Nuns that focus on intellectual life and theology


Recently I’ve been considering the possibility of joining a religious order. Still wondering if I’m being called by God. As a woman, I’ve been researching convents and congregations of nuns. I’ve noticed that most female religious orders focus on helping the poor through health, social work ect. I think that’s great! However, I find I’m more attracted to a religious life with a predominance of intellectual and theological study. I’ve noticed that some priests and brothers are ordained with that focus. Does someone know of female orders of the kind? Perhaps what I’m looking for doesn’t pertain to a nuns life?


Dominican nuns?


Holy Spirit Adoration Sisters?


I just have an especial fondness for Carmelites, mainly because I love reading Teresa, John, Thérèse and Edith Stein, but I don’t know. I love the way your mind is working, though.:slight_smile:


or join Mother Angelica’s order and work at ETWN?

either way, talk with your pastor… He should have a book or catalogue of all the orders with descriptions on them, their websites, telephone numbers, etc.

God Bless


Any Dominican order. A lot of theologians have come from Carmel, too.


I am Jack 007. Let me sum up.

Poor Clares of Perpetual Adoration
Holy Spirit adoration sisters


I’d be inclined to recommend the Dominican nuns, but first you may want to speak to your diocesan vocations office, as they could be of invaluable service to you. Might I also recommend taking St. Gertrude the Great as your particular intercessor regarding this?


First I’d like to apologize for my late answer. However, I’m so thankful for all the responses. All very helpful! I will definitely look for more information regarding the suggested orders. A few have mentioned that I should probably approach my priest. While that is the smartest thing to do, I don’t want to start a big whoop if this goes nowhere. I know I’m being called for something but I’m not sure what yet. Also, since this post I’ve been learning about the practical issues of becoming a nun. While I don’t have student debt, I do have crohns disease. So while I feel fine, I require more doctor visits than a fully healthy person and there’s always the possibility of a flare which would lead to hospitalizations and/or surgery. From what I’ve been reading this would put a strain on any order and their mission :frowning: I also wouldn’t be able to travel to places where a hospital isn’t accessible.

Anyways, I’ve joined a prayer group in my ministry and they’re also starting a reading group with theological/intellectual texts which I’m really looking forward to. Hopefully this will help me grow spiritually and figure things out.

Thank you everyone!


Definitely Dominican Nuns (or Sisters). They don’t focus in on the intellectual life because the charism is preaching the Gospel for the salvation of souls but study, especially intellectual study is one of main observances for Dominicans. I know that the Dominican Nuns in Summit, NJ have a strong intellectually tradition as part of their monastic life.


Are you called to active or contemplative life? If active, look at congregations that sponsor colleges. They would be supportive of higher (post-BA) education for members who might subsequently teach at their institutions (or other institutions of higher learning). Some congregations ask or expect all of their members to pursue undergraduate and even graduate education. It depends on what you think you are called to do, and what kind of community seems appropriate.


As others have mentioned, there are many very good congregations within the Dominican family that would definitely fulfill your desire for a life of prayer and study!

If for some reason those convents aren’t a draw for you, I would look into the Community of St. John. They have both Contemplative and Apostolic Sisters and they both study philosophy and theology so that they can better contemplate Him whom they love, and in the case of the Apostolic Sisters to share the Truth with others.

Also, the newly approved Sisters of Mary, Morning Star would probably have that as well.


You shouldn’t think that your Crohn’s disease should be a severe impediment. If some communities refuse you, so be it. There will be others.

The Benedictines and the Dominicans are the strongest in terms of emphasis on intellectual pursuits, especially teaching. For sheer intellectual prowess, probably the Abbey of Regina Laudis, OSB is the most ‘intellectual’ in the US. I believe that their Mass and their entire office is sung in Latin. They rise at night. They have a number of nuns with advanced degrees beyond college. Otherwise other Benedictine nuns such as those at Petersham MA might be considered.

The older non-habited Benedictine orders should be included. Although they have shrunken in size with many older members, they have active novitiates, new professed members, and they do interesting, varied things. They also teach at their affiliated colleges. I am thinking of the Srs. of St. Benedict of St. Joseph, MN and their College of St. Benedict, near St. John’s University, and the Srs. of St Benedict at St. Scholastica’s Monastery and University in Duluth MN.

Good luck!


Dear hopmul,
Please look into the Sister Servants of the Eternal Word. My daughter too her first vows this past Aug and the community is so joyful and knowledgeable of the way. They are Franciscan/Dominican. Read of their community at
Peace and all Good Bob


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