African Nuns Challenged to Integrate Christian Spirituality in their Leadership

African nuns at The Leaders Guild September 2019 Conference in Nairobi
Credit: The Leaders Guild, Tangaza University College

African nuns have been challenged to incorporate Jesus’ spirituality in their practice of leadership if their identity as religious can have an impact on society.  

“As religious women, we have been charged with leadership responsibility,” Sr. Rufina Mutea told nuns drawn from over 20 different religious congregations at a Nairobi conference.  

“This must be integrated with our spiritual values,” Sr. Mutea explained in reference to the need to incorporate leadership practice and one’s spirituality based on gospel values and the person of Jesus Christ.

Sr. Mutea was addressing 150 women religious from multiple African countries during the Saturday, September 14 conference organized by The Leaders Guild (TLG), a leadership development programme in Nairobi-based Tangaza University College.

The keynote speaker at the conference, Sr. Elizabeth Nziwa, called on the religious nuns to be forward-looking in their practice of leadership saying, “Effective leaders are visionaries who craft clear pictures of their organizations’ future then link them to the present activities of the people they are leading.”

A member of the Congregation of the Assumption Sisters of Nairobi (ASN), Sr. Nziwa downplayed the notion of titles and advocated for service delivery saying, “We are all leaders without a title, we have a responsibility to transform the world, our country, our Church and our congregations.”

A guest speaker at the Saturday conference, Rev. Prof. Sahaya Selvam reiterated the value of spirituality in the life of all religious saying, “Spirituality entails the integration of the different dimensions of the human person.”

“As a leader we therefore need to be virtuous and inclusive,” Prof. Selvam who is a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco (SDB) said, calling on the nuns to be “integrated and holistic, marked by harmony and balance.”

Speaking about her impressions as a participant at the Saturday conference, Sr. Consolata Aloo of the Franciscan Sisters of St. Ann (FSSA) told ACI Africa, “As religious women, people expect a lot from us, at times we concentrate on leadership and we neglect the spiritual side of leadership, I was reminded that there should be a balance.”

“I learnt that by integrating Jesus’ spirituality in leadership, I can make the people around me happy and be a servant leader,” another participant, Sr. Norah Nyausi, a Franciscan Missionary of St. Joseph told ACI Africa.

Sr. Margaret Mutiso who organized the program and coordinates TLG told ACI Africa that the Saturday conference focused on religious nuns because TLG collaborates with the Association of Sisterhood of Kenya (AOSK), a body that enhances holistic formation and capacity of Women Religious in Kenya.

TLG is a leadership development programme which aims to develop competent and holistic servant leaders and managers, including Catholic religious sisters, who lead self, others, and organizations with integrity.


ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

Father Don Bosco Onyalla
Editor-in-Chief, ACI Africa
[email protected]