Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

First Advisor

Dr. Sheila McGinn


In the Catholic sphere, Liberation Theology is one practice that theologians and the faithful have used to promote the dignity and humanity of all people. Liberation Theology involves a praxis to overturn the status quo and bring abundant life to the Anawim. 2 In today’s world of on-going war and an increased economic divide between first- and third-world countries, refugee women can be considered modern-day Anawim. They are, indeed, the closest to Jesus Christ, who stands with them in their struggle for life and gives them strength to continue. Traditionally, liberation theology has provided a theological framework to discuss social change and Jesus’ prophetic ministry alongside the marginalized. From the campesinos in El Salvador to the revolution in Nicaragua, liberation theology raised up the “poor and lowly.”3 The poor, emboldened by the Spirit, claimed the full power of their human rights and sought to create a more just and equal society. However, liberation theology, has failed to fully recognize the need for liberation among refugee women who do not necessarily share a common religion or culture. This paper, therefore, explores how liberation theology can be expanded to understand and empower refugee women from all countries and religious backgrounds. These women deserve to have their story told with dignity and respect. They long for their own liberation so that they can one day live the lives they were born to live—whether that be as a Somali woman raising children, a Congolese mama with many children and dreams of her own, or a young woman identifying as both LGBTQ and Muslim. It is my hope that this study will lay the groundwork to include their narratives in contemporary theological discourse.