Dr Claire Renkin, Dr Carmel Posa sgs (Co-ordinator), Professor Katharine Massam, Janette Bredenoord Elliot

Semester 1 unit | Women Doctors of the Church

Paul’s injunction that women remain silent in the Church (1 Cor 14: 34-36) could be said to have led to the absence of Women’s Wisdom from the official teaching of the Church over its 2000 year history. Of the 36 Doctors of the Church, only 4 are women, Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena, Thérèse of Lisieux and Hildegard of Bingen, all of whom have only been recognised in the last 50 years. This unit will concentration on the contribution of these women to our theological understanding of God and also explore other important female voices that have been overlooked through the centuries.

Unit details

College Yarra Theological Union
Lecturers Dr Carmel Posa sgs (Co-ordinator)

Dr Claire Renkin

Professor Katharine Massam

Janette Bredenoord Elliot

Level Level 3 Undergraduate

Level 9 Postgraduate

Study modes and times Face to Face Or Online Synchronous

Saturdays: 4 March, 25 March, 15 April, 6 May, 20 May

Unit codes CH3217Y Undergraduate

CH9217Y Postgraduate

DS3217Y Undergraduate

DS9217Y Postgraduate

For further information or to make and appointment please contact Yarra Theological Union.  PH: 03 9890 3771


  • May I bring your attention to my two published books on the four Women Doctors of the Church? “Leadership as a call to service: The lives and works of Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Siena and Therese of Lisieux” (2012) and “Leadership as a call to service: The life and works of Hildegard of Bingen” (2015). Also all 4 women have chapters in my more recent book “Heralding a Renaissance: Women and Leadership in the Catholic Church” (2019).

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