Two days of workshops, discussions, exhibits, dialogue, discovery, and celebration.
Welcome to the 36th Annual Women and Spirituality Conference.
Founded by Cindy Velduisen and hosted by Minnesota State University Mankato for thirty-five years, the Women and Spirituality Conference provides a supportive setting for a dialogue of mutual respect between people from many spiritual and religious traditions.
The Women and Spirituality Conference is a multi-faith gathering to celebrate diversity, spiritual experience and healing. The weekend events include the conference with a keynote and 6 workshop selections from 84 offerings with registration in advance and at the door.
You are invited to join us for the first time in Rochester, MN.
The conference also includes the following free and open to the public events:
- Exhibit area and Wellness Retreat Room with 90 merchants, nonprofits and healers
- La Mese delle Donne art exhibit and show
- Maker’s Space with opportunities to create art with Teaki Garcia
Please note a change from previous years!
All conference communication will be done via email this year in order to minimize environmental impact. Please subscribe below to receive updates. All registration (participant, presenter and exhibitor) will be done online via this web site. Presenter and exhibitor registration is closed now (May, 2017). Participant registration is open.
Thank you to Clover Schultz for the beautiful MN photos on each page header.
Announcing our Keynote for 2017
Founder and CEO of Thistle Farms
Keynote Address: How to Turn Your Faith (whatever faith that may be) Into Action
BECCA STEVENS is many things...an Episcopal priest, author, speaker, social entrepreneur, founder and President of Thistle Farms, the largest social enterprise in the US run by survivors.
She has been featured in the New York Times, on ABC World News, NPR, PBS, and CNN.
In 2011, the White House named Becca a “Champion of Change” for her work against domestic violence. She was featured in the PBS documentary, “A Path Appears,” named Humanitarian of the Year by the Small Business Council of America as well as the TJ Martell Foundation, inducted into the Tennessee Women’s Hall of Fame and is a Top 10 2016 CNN Hero.
She has been conferred honorary doctorates from The University of the South, Sewanee and General Theological Seminary, New York.
When Becca speaks the listener is struck by her earnest, empathetic delivery infused with her personality. Her message is honest and she offers groups a way to move from fear and cynicism into inspired action.
She regularly keynotes at national events, business gatherings, morning worship in churches as well as universities and colleges across the country inspiring young adults to live into their ideals. She is an international voice for the growing global movement for women's freedom and a fervently hopeful and determinedly loving champion for the marginalized.
She lives in Nashville, TN where she serves as an Episcopal priest and lives with her Grammy-winning songwriter husband and three sons.
Opening Ceremony with the Chilean Mapuche Machitun Healers
The Machitun is the healing ceremony of the Mapuche, the indigenous people of Southern Chile. We will be led in this beautiful ceremony by women and men of the north who have trained in this tradition, and been given permission by the Machi (shaman) to bring this ceremony to anyone in need of healing. Using drums called Kultruns, and other ceremonial instruments, they will create sacred sounds that evoke an ancient remembering; they connect us with the roots of our vital life force and are powerful tools for restoring harmony within us.
Closing Ceremony with Nicolle Jensen
Sound is a healing force- waking up our brain, regulating heart and breathing rates, calming the central nervous system, and releasing oxytocin- the feel good chemicals in our brain. Join singer, drummer, and teacher Nicolle NEILL Jensen in marking the end of our time together with songs from around the world. Music is a powerful way to mark transition, to honor all that you have learned and shared over the weekend.
Words of songs we will sing:
She changes everything she touches and everything she touches changes
We are changing, we are changing, and everything we touch can change
Variation on a chant written by Starhawk, USA
Om tare tu tare ture svaha
Chant to the goddess Tara, embodiment of compassion in Tibetan Buddhism
Round and round the earth is turning
Turning round and round till morning
And from morning round till night
Traditional English lullaby
Words for love in Turkish and Hungarian
Lokah samastah suhkhino bhavantu
"May all beings, in all places, be free of suffering, be filled with joy"
An ancient Vedic chant from India
The Women and Spirituality Conference does not advocate or exclude any view and strives to foster an understanding and celebration of similarities and differences.
We are honored to have conference presenters from throughout the Midwest on topics including spirituality, sacred movement, religious history, intuition and more.