Isasi-Díaz was born and raised in La Habana, Cuba in a Roman Catholic family. She arrived in the United States as a political refugee in 1960. She later entered the Order of St. Ursula and subsequently earned a B.A. from The College of New Rochelle in New York. In 1967, she went to Lima, Peru as a missionary for three years. Upon returning to the United States in 1969, she taught high-school for several years in Louisiana, then lived in Spain for 16 months before returning again to the United States. She settled in Rochester, New York. Isasi-Díaz earned a master of arts in medieval history from SUNY Brockport. In 1983, she continued her graduate studies at Union Theological Seminary in New York City where she earned both a Master of Divinity degree and a PhD with a concentration in Christian Ethics in 1990. In 2006, she was awarded a Doctor of Divinity honoris causa from Colgate University.
Her studies and involvement in the feminist theological movement led her to begin to develop a theology from the perspective of Latinas in the Unites States, which led to the development of Mujerista theology. This theology included their religious experiences, practices, and responses to the daily struggles of life. Isasi-Díaz has been on the faculty of the Theological and Graduate Schools of Drew University since 1991. She is a panelist and occasional contributor to the "On Faith" on-line discussions at the Washington Post and Newsweek.
Ada María Isasi-Díaz and Fernando F. Segovia, ed. Hispanic/Latino Theology: Challenge and Promise (Fortress Press, 2006).
Ada María Isasi-Díaz and Yolanda Tarango, Hispanic Women: Prophetic Voice in the Church (Harper & Row, 1988)