Women’s Peer Leader Forum meets in Nazareth
Dear friends,

Salaam from Nazareth.
In this newsletter, I would like to introduce you to Women’s Peer Leader Forum in theological education (WPLF). The forum was initiated by ScholarLeaders International in response to the need for women leaders’ voices to be heard. 
I am privileged to be part of this amazing group of women
The forum includes 12 pioneering female scholar-leaders from 10 countries across Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East and the USA. They are deans, provosts, department heads, and presidents of their respective theological seminaries or institutions. Most of them are the only female national practicing at their institution. We meet every year to share our experiences, counsel, and encourage one another.  
From left to right, first row: Meritt Sawyer, forum organizer, USA; Dr. Seble Daniel, Ethiopia; Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst, Costa Rica; Dr. Rula Mansour, Israel. Second row: Dr. Eliane Mensah, Ivory Coast; Dr. Athena Gorospe, Philippines; Dr. Havilah Dharamraj, India, Dr. Theresa Lua, Philippines. Third row: Dr. Dinorah Méndez, Mexico; Dr. Jung Sook Lee, South Korea; Dr. Chee-Chiew Lee, Singapore; Dr. Emily Choge, Kenya.
Last month, as part of WPLF, I was delighted to host them in Nazareth this year. We toured the land and visited historic places which gave us new lens to read our bibles ‘colorfully'. We met amazing people, heard thought-provoking lectures, ate delicious food, and discussed various topics related to WPLF. 
Jerusalem in the background
Inside the Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem
The Narrow Gate at the Church of Nativity, Bethlehem
Drinking fresh pomegranate juice in the Nazareth old market
My highlight and delight was having these precious sisters join and celebrate with us the inauguration of our Nazareth Center for Peace Studies. 

The center hosted the WPLF together with local women to discuss the topic of mentorship amongst women through a four-hour workshop. Over the course of that evening, 50 distinguished women and leaders in diverse fields participated in a workshop on mentorship.
Women from around the world joined local participants in amplifying the importance of and greater need for mentoring amongst women.  

The program began with my introduction to the vision of the center, which started eight years ago. The participants enjoyed watching a short video which provided an overview of the activities of the center that have taken place over the last four years.
This was followed by worship time and a lecture by Dr. Ruth Padilla DeBorst about mentoring from a biblical perspective, looking at Elizabeth and Mary’s model. 

We also had table discussions on a variety of useful topics relating to mentoring, such as: the challenges and opportunities in mentoring, topics to be discussed in mentoring, the mentor’s characteristics, and the relationship between the mentor and mentee. 
The following is a raw video of the program -  https://youtu.be/uLDpDcj1GA4
Finally, we enjoyed a Middle Eastern meal and a great time of fellowship, where we heard very encouraging feedback regarding the workshop and enthusiasm towards the next step. The results of the workshop will be published at a later stage. 
I am deeply grateful for this opportunity to interact with all of these amazing women, locals and internationals, who are eager to be salt and light in their societies.

May the Christmas season bring joy and blessings into your life. 

 Merry Christmas.


Rula Khoury Mansour, PhD
Founder and Director
Nazareth Center for Peace Studies
PO. Box 1 Nazareth 16100, Israel
For making a donation for the center, please send email rula@nazarethpeace.org