Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality

Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary SpiritualityBeginning this summer, Sister Joan’s research center, Benetvision, is offering an opportunity for young women to immerse themselves in Sister Joans work, especially regarding monasticism, women in the Catholic Church, and contemporary spirituality. This is a chance to broaden their thinking and deepen their understanding, in the company and community of other young, female-identifying seekers and scholars who are grounded in feminism and Catholicism.

The Joan Chittister Institute for Contemporary Spirituality is offering a two week program this June for a small number of female-identifying Catholic graduate students or recent graduates of programs in a masters of divinity, theology, religion, or related fields. READ MORE AND APPLY

Without doubt,
there is little room
for faith in anything.
—Joan Chittister

  • Sister Joan presents at Oblate Congress in Rome

    Sister Joan presents the keynote at the International Oblate Congress in Rome. Read her presentation here.

  • Oblate Joanne Cahill along with Sister Joan present Monasteries of the Heart

    Oblate Joanne Cahill along with Sister Joan present Monasteries of the Heart at the Rome Oblate Congress.

  • Sister Joan presents at Lockport, NY

    Sister Joan presents at Lockport, NY

  • Sister Joan signs books after her presentation at Lockport, NY

    Sister Joan signs books after her presentation at Lockport, NY

Joan Chittister is an outspoken advocate of justice, peace and equality — especially for women world-wide — and has been one of America’s visionary spiritual voices for more than 30 years.

On this website you can explore what makes her a beloved and best-selling author, a soul-stirring speaker, and a gifted spiritual guide.

Joan Chittister, a Benedictine Sister of Erie, has dedicated her life to voicing questions that test popularly accepted truths of the day. Her questions to both church and society focus on the empowerment of women, the development of contemporary spirituality, a redefinition and renewal of Benedictine life for seekers today, and justice for the oppressed and marginalized, particularly those in prison. Here are four Good Works that reflect her life commitments:

What's New

Sister Joan Chittister, OSB
Faith and Reason Seminar

Joan Chittister is one of nine scholars featured in a seminar called “A Prospect of a World Community of Religions,” which is now available for purchase online. The seminar was developed by Faith and Reason, an organization whose mission is “to promote critical thinking about historical and traditional Christianity and its relationship with other religious traditions, and to inspire individuals to recognize the injustices in society and to work for social and economic change.” The seminar draws on presentations made by Sister Joan, as well as scholars like Phyllis Tickle, John Dominic Crossan and Walter Brueggemann..” Click here to purchase the course.

Radical Spirit Named One of the Best Books of 2017

"There is no one on the planet who is better qualified or more capable of discerning and sharing the multiple meanings of the Rule of St. Benedict," Spirituality and Practice wrote of Joan Chittister, in its review of her latest book, Radical Spirit. Last week, Spirituality and Practice declared Radical Spirit one of the 50 Best Spiritual Books of 2017, along with titles by Anne Lamott, the Dalai Lama, and Rami Shapiro. Click here for the full review, and here for the list of all fifty Best Spiritual Books of 2017.

Radical Spirit is available for purchase here.

Sister Joan in Cuba
Cuba Cruise

“Cuba is a country of mixed races—where race is not the problem. But the US trade embargo is,” Sister Joan wrote about her recent cruise through Cuba, Feb. 2—9. Though she gave a series of lectures during the cruise, there was plenty of time to visit the beautiful country itself. Here she rests by a statue of Chopin.

Joan Chittister Newsletters

One Minute with Joan Chittister

Feb 18, 2018

A Word from Joan

Where is God now?
Feb 20, 2018

God is in the newness of life. Newness is where God waits for us to teach us new things. It is, however, the old, the familiar, the routine, the commonplace that we prefer. So we cling. We like to get things “right.” We like to be in control of our lives. We like surety and stability and predictability. We don’t want change.

Spirituality Resources

Everywoman Bookmarks
Everywoman Bookmarks

Insightful and inspiring quotes from Sister Joan echo the wisdom of such luminaries as Fannie Lou Hamer, Mary Magdalene, Dorothy Day, Mother Jones, The Four Churchwomen of El Salvador, Hildegard of Bingen, Mothers of Plaza del Mayo, Joan of Arc, Sophie Scholl, Susan B. Anthony, Rachel Carson and Sojourner Truth. Artist Marcy Hall, with her vibrant, whimsical, yet deeply reflective paintings, captures the essence of each of these remarkable women.


Award Winner: Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life
Radical Spirit: 12 Ways to Live a Free and Authentic Life by Joan Chittister

New book from Joan Chittister: Radical Spirit

Feeling burnt-out from life, strung-out from social media, and put out by a society that always wants more from you? Beloved nun and social activist Joan Chittister, who appeared on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, offers a practical, character-building, and inspirational guide to help you take control of your emotional life and redirect your spiritual destiny.

Listen to Sister Joan talk about Radical Spirit in this video.

Benetvision STORE

One of the many ways Benetvision pursues its mission as a research and resource center for contemporary spirituality is through a store where Joan Chittister’s books, newsletters, and recorded teachings are available for sale. When you buy from the Benetvision store, the proceeds help support the work of Sister Joan and her Benedictine community.