Bessie Strong WISDOM Program
In our endeavors to strengthen the capacity of Sisters Chapel to bring the power and presence of its spiritual and civil rights legacy together with contemporary and culturally relevant expressions of faith and social justice, an educational infrastructure was established. With funding support from the Lilly Endowment Inc., the WISDOM (Women in Spiritual Discernment of Ministry) Center, a multidimensional student centered leadership development program, opened its doors in January 2003.
The purpose of the WISDOM Center is to provide a safe space where students can reflect and critically examine what it means for women of African descent to be called by God and live out their faith. In community and sisterhood, Spelman women think deeply about the intersection between academic pursuits, spirituality, career choice, and leadership. WISDOM Center programs allow students to pursue questions of meaning and purpose in a supportive environment. Questions abound and students want answers. There is a stirring of the mind and a stirring of the spirit; a longing and passion to pursue and fulfill one’s purpose.
The WISDOM Center’s interfaith living and learning program selects ten students annually to live in intentional community and make connections between their academic studies, faith commitments and career choices. Required bi-monthly reflection groups are structured around a Sacred Calling Handbook that outlines readings and journaling assignments specific to faith development, spiritual formation, vocation and ethical leadership. The living and learning program also provides faculty an opportunity to interact with students in their residential space.