Aligning Vocation within Your Institution
How can we integrate vocation at our institutions in meaningful and mission-aligned ways? In alignment with its mission, its sense of place, and its shared governance model, Colby-Sawyer College recently re-imagined the curriculum of its liberal education program, combining professional preparation with a new approach to the traditional liberal arts curriculum. Central themes include social justice, health and wellness, and diversity/equity/inclusion issues; key design elements include experiential learning, sustainability, and community engagement. The college has also launched the Blueprint, designed to facilitate students’ vocational exploration and reflection across the four-year college experience. Participants will be invited to consider possible alignments of vocation at their own institution.
Laura A. Sykes, Academic Vice President and Dean of Faculty, Colby-Sawyer College
Peter A. White, Professor of Biology and Director of Liberal Education, Colby-Sawyer College
Hilary Walrod Williams, Dean for the School of Arts & Sciences, Colby-Sawyer College
Developing Your Emotional Intelligence to Enhance Your Calling
Emotional Intelligence (EI) is crucial for all types of relationships, both personal and professional. As leaders, we influence and guide people from varying backgrounds with differing perspectives and temperaments. Research demonstrates that high EI levels permit leaders to better support and relate to employees and students, allowing them to perform at higher levels. More specifically, the work of guiding students in vocational exploration and discernment requires a high level of emotional labor, and our work will benefit from learning how to increase our personal EI levels. This presentation will be delivered in a conversational format, providing multiple opportunities for structured interaction.
Robert L. Overstreet, Director, Center for Teaching Excellence, Southern Adventist University
Expanding the Community of Calling through NetVUE Grants
King University has used NetVUE resources to expand ideas about the nature of a college community, extending the community of call both within the curriculum and beyond the college years. Our professional development grant encouraged faculty to reflect on and develop a vocational focus across core courses (freshman seminar, sophomore humanities, and senior capstone), which has not only fostered student community but also brought together faculty from widely different disciplines. Our Institutional Saga grant is extending that community’s welcome to both prospective students and alumni, and a new initiative encourages continued vocational reflection for small groups of graduates many years after their time at King. We will share lessons learned from fostering an expansive and inclusive communion of calling, offering vocational direction and shared resources across the curriculum and beyond the undergraduate years.
Martin H. Dotterweich, Professor of History and Director of the King Institute for Faith and Culture, King University
Glenn E. Sanders, Dean of Arts and Sciences, King University
Alexander W. Whitaker, President, King University
Finding the Intersections: Vocational Reflection, Social Justice, and Diversity
Established three years ago through a NetVUE Vocation Across the Academy Grant, Butler’s Social Justice and Diversity Vocational Fellowships have successfully engaged instructors from across the University to read, reflect on, and incorporate Critical Race Theory and Vocational Studies into their curricula. As a result, students have been invited to explore the intersection between vocational reflection and issues of social justice and diversity, which has in turn shaped their visions of the kinds of work to which they hope to dedicate their lives. This session will explore the substance, the outcomes, and the impacts that this work has had for faculty members, staff, and students. The session will provide key practical strategies for faculty and staff to use in order to develop and revise their own courses along similar lines.
Daniel G. Meyers, Director of the Center for Faith and Vocation, Butler University
Courtney Elkin Mohler, Associate Professor of Theatre and Assistant Dean of Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access for Jordan College of the Arts, Butler University
From the First Year to the Last: Equity-Based, Interdisciplinary Vocational Reflection
As part of its 2030 Strategic Plan and funded by a NetVUE grant, Augustana University established a Center for Interdisciplinary Studies (CIS) and launched several new degree programs (e.g., Environmental Studies, Medical Humanities) to foster ongoing vocational reflection. Students were also introduced to vocation during a reimagined first-year seminar that focused on diversity, high-impact practices, and the needs of one’s community. Thereafter, students continued to engage in reflection through vocational pathways published for each major, a sophomore retreat, ePortfolios, and capstone courses. This session will describe these curricular components and offer ways to spark continuous vocational reflection in other campus settings.
Colin Irvine, Provost and Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs, Augustana University (SD)
Joni Krueger, Registrar and Associate Dean of Interdisciplinary Programs, Augustana University (SD)
Billie Streufert, Assistant Vice Provost of Student Success, Augustana University (SD)
Mentoring for Vocation and Virtue: An Example from the Sciences
This session explores how the training of future STEM leaders can be positively impacted by explicit discussion of communities and the virtues that enable communities to thrive, framed by a discussion of vocation as a call to live a certain type of life. Presenters will describe the curriculum that is being developed to achieve these ends, offer a small-scale faculty development session on the topic, and discuss the potential applications and reach of this kind of program across NetVUE institutions. The program’s curriculum and training provide mentors, teachers, and students the opportunity to give sustained attention to the ways that vocation and virtue shape how we think about our work.
Rachael A. Baker, Associate Professor of Chemistry and Biochemistry, Calvin University
Amy Wilstermann, Professor of Biology, Calvin University
Julie E. Yonker, Professor of Psychology, Calvin University
Ora et Labora: A Promising Approach to Career Development
Saints Promise is a mission-congruent program at Saint Martin’s University that provides a unique opportunity to bring together partners from the career center and community businesses, faculty, academic advising, and campus ministry. Its goal is to actively engage students in career discernment and readiness in ways that incorporate the ideals encapsulated in the Benedictine order’s motto, Ora et Labora (prayer and work). This session will offer lessons learned from developing a series of core courses designed to reflect the Benedictine values of hospitality, ethics, stewardship, community, service, and dignity of work. Building on a curriculum that focuses on identifying and applying talents for the greater good, Saints Promise students commit to career planning and vocational discernment for four years with the promise of graduate school admission or an internship after graduation.
Ann Adams, Director of the Office of Career Development, Saint Martin’s University
Kathleen M. Boyle, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Saint Martin’s University
Colleen Dunne, Director of Campus Ministry, Saint Martin’s University
Pre-Ministry Vocational Programming: Nurturing Church Leadership
Randolph-Macon College offers a co-curricular pre-ministerial program for students of all Christian traditions preparing for vocations in ministry. This presentation will focus on the creation of a pre-ministry program, content considerations, and challenges that may arise. Discussion will include the role of financial aid in the program, internship requirements and guidelines, post-graduation requirements, and the dynamics created within groups of students from multiple Christian traditions. The session will also consider the topics addressed over the past four years through a student-created “lectionary” of helpful themes over a four-year cycle. The session will allow time for brainstorming about how a pre-ministerial program might develop and grow in other campus settings.
Kendra Grimes, Chaplain, Director of Church Relations, and Director, A. Purnell Bailey Program for Ordained Ministry, Randolph-Macon College
The Tomcat Way: Vocational Discernment, Leadership, and Student Success
Inspired by the ideas and practices of NetVUE, the Thiel College community created a new holistic model for student development that engages all students as they journey through college. This four-phase model—informed by research in developmental psychology—supports students’ academic, social, emotional, and spiritual growth, preparing them for careers and lives of meaning and purpose. This session will provide an overview the model, followed by facilitated discussion as to how it might be adapted for use at other institutions.
Greg Q. Butcher, Associate Academic Dean for Student Success, Thiel College
Brian Riddle, Campus Pastor, Thiel College
Liza A. Schaef, Director of the Career Development Center, Thiel College
Susan Traverso, President, Thiel College