ASEC Research Initiative

Recent News & Reflections

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Sisters are undoubtedly creating sustainable change in Africa, but their work is not well-documented or widely known. In an effort to increase awareness of their integral role in the future of Africa, our Research Initiative has the following goals:

  • Provide workshops for sisters and help them to get their research published
  • Collect data about women religious, their roots, reach, and impact
  • Develop opportunities for women religious to engage in research initiatives
  • Create a central repository of research data related to sisters in Africa

Disseminating Research

Voices of Courage Book The book Voices of Courage (2015) shares the work and lives of sisters in Africa. Because of our research workshops we anticipate more research to be developed by our participants.

ASEC is currently working on a second book, Transformative Partnerships: Role of Agencies, Foundations, Institutions in Promoting Strategic Social and Sustainable Change for Women Religious in Africa. The publication of this book is funded by a grant from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation.

Teaching sisters how to conduct research

We are committed to teaching sisters how to conduct research, evaluate ministry projects, and collect congregational-level data. That's why evaluation and evidence-based strategic planning are built into the SLDI program curriculum.

In 2015, we began offering research training workshops. Our first research workshops, for sisters and religious life scholars, were held in Kenya (November, 2015) and Ghana (January, 2016). Over 60 participants learned about qualitative research and data gathering.

Visiting Scholar Program

In 2016, ASEC partnered with Georgetown University’s Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) to initiate a Visiting Scholar program for African sisters. A sister who is well-qualified to conduct research spends 6 months working with researchers at CARA to develop her own research study focused on sisters in Africa.

The first scholarSr. Bibiana M. Ngundo, LSOSF, Ph.D. from Kenya spent six months advancing her research skills (January-June 2017).

In Fall 2017, the second visiting scholar, Sr. Florence Emurayeveya, EHJ, M.Ed. from Nigeria arrived at CARA to begin her research activities. Sr. Florence will be performing research at CARA from September 2017 - March 2018.

Research Initiative Results

researchers funded

To date, 35 African researchers (including sisters) have been funded to conduct their research.

Research Partnerships

Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA)

The Center for Applied Research in the Apostolate (CARA) is a national, non-profit, Georgetown University affiliated research center that conducts social scientific studies about the Catholic Church. Founded in 1964, CARA has three major dimensions to its mission: (1) to increase the Church’s self understanding, (2) to serve the applied research needs of Church decision-makers and (3) to advance scholarly research on religion, particularly Catholicism. CARA has more than 50 years of experience in quality social science research on the Catholic Church and offers a range of research and consulting services for dioceses, parishes, religious communities and institutes, and other Catholic organizations.

Education is the key to long-term sustainability in Africa

You can provide hope to the future of Africa, one life at a time.

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For questions regarding our Research Initiative, please contact:

Jennifer Mudge

Jennifer Mudge

Assistant Director, Program Evaluation
jennifer.mudge@asec-sldi.org