisco State University,
Miri Hunter Haruach Miri Hunter Haruach
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MA, University of New Mexico; BFA, University of Tampa,
Mara Lynn Keller Mara Lynn Keller
Professor, Women's Spirituality Program
PhD, MPhil, Yale University,
MA, Purdue University; BA, Gettysburg College,
Anne Key Anne Key
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MA, BA, Stephen F. Austin State University,
Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman Rabbi Jane Rachel Litman
Adjunct Instructor, Women's Spirituality
MAHL, Reconstructionist Rabbinical College,
MA, Hebrew Union College; BA, University of California, Berkeley,
Mary Mackey Mary Mackey
Adjunct Professor, Women's Spirituality
Phd, University of Michigan,
BA, Harvard University,
Reanae McNeal Reanae McNeal
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
MA, Texas Woman’s University,
BA, Western Illinois University,
Mytrae Meliana Mytrae Meliana
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
MA, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MA, MM, Ball State University,
Arisika Razak Arisika Razak
Professor Emeritus, Women's Spirituality
MPH, University of California, Berkeley,
Sara Salazar Sara Salazar
Lecturer,
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
Charlene Spretnak Charlene Spretnak
Professor Emeritus, Women's Spirituality
Starhawk Starhawk
Adjunct Professor, Women's Spirituality
MA, Antioch West,
BA, UCLA,
Elizabeth Ursic Elizabeth Ursic
Adjunct Senior Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
PhD, Arizona State University; MDiv, Yale University,
BA/MA, BA/BS, University of Pennsylvania,
Karen Nelson Villanueva Karen Nelson Villanueva
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,
MA, George Washington University; MA, Holy Names University,
Afia Walking Tree Afia Walking Tree
Adjunct Lecturer, Women's Spirituality
M.Ed, Bank Street College of Education,
Sara Webb Sara Webb
Adjunct Professor, Women's Spirituality
BA, University of California, Berkeley,
Annette Williams Annette Williams
Program Chair and Assistant Professor, Women's Spirituality
PhD, California Institute of Integral Studies,

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