Saint Martin's University

Sister Laura Swan

Sister Laura Swan

Title and discipline: adjunct professor, religious studies

Contact information
Email: lswan@stmartin.edu


Laura Swan O.S.B. teaches part-time in the religious studies department. Educated by Franciscans and Jesuits, she earned an M.A. in church ministry, a master of theological studies, and a post-masters in spiritual direction. A member of Saint Placid Priory, she served as prioress for eight years.


Select publications: Sister Laura has published several books, including:

  • The Forgotten Desert Mothers: Sayings, Lives, and Stories of Early Christian Women (Paulist Press) has been translated into numerous languages, Chinese being the most recent translation.
  • Engaging Benedict: What the Rule Can Teach Us Today (Ave Maria Press).
  • The Benedictine Tradition (Liturgical Press).
  • Wisdom of the Beguines: The Forgotten Story of a Medieval Women's Movement (Blue Bridge Books).

She also has a book forthcoming from BlueBridge on the beguines, a medieval movement of women. She is associate editor of Magistra: the Journal of Women's Spirituality in History.

Sister Laura writes historical and contemporary fiction. Her writers group, The Puget Sound Writers Guild, meets weekly to critique chapters in progress.

Accomplishments: Sister Laura has been involved in the Benedictine world in many capacities, including serving as vice president and president of the American Benedictine Academy and the American Benedictine Formation conference. She is a retreat directory and spiritual director on staff at The Priory Spirituality Center.