This study addresses the lack of scholarly attention focused on educational contributions of Catholic women religious educators. Using a qualitative multiple case study, this research describes the academic experiences of Catholic sisters, or women religious, serving as faculty at public universities in the South. The study highlights issues related to gender, religious identity, environment, relationships, and experiences and perceptions of others as they pertain to the academic experiences of Catholic women religious. Implications of the study point to an underutilization of the outsider perspective which could potentially benefit the academy, as well as the need for diversity training in the academy. The study expands the knowledge base for subsequent research in the areas of Catholic women religious faculty members in higher education and religious identity of faculty members in higher education.


Case Study, Feminist Theory, Catholic Women Religious, Catholic Sisters, Women Faculty, Gender

Author Bio(s)

Peggy M. Delmas, PhD, is Assistant Professor in the Department of Leadership and Teacher Education in the College of Education and Professional Studies at the University of South Alabama, Mobile, Alabama. Dr. Delmas teaches graduate courses in higher education leadership and mentors master’s level and doctoral students. Her research interests include leadership and gender in higher education, and online teaching and learning Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: pdelmas@southalabama.edu.

Nataliya V. Ivankova, PhD, MPH, is Professor in the Department of Health Services Administration with a dual appointment in the School of Nursing at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Dr. Ivankova is internationally recognized for her scholarly publications addressing empirical and methodological aspects of qualitative and mixed methods research. Dr. Ivankova teaches graduate courses in philosophy of science, qualitative inquiry and mixed methods research. She mentors doctoral students, post-doctoral fellows, and junior faculty, and serves as a national consultant in mixed methods research. Dr. Ivankova is a founding Co-editor of the Mixed Methods Research Series with Sage Publishing. Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: nivankov@uab.edu.

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