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Nuns are vowed women in religious orders. Many religions have Nuns; Christian (Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, Eastern Orthodox), Buddhists, Jains, and Taoist. Similar to sanyasins, they live detached from family, and take up community life. They may be enclosed in a convent (or monastery) or live outside community life as anchorites. They may be ascetics, and they may be apostolic, that is to say, directly interact with the community.

Becoming a nun involves, (for example, in Christianity) discernment and enquiry into the religious calling (called a vocation), a life of personal prayer and piety, and a search for a suitable order to join. There are many Christian religious orders and institutes for women. After approaching and discussion with the vocations director, one may be admitted into a pre-novitiate trial to experience the life in common, the disciplines, and the charism of the founder of the religious order or institute. Pre-novitiate time may also involve study of scripture, pastoral studies and some theology.

After pre-novitiate, one formally seeks admission and applies to join the Order. A period of spiritual formation follows, called Novitiate, which may last one or two years. At the end of the period of Novitiate, temporary vows are taken. These vows are renewed until the woman decides to remain in the religious order or institute for the rest of her life. Perpetual vows are then taken.

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