The flagship event of the GIVEN Institute is the Catholic Young Women’s Leadership Forum. This annual event brings together young adult women from across the country for a five-day forum, followed by a year-long program of mentorship and the implementation of a new initiative that benefits others (“Action Plan“).

It is designed for young adult Catholic women seeking leadership training, faith formation, and support to better understand and pursue their particular mission and/or vocation. Applicants are expected to be intentionally engaged with their Catholic faith but will come with different experiences and from diverse backgrounds.

Learn More: 2021 GIVEN Forum

Entrepreneurial Specialty

This specialty is designed for young women who have an innovative idea for a new mission, organization, or apostolate. These young women will be guided by established leaders with business acumen and entrepreneurial experience who will support them as they develop their ideas, solidify their plans, and strategize for launch.

Post-Service Specialty

This specialty is designed for young women who have spent one to three years in service as a missionary, a member of the military, a volunteer in a service corps, or in religious life and desire guidance in discovering God’s will for their next steps. These young women will be paired with mentors who have extensive service experience and are equipped to support them in transitioning confidently to future endeavors using the gifts and skills they have developed in their years of service.

Catholic Professional Specialty

This specialty is for women who are working within Catholic organizations (e.g. diocesan employees, youth/young adult/campus ministers, educators, non-profit employees) who would like to grow as leaders in their fields. Specific attention will be paid to the challenges and opportunities of working in non-profit and faith-based organizations. They will be mentored by experienced Catholic professionals who lead a variety of Church and non-profit ministries.

Secular Professional Specialty

This specialty is designed for Catholic women called to a secular workplace or to the public square (e.g. business, finance/accounting, law, sports management/coaching, small business owner, educational leadership, government/public policy, journalist) who desire support as they integrate faith and professional life, navigate secular controversies with faith, and grow as a Catholic and a leader in the secular world. They will be mentored by Catholic professionals and executives who work in a diversity of fields.

Artistic Specialty

This specialty is designed for women who are creative at heart and have a strong desire to use their gifts in the service of others.  Whether a dancer, musician, painter, content creator, writer, or graphic designer, this specialty supports the unique calling and challenges of bringing the good, true, and beautiful to our world and Church. Mentors in this specialty are all experienced artists with varied gifts who will guide, challenge, and support the work of the artist. 

Care for the Human Person Specialty

A particular gift of the feminine genius is to nurture life, to care for the other.  Although all women are called to nurture life in all vocations and professions, this specialty is designed for women who serve in direct roles caring for the human person.  Those in the medical field, such as doctors and nurses, and other healing fields, such as counselors, life-coaches, and psychiatrists, as well as those who serve as primary caregivers of children or the elderly will be supported in this group. Mentors who have made caring for the human person their life’s work will serve to inspire and further equip the young leaders who share this calling and will particularly guide them to participate in the Church’s rich tradition of social teaching and ethics.

No matter the specialty, every participant will:

  • Hear keynote addresses and panel discussions from lay and religious women Catholic leaders on topics relevant to the contemporary, Catholic woman
  • Engage in exercises to identify her particular gifts, strengths, and aptitudes
  • Engage in peer and professional networking
  • Receive spiritual accompaniment from religious sisters
  • Receive support and guidance to execute a one-year, post-forum Action Plan
  • Deepen her understanding of the Church’s teaching on the dignity of women, the vocation to marriage and motherhood, and the lived, spiritual maternity of religious sisters
  • Have time for prayer, reflection, and renewal. Mass, confession, adoration, and spiritual direction will be available throughout the Forum.