Punsalan-Manlimos has played an active role in Jesuit education for more than 30 years, beginning at Ateneo de Manila University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Physics. She received her Master’s in Theological Studies at the Loyola School of Theology in Quezon City. She then returned to the United States and completed her doctorate in Systematic Theology at the University of Notre Dame.
Punsalan-Manlimos was an associate professor in the Theology and Religious Studies Department at Seattle University for 15 years. She was the inaugural director of the Institute for Catholic Thought and Culture and held the Malcolm and Mari Stamper Endowed Chair in Catholic Intellectual and Cultural Traditions. In addition, she directed the Catholic Studies Program in the College of Arts & Sciences. In 2019, Punsalan-Manlimos joined the University of Detroit Mercy community as the Assistant to the President for Mission Integration.
Punsalan-Manlimos has won awards for her teaching and research, and is past president of the Pacific Northwest American Academy of Religions/Society of Biblical Literature. She has served on the board of the College Theology Society as well as on the Administrative Team of the Asian/Asian-American Theology Consultation of the Catholic Theological Society of America.